Chocolate & Zucchini Forum Index >> Back to Chocolate & Zucchini <<

 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages 
 RSS feedLast posts feed   RegisterRegister   Log inLog in 

Fresh Pasta at Ferrari Speed

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Chocolate & Zucchini Forum Index -> Cooking & Eating
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Sarape



Joined: 15 Dec 2004
Posts: 583
Location: Anniston Alabama USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 4:24 pm    Post subject: Fresh Pasta at Ferrari Speed Reply with quote

I can't believe that after all these years in the kitchen, I have never in my life made fresh pasta. Well, that's going to change this weekend -- I'll be making fresh pasta. I found this in the NY Times.

I won't attach the article, but the gist is that with just salt, egg, flour and water, and some boiling water for cooking, you can make quick pasta. No pasta machine is needed, and no yeast, of course.

The author suggests either rolling the dough thin and then cutting it into random shapes, or even easier to take small pinches of it dropped into boiling water.

I quote: "Yet another alternative is to divide the dough into three or four small balls and freeze them until they have the texture of semi-hard cheese (this takes about an hour), then grate on large holes directly into simmering water or broth. "

Another quote: "Expand the concept of pasta a bit (and this is not cheating), and you arrive at spaetzle, the quickly made and rather thin dough (somewhat akin to savory pancake batter) that is often "grated" into boiling water on a spaetzle maker, a tool that looks like a grater without sharp edges. I find spaetzle makers unnervingly tricky, so I prefer to do what I've often seen done by Alsatians, for whom spaetzle is traditional: drop the batter by the spoonful into boiling water. As with all pasta, the more fragile the batter is, the lighter the result will be, so don't make it too stiff; just stiff enough to hold together."

The last topic is gnocchi -- mashed potatoes with flour. And he says: "gnocchi, a raw potato dumpling. True gnocchi - essentially mashed potatoes lightly bound by flour, with or without egg - are not all that difficult."

I grew up an in authentic, Northern-Italian family, where my grandmother made the most wonderful pastas, risotta, and gnochi. But, as everyone knows, the sauce is the key. The article doesn't get into sauces, however. It was written by MARK BITTMAN.
_________________
' She says, 'I am the glamorous type.' I said, 'So what?'
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Kate



Joined: 11 Oct 2004
Posts: 16
Location: Cambridge, MA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please post how it turns out! I saw this article as well and was curious, as I've made both pasta and gnocchi a couple of times and both recipes that I followed required lots of kneeding, setting it aside to rest, etc. whereas this article really made it sound a lot simpler. Let us know!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 899
Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I make a really great gnocchi and the secret is in baking the potatoes to mash rather than boiling or steaming. Because there is less moisture, less flour is needed to bind it and it makes a very light gnocchi.

I'm looking forward to hearing how your pasta turns out Sarape.
_________________
Barbara
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Celeste



Joined: 27 Jan 2005
Posts: 2
Location: Napa Valley, CA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:31 pm    Post subject: Fresh Pasta Reply with quote

I too read that 'Pasta at Ferrari Speed' article in the NY Times and was drawn to the idea of making fresh pasta as well.

Years ago, my friend Tom, who owned a fresh pasta shop called Noodles in downtown St. Helena in the heart of the Napa Valley, gave me a hand-cranked Mia Cucina pasta machine. It was sleek, gorgeous... compact, stainless steel, streamlined design... Perfect for the tiny kitchen in my walk-up Victorian flat. With great expectations, I took it home and tried it out on a batch of fettucine. But the results were catastrophic. When all was said and done, there was flour all over my kitchen, the cooked pasta was a doughy disaster, and I can't even remember what train-wreck of a sauce I created for it. Doesn't matter... the whole mess ended up in the garbage pail. To this day, my Mia Cucina pasta maker still resides in the rafters of my kitchen cupboards, patiently waiting for me to finally discover the perfect pasta recipe.

But now that I'm wiser and more experienced in the kitchen, something tells me that it's not going to be a 'recipe' that produces the perfect batch of fettucini, but rather a gestalt approach, in which an innate sense of how the pasta dough should feel is the key factor.

Coincidentally, however, I made a perfect batch of pasta just last night...

I too write a food blog. Mine is called ThingsAsian Dinner & a Movie. Every month, I choose a classic Asian film and prepare a 5-course meal of the cuisine from the country where the film was made. This month's Dinner & a Movie was 'Seven Years in Tibet', with a menu of Tibetan dishes to go with.

One of the dishes on last night's menu was Then Thuk, a lamb stew with onions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, spinach, and bits of torn up pasta dough in a simmering broth. The recipe called for 1/2 cup of flour, a tablespoon of oil, and 1/4 cup of water. But as I was adding the water to the dough, I got the feeling that 1/4 cup of water was just a little too much, so I stopped a tablespoon or two short of the full measure.

