Homemade Pasta

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This is the second dish I used the homemade pasta in… the first night I made an artichoke pesto ūüėČ
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The night we made the pasta – with an artichoke pesto and generous (clearly…) amount of Pecorino

Once again, I’ve been negligent about writing out blogs with recipes. I find that writing out the ingredients and process is not nearly as exciting as the actual preparation and cooking of the dishes.¬† I have, however, been invested in writing the tales of Indigo Wren.¬† I’m sick, I know. I invented this character and I’m basically living vicariously through him, or him through me. Whichever it is.

Anyhow, I made a collaborative dish with my boyfriend this past Friday.¬† I do the cooking 98% of the time, but I must admit, he has the golden touch when it comes to homemade pasta. If you have time to kill, and a pasta machine (*** trust me, you will need a pasta machine… I’ve tried to hand-roll and it does NOT work out), this is the perfect dish to make.¬† It’s going to take you about 3 hours start to finish… possibly more if you’re drinking and getting distracted dancing to 90s dance music.

I’m going to post the recipe for the shrimp dish… honestly it was better. If you want to make the artichoke pesto though: 1 can of artichoke hearts (don’t fuck with raw for this pesto), juice from 1 lemon, 1/3 cup olive oil, a handful of pine nuts OR walnuts (like 1/4 a cup), 2 TBS. chopped parsley, 1 clove of finely minced garlic, some salt and pepper to taste – throw it all in a food processor or blender and blend until pureed. Voila!

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This pasta is so delicate and light I honestly think it goes better with butter and olive oil or a light dusting of cheese, as opposed to this sauce, which was rather heavy and weighed it down.¬† This pesto would pair much better with boxed rigatoni or bucatini in retrospect…¬†

INGREDIENTS FOR THE PASTA:

  • 4 eggs, room temperature and slightly beaten
  • 3 cups flour (preferably 1 and 1/2 cup all-purpose, and 1 and 1/2 cup Semolina… but 3 cups of all-purpose does the job)
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbs. ICE COLD water
  • More flour to knead the dough and dust the surface you roll on, as well as to dust the noodles so they don’t stick to each other!

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled, shelled, and de-veined
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine (dry works better)
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 Tbs. freshly chopped parsley

DIRECTIONS:

  • Make sure you wear an apron and/or something light colored – you will end up with flour all over everything.¬† If you’re OCD about the cleanliness of your kitchen/counter tops and stove, you’ve been warned.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt
  • Slightly beat the room temperature eggs in a smaller bowl and dump into the flour
  • Add in the olive oil and water
  • Knead the dough with your hands until the mixture is consistent… add more flour or water as necessary, but you’ll want the dough to be more dry than sticky.¬† IF ITS STICKING TO YOUR FINGERS AND PALMS, IT NEEDS MORE FLOUR!
  • After kneading the dough for about 3 minutes, dust with more flour and divide into four parts.¬† Wrap in plastic wrap or a damp cloth and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes

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Don’t be stingy with the flour!¬† Drier dough is better than sticky in this case… as long as it’s not so dry it’s crumbling¬†
  • You’re going to want to make sure whatever surface the dough touches is dusted in flour, be it the counter top, the plate you put the finished pasta on, or the machine you use to press it and cut it!
  • I have made pasta by hand before with a rolling pin – it’s doable, but so much more time consuming, messier, and the pasta is obviously much thicker than it is when you roll it through a pasta machine… cutting the strips also takes longer and they won’t be uniform in size
  • I got my pasta machine from TJ Maxx for like $15 a couple of years ago.¬† I think we only use it twice a year so I’m happy I didn’t spend a lot of money – Amazon probably has really affordable ones too!
  • Once the pasta has been refrigerated, you’ll want to use a rolling pin to do the preliminary roll (again, make sure the surface you’re rolling on as well as the rolling pin are lightly floured)
  • Next, run the flattened slab of dough through the pasta machine several times (usually 3 times) until it reaches the desired thickness

