Monday, October 1, 2012

Basil Infused Whole Wheat Pasta with White Wine Marinara

So I used my pasta cutter for the first time! This is definitely my most intriguing recipe yet! Making pasta is easier than most would imagine!

3 cups of all purpose flour (I used 1 ½ cup all-purpose and 1 ½ cup of whole wheat to make “whole wheat” noodles)
4 whole eggs
water as needed (I ended up using about ¼ cup of water)
7 chopped basil leaves (optional)
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Start by measuring out the flour in a bowl and mixing in the basil, and a pinch of salt. Then make a well in the center of the flour-basil mixture (this is key when making noodles).  Add tall 4 eggs into the well. Gradually mix, slowly bringing the flour into the eggs. A dough ball should begin to form. If the dough is not forming, add a little bit of water. If the dough is too wet, add more flour.

Once the dough has formed, knead it on a floured surface for about 4-5 minutes. Then put a little bit of olive oil in the palm of your hand (using the 1 tablespoon from the recipe list), and coat the dough ball with it.

Then cover the dough and let it rest for an hour.

After the dough has rested, you are now ready to start making your fresh pasta! Start by cutting the dough ball into fourths. Take one fourth, flatten it with you hand and dust both sides with flour. Put your pasta roller on level 1 (as wide as it goes) and roll the flattened fourth through it. Dust it again, fold in the corners and roll it through the machine again. Do this about six times. Doing this finishes the kneading process.

Below are pictures of the process.

Initial rolling of the flattened dough.

Flouring both sides.

Fold the pasta as if you were folding a brochure.

Roll through the machine.

Repeat process 5 more times.

Now put the roller on level 2 (the next smaller setting) and roll the dough through once. Then again on level three, and so on until your desired thickness is reached. Be sure to keep both sides of the dough floured inbetween roll, so that the dough does not stick to the roller. I stopped at level 5 for my pasta. Once you dough is at desired thickness, attach the spaghetti/fettuccini cutter and roll the dough through!

**Note: Once you have started thinning the dough, you do not need to keep folding it inbetween roll-throughs. Additional folding would over-knead the dough, making the end product much tougher.

Although I only ate one portion of spaghetti, I went ahead and rolled out one more spaghetti and two fettuccini nests. I placed these on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper and froze them for another time!

Cooking your fresh pasta:
You cook fresh pasta the same way you would cook dried pasta! Just add the noodles to salted, boiling water. Be sure to keep an eye on them though! Fresh pasta cooked way quicker than dried pasta. My noodle cooked in about 5 minutes. I just kept checking them every minute or so until I was satisfied with their texture.

**Note: If you don’t have a pasta cutter, there is still a way to make fresh noodles! It will be a little harder, but you can always use a rolling pin to roll out your dough and use a knife to hand cut your noodles.

White wine- marinara sauce
2 tomatoes, chopped and then blended until smooth (you can just crush them if you prefer a more chunky sauce).
1 tablespoon of olive oil
½ cup or red onion, ½ cup of yellow onion
3 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (I used a tad more since I like spicy food)
1/3 cup of white wine (I used a chardonnay)
*pepper (I prefer white pepper)
Start by heating the olive oil and red pepper flakes on medium heat. Once heated, add the chopped onions and minced garlic. Let cook until the onions have become a little tender and aromatic. Add the white wine and stir. Let this cook for a minute and then gradually add the blended (or crushed) tomatoes (by adding gradually, you will make sure that the ingredients balance out, i.e. you don’t want to overpower the onions and garlic by adding too much tomato). Turn the heat down, stir in salt and pepper, and let flavors simmer (note: the sauce will reduce a little bit).

This is the wine I used for my sauce.

Sorry for the lack of sauce making pictures, but here is the sauce before it has simmered.

I let my sauce simmer while I was boiling my noodles.
(The sauce looks a little discolored due to the stovetop lighting).

Combine and enjoy!

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