Thursday, April 21, 2011

R is for Reducing, Recycling – and Re-Posting

Ruh, roh. I thought I had my R post all ready but discovered: not so much. Since I was planning on re-posting these recipes for homemade pasta soon, today seems as good a time as any. ; )

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My great grandmother used to make her own noodles, and they were a lot like these, only, you know, better. 

Her recipe:

Homemade Noodles by Hand

3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning (optional)
1 large egg, beaten

Sift flour and other dry ingredients together. Add gradually to beaten egg, mixing until thoroughly blended. Roll paper thin on a floured board, keeping the shape rectangular as much as possible. Allow to stand 20 minutes. Roll up and slice 1/8 inch wide for fine noodles, or 1/2 inch wide for broad ones. Toss lightly to separate strands, and spread out to dry for several hours. Makes 1/2 pound of dried noodles.

She gave me that recipe thirty-some years ago, and I've made them three or four times. It's hard work, as the dough is very stiff, and rolling it out is pretty tough, too. But they make absolutely the best chicken and noodles.

Recently I picked up a pasta machine on sale. And my standing mixer has a dough hook. Technology to my rescue yet again. This recipe is more traditionally European, and quite simple.

Homemade Pasta 2

  • 3 cups flour (all purpose, semolina, or a mixture of the two)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs

Sift the flour and salt together in mixing bowl. Create a well in the ce

Sift flour and salt together in mixing bowl. Create a well in the center. Crack in the eggs. Mix with dough hook until you have a fairly stiff dough that holds together. Add a little water if needed in order to get a workable texture. I ended up adding a weensy pullet egg for extra moisture in this batch.

You can also do this by hand. Put the flour+salt on a board, make the well, add the eggs, and mix them into the surrounding flour with a fork. Here's a tutorial for doing it that way.

Either way, the dough is pliable and a lovely yellow. Allow to sit for twenty minutes, covered with a damp cloth.



Then either divide the dough into four portions and roll and slice as in my great grandmother's recipe above, or follow the directions for your pasta maker. Keep the damp towel over any dough you're not working with. I used the 1/4-inch cutter on the machine, and made the noodles quite thin. You can lay them on a towel to dry, wrap them loosely around your hand a few at a time to make little pasta "nests," or use a pasta drying rack. I found this rack at a garage sale for 99 cents.


Of course, there are plenty of good alternatives to making your own pasta. Most grocery stores have a wide selection. Some farmer's markets sell 
Pappardelle's, which comes in all sorts of flavors and shapes. Whatever you choose, consider tossing with a delectable

Alfredo Sauce

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (or more)
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

In a heavy saucepan bring cream and butter just to a boil, stirring frequently. Add the Parmesan and white pepper, and stir until cheese is melted. Toss with cooked pasta -- this is a good amount for about 8 ounces of dried pasta.

If you make additions to the dish -- cooked bay scallops, shrimp, or chicken, or maybe some lightly sauteed veggies, you'll want to increase the sauce recipe. Go ahead and double it, as it freezes really well. The sauce is also good dribbled on steamed broccoli and/or cauliflower.

5 comments:

  1. Hey now, that noodle recipe intrigued me, like the poultry seasoning in it. The alfredo is great. Why? Easy to remember the amounts by one-half.
    It's no mystery that this post is outstanding.
    Thank You.

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  2. My husband & I have been making homemade noodles from his grandmother's recipe, which is similar to recipe #2, for years. They are a bit of work, but as long as I mix up the dough he does everything else! They are wonderful with chicken or beef!

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  3. Absolutely excellent post! Your descriptions, the pictures, AND the recipes. I used unsalted butter and freshly grated Parmesan -- yummmm!

    I have a question or two: How much time does it really take to lay each one of those nicely cut pasta noodles on/in that rack? I'm thinking I'd have to set aside half a day just to make homemade pasta. Is that about right?

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  4. This has made me hungry. Now I want some homemade pasta. thanks for sharing the recipe
    Great meeting you through the A-Z!

    nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  5. Enjoy, anthony!

    Melody S, once you get used to homemade pasta it's hard to go back to store bought. ; )

    M Kathy, the dowels set into grooves on the rack, so I put one on a towel and lay the noodles over it until it's full. Then I pick the whole thing up at once and place it on the rack. The first time I made pasta it took almost 2 1/2 hours. Now it takes about an hour (not counting the resting time). A good alternative to a rack is a broom handle laid over the back of two chairs.

    Welcome nutschell! Heading over to check out your blog now ...

    ReplyDelete