Pasta Recipes

Whole Wheat Pasta
serves 4

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2  tsp sea salt (I used kosher salt)
4 eggs
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
serves 4

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. 

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Gouda Cheese Sauce
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Gouda Cheese Sauce (serves 4) (Bon Appetit Dec 2005)  
  • 1-pound red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), rinsed, patted dry, pierced all over with fork
  • 6-ounces fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 3/4 cups (about) all purpose flour
Sauce (makes 2 cups)
  • 2 cups milk, heated,
  • 1/4 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 sage leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Gouda cheese, shredded
Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place sweet potatoes on plate; microwave on high until tender, about 5-6 minutes per side. Cut in half and cool. Scrape sweet potato flesh into medium bowl and mash; transfer 1 1/2 cup to large bowl. Add ricotta cheese; blend well. Add Parmesan cheese, brown sugar, 1 teaspoons salt, and nutmeg; mash to blend. Mix in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms.
Turn dough out onto floured surface; divide into 3 equal pieces. Rolling between palms and floured work surface, form each piece into 20-inch-long rope (about 1 inch in diameter), sprinkling with flour as needed if sticky. Cut each rope into 20 pieces. Roll each piece over tines of fork to indent. Transfer to baking sheet.
Bring large pot of water to boil; add 1 tablespoons salt and return to boil. Working in batches, boil gnocchi until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer gnocchi to clean rimmed baking sheet. Cool completely. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
In a small sauce pot combine milk, onion, garlic and sage.  Place over medium heat and heat tiny bubbles appear around the edges of the pan, about 5 minutes.  Do not boil. Remove pan from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.  Remove and discard onion, garlic and sage leaves.  Cover to keep warm.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, until blended, 1 minute.
Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth and slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Dip a wooden spoon in the sauce to coat it.  Pass your finger through the sauce on the back of the spoon, it should leave a clean track.  
Strain the sauce into an clean saucepan.  Whisk in 1 cup of shredded Gouda cheese.  Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Increase the heat to medium and simmer to blend the flavors, 2 to 3 minutes. Discard the bay leaf before using.
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