The Daring Cooks’ July, 2011 Challenge: My Noodle Hands!

Steph from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks’ July hostess.  Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine.  She provided us with recipes for Spätzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with!

July’s challenge was a really tough one as it is not easy to make pasta at home. The only reason I was tempted was because it is supposed to taste much better than the ready-made one. Well, the verdict is yet out on that. Meanwhile, check out the recipe for home made egg fettuccine below.

Ingredients

1 (200 gm) cup all purpose flour + extra for rolling and coating

2 eggs

2 tbsp olive oil

Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour the eggs and olive oil in the middle. Start mixing slowly till the dough starts getting together. If the dough is sticky, add a little flour and if starts to dry up, add one more egg yolk. However, the thumb rule is one whole egg for 100 gm flour.

Notice how yellow the dough is cos of the egg yolks

Divide the dough in four portions. Work with one part while keeping the rest covered as it will start drying up fast.

Sprinkle some flour on the kitchen top and roll out the dough portions one by one to form an elongated rectangle.

Sprinkle some dough on each side of the rolled out dough portion. This will prevent the dough from sticking.

Roll out the dough to form long rectangles

Carefully roll the dough into a cylinder. Cut into equal parts. Unroll.

Roll Cut and Unroll

This pasta can be prepared immediately by boiling in water for 5 mins or can be dried for later use. You can dry the pasta on bamboo sticks or the backs of chairs as shown below. The time taken by the pasta to dry will depend on the thickness as well as the environment.

Pasta hanging out to dry

Once pasta is dry, store in an air tight box or freeze it for later use.

Dry Pasta 

Check out the amount of pasta obtained from 200 gm of flour. Can’t wait to try it.

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Pasta with Basil Walnut Pesto

If you are in a hurry to fill your tummy, one of the easiest and quickest dishes is pasta. The best part is you can modify it in a million ways to suit your taste. First is the pasta type itself. You can either have a basic macaroni or penne pasta or linguini if you like or even a fancy pasta like the beautiful bow shaped farfalle. These days you can get pasta shaped like flowers and cars as well has multicolored ones at the supermarket. It all depends on what you have in your cupboard at the end of the day.

Types of Pasta

You can also vary what you add to the pasta. The pasta can be flavored with any choice of vegetables and sauces. The pasta discussed here is flavored with pesto. Pesto is a sauce made with the combination of crushed herbs and garlic along with nuts of your choice. It is as Italian as you can get and gives a real cultured feel to the pasta.

Ingredients

2 cups pasta

1 cup fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup walnut (or pine nuts)

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup + 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

A handful of cherry tomatoes

1 tbsp vinegar

2 onions

Salt and pepper

 

Pasta with basil pesto served with garlic bread

First of all, boil the pasta in 2 cups of water till al dente. Alternatively you can boil the pasta in a pressure cooker also. Drain and keep aside.

Grind the basil leaves with the nuts and garlic cloves in a food processor to get a coarse mixture. Slowly add olive oil till you get a nice even blend. Add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese along with salt and pepper for taste and blend once again. Pesto is ready.

Chop the onions. Halve the cherry tomatoes if they are too big.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet and add the onions. Saute till golden brown. Add the vinegar and the tomatoes. Saute for a couple of minutes. Add the pasta and mix with the pesto. Add salt and pepper. Saute for a couple more minutes. Garnish with parmesan cheese and drizzle olive oil on top. Serve hot with garlic bread.

 

Vegetable Pasta with White Sauce

This is the best one course dish that can fill the stomach. It takes less than 30 mins and it is also very easy to master. You just need to know what ingredients click for you. Here is my version.

Ingredients

1 cup pasta (any type)

1 cup white sauce

1 onion

1 cup shredded cabbage

1 carrot

A handful of peas

1 capsicum

Salt and black pepper to taste

2 tbsp oil

 

Pasta in White Sauce served with Toast and Mustard on the side

Pasta in White Sauce served with Toast and Mustard on the side

Boil the paste in 3-4 cups of water in a cooker. When done, drain on a sieve and wash with tap water to drain out excess starch and to separate the pasta.

Shred onion, carrot and capsicum. Heat oil in a pan. Fry the onions in it. When onions turn light pink, add the rest of the vegetables and cook for 4-5 mins.

Place pasta in a pot. Place the cooked vegetables on it. Pour the white sauce on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and serve hot.

Paste is best enjoyed with bread of any form. I served it with plain Jane toast and some mustard on the side for the extra kick.