First I would like to thank my eldest daughter for moving out of the country. When she left on her backpacking adventure through South America she left me some exciting kitchen gadgets. They are her pasta maker and her emersion blender. Dinner tonight would not have been quite as tasty with out the assistance of those two items. Second, I would like to thank my wonderful husband who sat and separated each strand of pasta assuring that we did not wind up with glob o pasta (been there, done that).
So we needed an escape from chicken, I think we might both be starting to grow feathers we have been eating so much of it. I had toyed with pasta a few times earlier this year and had used a tasty white flour recipe. We are trying to watch our carbs as the husband is working on his weight so I went on the search for a whole wheat pasta recipe. I stumbled upon a good one on allrecipes.com. I did need to make a few adjustments due to the weather and lack of humidity. If you have never made pasta from scratch I can tell you it is amazingly simple and doesn't take much time. If you do not have a pasta machine like I do just use your rolling pin to flatten the dough and a pizza cutter to cut it. I actually did that the first few times and tonight was the first time I used the cutter attachment.
Whole Wheat Pasta
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp sea salt (I used kosher salt)
2 tsp olive oil
Stir the flours and salt in a medium bowl. Make a hollow in the center and pour in the olive oil. Break the eggs in one at a time while mixing quickly with a fork until the dough is wet enough to come together ( this didn't work, I mixed for a bit with the fork and then just jumped in with my hands, mushing the dough until it came into a ball. I also added a tablespoon or so of warm water. If you need to add the water to get a dough consistency, do it a very small amount at a time). Knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough is stiff and elastic (no longer crumbly, probably about 5 minutes or so). Cover and let stand for about 30 minutes
Roll out the dough by hand with a rolling pin or use a pasta machine to achieve the desired thickness. Cut into desired width. Allow the pasta to air dry for at least 15 minutes to avoid having it clump together.
Bring large pot of water to a rolling boil, add pasta and allow to cook approx 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
Drain and serve with the sauce of your choice
So with this I made my first ever Alfredo Sauce. It was not as difficult as I thought and really had a minimal number of ingredients. It was this recipe that caused me to say thanks for the immersion blender as the cheese turned into one giant glob in the middle of the sauce.
Alfredo Sauce with Sauteed Mushrooms and Green Peppers
4 Tbs Butter
1 Cup Skim Milk
1 tsp Corn Starch
1-1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 large pepper chopped
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 Tbs olive oil
Put olive in saute pan over medium heat. When warm add green peppers, stirring occasionally, when starting to brown slightly add mushrooms. Reduce heat to medium low and allow to continue to cook still stirring occasionally. Place butter in medium sauce pan over medium heat, add milk and corn starch. Stir until butter is melted. Slowly whisk in cheese (this is where the blender came in handy) Once the cheese is melted add garlic and sauteed veggies. Serve over hot pasta.
If you have never experienced home made pasta, you will be amazed at the difference between it and the store bought dried pasta. It is lighter and you don't leave the table feeling all weighed down.