If you’re like me, you’ll want your pasta Mary-Kate Olsen thin, so it may need to rolled through the machine upwards of 5 times

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This is the sheet of dough after it has been through the machine several times, but not cut yet! It’s very thin… but be careful because if you make it too thin, it will get holes or break
  • Next, you’ll run the pasta through the cutting side.¬† Most pasta presses have a setting so you’ll be able to choose desired noodle thickness.¬† I’d recommend fettuccine or tagliatelle thickness.
  • Keep repeating the process with the other slabs of dough, or you can put the dough in the fridge for another day.¬† I like to just roll and cut it all so I don’t have to fuck with the pasta machine again… because honestly, this is a messy process and you WILL have flour all over your kitchen.
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The beautiful fettuccine, lightly dusted with flour and ready to cook
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Make sure the plates/trays you place your noodles on are dusted in flour and so are the noodles themselves, or they will stick to each other and any surface they touch!¬† You can refrigerate this pasta for days at a time, or dry it (though I’ve never tried to dry it myself… so you may want to research that shit)
  • Next, put a LARGE pot of boiling water on to boil.¬† Make sure it is heavily salted.
  • You’ll definitely end up refrigerating at least half of this pasta…. the ingredients listed above produce enough for like 8 servings AT LEAST.
  • As the water is boiling, heat up 1/4 cup olive oil and 4 Tbs. butter in a large sauce pan
  • Add in the finely minced garlic and cook over low heat for 1-2 minutes (being careful not to burn)
  • Add in the shrimp (granted they have been peeled and cleaned at this point)
  • Raise the heat to medium, and add in the wine and squeeze in the juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Add in the dried basil
  • Stir occasionally until shrimp turn pink; season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Once the water is at a full boil, add in the fresh pasta.¬† It will take only 2 minutes or so to fully cook since it is fresh.¬† You’ll want to taste test to make sure it’s cooked, but generally speaking, once it floats to the surface, it’s done cooking!
  • Drain the pasta, and add back into the pot along with a drizzle of olive oil
  • Toss in the shrimp/sauce mixture and mix/stir lightly (you don’t want to damage the noodles)
  • Serve hot and top with some freshly chopped parsley
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Delightful salad I made to accompany the pasta tonight… I was joking that if I served this salad in NYC, I’d be able to charge $18 for what is essentially a plate of basic veggies as long as I gave it a fancy name like “Radish Carpaccio”… welcome to New York¬†

The above salad was awesome because of the dressing.  This dressing would also pair well with tofu or even a stir-fry:

SESAME DRESSING:

  • 1 Tbs. toasted black sesame seeds
  • 1 clove very finely minced garlic
  • 3 Tbs. sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. white sugar
  • Add all ingredients to bowl and whisk well

FOR THE SALAD:

  • lightly sauteed snow peas
  • shaved carrots
  • thinly sliced radishes
  • lightly sauteed yellow zucchini
  • Avocado

In other news, I finally finished a painting I was working on, had way too much to drink on Saturday night at some random Bushwick dance bar called Jupiter Disco where I saw a clone of my brother and McLovin’, was too hungover to go hiking on Sunday like I wanted to as a result of Saturday night’s gin and tonic consumption, binge ate empanadas in my vulnerable and hungover state, and am now only living for the Korn concert and mini family vacation in Maine I’ll be taking this August. Cheers.

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Finally finished

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Rat Meatloaf and Gross Negligence

It’s been over a week since I last wrote… I am living in a state of perpetual exhaustion. I average about 5 hours of sleep a night, and I don’t even have anything to show for my lack of sleep – that’s the saddest part.¬† You’d think I was up writing a novel or like, a cook book or something.¬† Or that I was painting the next greatest masterpiece. No.¬† Honestly, I don’t even know how I end up staying up as late as I do every night (usually until 12:30 – 1 a.m.). I’m not doing anything fun or worth while.¬† I am actually up that late scooping cat litter, brushing cats, and/or cooking dinner for a boyfriend I see about 20 minutes of each day, and yeah… that’s about it…. by the time all my chores are done, it’s time for bed.

