Saturday, April 10, 2010

Meghan's lentil dip & Joaquin's Homeade Pasta

I was lucky enough to have Joaquin and Meghan make us all dinner last week. It was amazing.
I couldn't remember a time that I had actually had homemade pasta. And I had no idea how delicious lentil pate could be. It inspired me to make some. I will post the results soon.

Recipe from Joaquin Castillo Arana

3 cups whole wheat pasta
1/2 cup water
5 teaspoons Olive Oil

14.5 Ounces whole stewed tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
1 clove minced garlic
2 teaspoons oregano (dried or fresh)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup diced onion
2 teaspoons chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon capers

I prepare the marinara sauce first and let it simmer while I make the pasta.
Peel, chop and caramelize onions.
Put all the other marinara ingredients in a blender, blend on pulse until you get the desired consistency (I don't like my marinara liquefied).
Add marinara to caramelized onion and garlic, let simmer, stir occasionally.

Make a mound of flour on a counter-top.  Make a hole (like a volcano) in the center.
Combine oil and water
In the crater slowly mix in water/oil in a circular fashion, introducing more flour to the crater to slowly incorporate the water/oil evenly to the flour.
One of the tricks to homemade pasta is getting the dough the right consistency, it should be slightly flaky but should adhere to itself when pressed together.  The texture will be firm but not necessarily easy to work.

Once all water/oil is used begin slowly kneading dough till you get the right consistency, add water as needed.

Once you get the right consistency, make small palm size balls of dough and roll them out flat enough to fit in the pasta maker and begin cranking the pasta through the setting till it gets to the desired thickness, then run through the desired noodle type.
I have a pasta maker which rolls out the past via a hand held crank and also has a fettucine and spaghetti cutter.
If you don't have one of these you can do it by hand (which is fine if you are ok with pretty crazy manual labor) with a rolling pin and a pizza cutter.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, at a tbls of olive oil to the water and a 3 tsp of salt (I like lots of salt because it flavors the noodles)
Once you have the noodles made, toss them in the boiling water for 90 seconds.

and I used the noodles to make a mushroom pesto pasta with oyster mushrooms and and pesto sauce.

Saute the mushrooms with teaspoon of olive oil and add the pesto , while cooking the pasta .
The pasta was amazing the second time, too.

Thanks Joaquin and Meghan 

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