Friday, August 19, 2011

garden fresh pasta

Can we keep talking about the garden? Cause that's really where it's at for us these days.

What is this satisfaction that comes from growing and cooking our own food? Hasn't humankind worked very hard to ensure that individuals don't have to spend their time in these pursuits? Maybe that's just it -- because we don't depend on this for survival, we are able to find such joy in it. It strikes me that so many things we do in the name of leisure now (gardening, preserving, sewing, knitting, etc.) were tools for survival not long ago.

Whatever the reasons, it does bring joy to head out back and harvest the makings of a meal, which is just what we did for our pasta dinner the other night.

Garden Fresh Pasta

2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable puree

Lightly steam your vegetables and run them through the food processor or blender to make the puree. We like the combination of spinach and broccoli, but you can try beets, carrots, peppers or kale. You can experiment with adding fresh herbs to the dough as well.

Form the flour into a mound in a bowl or on a smooth work surface, making a well in the center. Combine the eggs, salt and vegetable puree and pour into the well. Work the flour into the moist ingredients, blending until a ball forms. Knead the dough until it is smooth, adding small amounts of additional flour or oil (a drop at a time) if needed to adjust the consistency. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling it out.

In years past, we rolled the dough by hand, cutting the ball of dough into quarters and working with one piece at a time. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a thin rectangle. Starting at a short end, roll the rectangle up and slice through the roll at 1/8-1/4" widths or more, depending on how wide you want your noodles to be. Unroll each slice, and voila! You have noodles.

This year, we were lucky enough to use the pasta machine my in-laws handed down to us. It made for even noodles and plenty of fun for the kids.

This recipe makes about 1 pound of pasta. Fresh pasta cooks a bit faster than dried, so check often for doneness. A drizzle of olive oil in your boiling water will help keep the noodles from sticking.

The rest of the garden picks were chopped and sauteed, along with some shrimp, to serve with the pasta.

Top with grated parmesan, serve to a hungry family and enjoy!


Farming Mama said...

oh yum that looks delicious! I agree completely with your thoughts on gardening - it is just so satisfying to produce our own food! I'll have to try making our own pasta sometime, I never have! :)

Sandie said...

Found a recipe, thought you would like it!!! I tried it this weekend and it was very yummy! It's the best whole grain cookie recipe I have found yet. The best part it you can use it with almost any add in or no add ins at all...Here's the link... I did it with walnuts and semi sweet chocolate chips, but I can't wait to try it with other add ins that other people of suggested in the comments...excited!!!

Amanda Greco Holmes said...

Hello and welcome, Farming Mama! Let me know if you try out the pasta; I'm always surprised how easy (and delicious!) it is!

Sandy, thanks for the link to the recipe! It looks great. We'll give it a try here soon...

Melissa said...

My mother-in-law just got me the same pasta machine :) Thanks for the great recipe- it will be the first I've tried!