November 20, 2014

Delicious Tradition


As the holidays approach, I think of cooking with my father and grandmother. Because I had the great privilege of being raised with food, I now make it my passion every day.

I like to make pasta with friends and family. With a bit of team effort, the process is more smooth and rewarding. Be patient, have fun, and remember that you can always roll out your dough again if the noodles are too sticky or crumbly. 


I have created a lot of different sauces to accompany home-made pasta. This is my current favorite.

Cashew Cream Sauce


You will need:
1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews - ground in a food processor
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon each: salt, black pepper, nutmeg, thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup milk (almond, hemp, rice, or cow)

Whisk all ingredients together in a small pot.
Heat through and serve!

To thicken, cook it down on low heat for 15 minutes.
Get creative! Add crushed garlic, grated carrots, or a bunch of fresh, minced parsley.




Pasta Dough



You will need:
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup rye flour
1 cup spelt flour
cornmeal for dusting
2 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons water

Prepare the dough by mixing everything but the egg in a large bowl. 
Make a well in the center, crack the eggs into it and whisk them together. Add oil and water and whisk a bit more. 

Then, slowly incorporate the flour into the the egg mixture. 

Once the dough is moist but not sticky (add another tablespoon of water if you need to), knead it a bit, but not too much. You want to develop the gluten but not over-work the dough, which makes it rubbery.

After kneading, shape it into a ball, place it in the bowl, and cover it with a cloth. Allow it to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Now, you are ready to roll! Start by pulling off a piece of dough about the size of a golf ball. Flatten it into a rectangle. Either roll it out on a cutting board covered with cornmeal or use a pasta machine to flatten it.

If the dough starts to feel sticky, sprinkle with cornmeal. 

Once the dough is fairly thin (about 1/4 inch), run it through the cutting rollers on your pasta machine or loosely roll the pasta into a tube and dust it with cornmeal. Then, slice the rolls with a sharp knife.

This is a great moment for teamwork! Have people feeding the pasta through the machine, others who are catching it on the other side, still others who are checking on the sauces and water bubbling away on the stove.

Transfer the noodles to a cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal. You can hang them to dry and freeze them or throw them into salted boiling water to cook. Noodles are done when they float to the of the boiling water.

Enjoy with cashew cream sauce, wholesome 'no-mato' sauce.

You can also try your hand at spelt squash gnocchi.

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