The result was delightful. The broth was savory and warming, the bits of lamb were melt-in-your-mouth-like-butter tender, and the bits of thinly rolled pasta were by far the best part. As I enjoyed each spoonful, I kept thinking, 'I should have put in more pasta'.

So perhaps by accident, I have finally acquired a sense of how a perfect batch of pasta dough should feel, and maybe I should get the old hand-cranked Mia Cucina pasta maker down from the rafters for another try.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I make pasta now and again, I perfer the machine to my hands. I encountered a lot of inconsistency when I have tried it without. Good luck, I hope it turns out well for you.
_________________
"It's watery....and yet there's a smack of ham."

"It's hot ham water."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd start with the spaetzle. Very easy dough to mix up and, really, easy to handle too. I put mine in a potato ricer. My ricer has interchangeable dies. I use one that has wider-set large holes. I pour in the dough/batter while the ricer rests on a pot of water at a low boil and let the dough/batter drizzle into the pot.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
monkey



Joined: 08 Oct 2004
Posts: 87
Location: in the kitchen with a large bar of chocolate

PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Fresh Pasta Reply with quote

Celeste wrote:
on last night's menu was Then Thuk.


i do hope you whipped up some yummy momo, sha paleb, and cha!

the tibetan noodles that my monk pals make are not rolled flat. the dough is rolled into a long "rope" and little bits are nipped off with the fingers and smashed flat as they are dropped into the boiling water or soup. (in the case of thuk pa)

tashi deleg!!
_________________
monkey

nothing brings primates together like a good snack!
www.TheresAMonkeyInTheKitchenAndHesGotAKnife.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address
Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

monkey, so wonderful to see you back again! Very Happy

I thought for a moment you were going to describe the Asian style of "throwing" (for lack of a better word) noodles. It's amazing to see a noodle chef swinging and bouncing and folding a long rope of dough at lightening speed for all of 2 or 3 minutes and then make two cuts that yield piles of vermicelli-like noodles!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Celeste



Joined: 27 Jan 2005
Posts: 2
Location: Napa Valley, CA

PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monkey Wrote: "i do hope you whipped up some yummy momo, sha paleb, and cha!"

...I did make MoMo dumplings filled with ground beef, kale, garlic, ginger, and onion. I steamed them for half an hour and served them with a dipping sauce of soy, vinegar, chili paste and ginger. And omigod! ...they were by far the best dish on the table. I still have a batch of uncooked ones in the fridge to steam up for a tasty reprise of last night's dinner for a simple supper tonight.

Also on my Tibetan menu was Churu, a tomato- bleu cheese soup that was tasty but not something I would make twice; and a sort of creamy, curried chicken dish called Mar Jasha, but I didn't love the influence of the garam masala in the spices; plus a green bean and potato medley called Tema that turned out so awful I didn't even bother serving it. I skipped the Po Cha and enjoyed a bottle of pinot noir instead. I'm going to save the cha recipe to go with my second helping of the apple-prune crisp that I made for dessert.

As for the dough in my Then Thuk stew, since I was an absolute beginner when it came to Tibetan food until just yesterday, and had five different dishes on my menu, I didn't want to get into anything that required too much 'technique'. But the recipe I used was a departure from the method you described and could probably be prepared that way too.

And...Rainey wrote: "I thought for a moment you were going to describe the Asian style of "throwing" (for lack of a better word) noodles."

I've seen that technique on the Food Network, I think. Or maybe it was PBS. Anyway...good description of the technique. And it's absolutely amazing, but definitely not gonna happen for me in this lifetime :>)
_________________
Sooner or later, life makes philosophers of us all. --Robert Solomon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
brighidsdaughter



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 233
Location: Canton, TX USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first few times I made pasta, it was flour everywhere, sticky, doughy noodles, nothing to write home about. This was even using a hand-crank pasta machine. Then I discovered what a difference using pasta flour made in the finished product. I'd been using all-purpose or bread flour, because that's all the choice I had at the time.

When you become more familiar with the texture of dough you like, it's fun to experiment with color in pasta by adding various vegetable purees. Beets make fuchsia-colored pasa!

Enjoy, and please let us know how this turns out.

--
MoMo, MoMo, mo'...mo'...mo' MoMos! Love 'em!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger
Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried to get creative and make chocolate pasta, let's just say it will be a while before I serve it to guests.
_________________
"It's watery....and yet there's a smack of ham."

"It's hot ham water."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Chocolate & Zucchini Forum Index -> Cooking & Eating All times are GMT + 1 Hour
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group