I don’t know where the time goes, but clearly it hasn’t been spent writing or finding a better job.¬† I haven’t even cooked anything note worthy lately.¬† I’ve been too fucking tired to cook and too busy tending to cats and cleaning the house, since it now gets dirty even faster (double the cat hair, double the spilled litter and food messes, etc.).

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Can someone please come brush my teeth and wash my face for me?¬† It’s 9:20 p.m. on a Friday and I’m too tired to even get off the couch and get ready for bed.¬† That’s how tired I am.¬† I can’t even imagine having an actual human kid to take care of at this point in my life.¬† I’d literally fucking die, and if I didn’t die from sleep deprivation, I would surely die from a psychotic break down as a direct result of stress and sleep deprivation.

 

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Can someone also fix my mangled feet?¬† I think they need totally replaced at this point, given that they’re covered in popped blisters from my ill-fitting H&M sneakers and beyond the repairs a basic pedicure would offer.

Anyhow.  Another day, another dollar -am I right?

I am really proud of myself because I didn’t order delivery even once this week.¬† Not that I order in often – usually once a week and only when I’m drained.¬† But I’m impressed I didn’t order at all – since at some point in the week, I usually cave and use Seamless to order Chinese or Mexican food.¬† I cooked a lot of random shit this week though, that is for sure.¬† One of the many random things I cooked was this rat meatloaf:

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Rat (“mouse”) meatloaf… don’t ask. I couldn’t stop laughing as I prepared it, waiting to present it to my boyfriend like it was a goddamn lobster with a side of filet mignon

I made this really delicious dish that I absolutely LOVED, and my boyfriend hated (he hates small pastas for some strange reason (orzo, italini, orrechiette)… I, on the other hand, LOVE small pastas). Anyhow, I found this sick recipe for “Orzotto” (orzo cooked like risotto) on one of my favorite food sites, “Taste Cooking.” It was really easy to make (much less time than cooking actual risotto with rice), and warranted a trip to my favorite cheese shop.

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This was heaven.  I liked it better than actual risotto, because the orzo is lighter and fluffier. I cooked the orzo in chicken stock, and used Gorgonzola dolce to finish it.
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It was a beautiful Spring night in NYC, so I brought Mr. Peeper for a walk… Not sure the hipster trash dudes working in the Cheese shop appreciated, but whatever.¬† It’s my life.

Anyhow, Campbell (aka “Lorimer”) Cheese shop is my absolute favorite.¬† It’s basically what Bedford Cheese Shop was before they sold their soul to the devil and moved up the street into a gargantuan retail space with white everything and waitstaff that is unfriendly and probably doesn’t even eat cheese.

I digress…

Campbell (Lorimer) Cheese shop is the best Рthey always have Gorgonzola dolce and a variety of truffle cheeses, which means I leave happy every time.  The staff is friendly, and you can find all manner of jams, olives, specialty sausages, etc..

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The mortadella wasn’t the same as usual… it had no peppercorns or pistachios in it… they totally downgraded and I’m not sure what’s up with that.¬† I did pick up these awesome anchovies, which I used in the pasta dish I just made.¬† I also picked up the creamy, blue cheese I used to make my Orzotto.

I’m too fucking lazy to write out any recipes tonight.¬† But I made this pasta using the anchovies pictured above, and San Marzano tomatoes from a can:

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The anchovies add this delightful umami flavor …. so good

Anyhow.¬† It’s Memorial Day Weekend and I can’t fucking wait to be home (my parents house upstate).¬† I am so over this shit hole, rat-infested, fake fuck infested city.

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone.  I hope the cats let me sleep in past 7:30 a.m. tomorrow.  I look haggard.

 

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