Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Basic Egg Pasta Dough


Fresh pasta is best if eaten the same day it is made. However it will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator. Once shaped, it can be frozen for up to one month.
This makes approximately 3/4 lb of pasta, which will serve 2 to 3 people as a main or 3 to 4 as an appetizer.

  • 1 cup all-purpose (or double zero)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

To make the dough by hand:
Make a well on the counter with the flour. Then add the eggs and salt. Slowly incorporate the eggs until the mixture forms a ball.
Then bring together the dough together and knead for 5 to 10 minutes. Add additional flour as needed.
To make the dough in a food processor:
Add the flour and salt and pulse. Beat the eggs separately and then slowly add in the eggs, one teaspoon at a time. Once the mixture just starts to look like couscous, stop and remove from food processor.
Form into a ball and knead for 5 to 10 minutes on the counter top.

Once the dough is fully kneaded, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for about 30 minutes before rolling.

To roll the dough, flatten it slightly and roll through the widest setting about 10 times, folding the dough in half each time you pass it through. Sprinkle the rollers and dough lightly with flour if it happens to stick.
Next, run the dough through the rollers just once on each setting without folding. Keep rolling the dough until you reach the second to last setting. How far you roll out the dough will also depend on the dish you are making, and your pasta machine. If you desire ultra-thin pasta, you may want to roll the dough right through to the last setting. Once the dough has been rolled to the desired thickness, it must be covered immediately to prevent it from drying out.
If desired, you can run the pasta through the cutters of the pasta machine to make various shapes, such as linguini or fettuccini.

Hearty Homemade Minestrone

Preparing Your Mise en Place

  • 1/2 cup dried cannellini* beans (white kidney beans) (approx. 1 cup cooked)
  • 2 oz pancetta** (optional)
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup carrots (approx. 2)
  • 1/2 cup celery (approx. 2)
  • 1 1/2 cups onion (1 medium)
  • 1 - 15 oz can whole tomatoes

*If cooking dried beans from scratch, soak over night and cook them first. If using canned cannellini beans, drain and rinse with cold water and set aside.
**Note: For a complete plant-based (vegan) version of this soup omit the pancetta and use a vegan pesto and parmesan cheese, if desired.
To prepare your mise en place, finely dice the pancetta (if using). Mince the garlic lengthwise. Cut the carrots, celery and onion all into medium-dice pieces. Drain, seed and chop the tomatoes (the remaining juice can be used in another recipe). Set aside.
Note: De-seeding the tomatoes is optional, but it is highly recommended because the seeds can often be bitter.

Cooking the Soup

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3 large sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Parmesan rind (optional)
  • 12 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
  • 1 1/2 cups Yukon gold potatoes (about 2 medium)
  • 1 cup zucchini
  • 4 cups kale
  • 2 oz tubetti pasta (or 1/3 cup of other small, dried pasta)
  • salt (for cooking pasta)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To start the soup, heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-heat. Add the olive oil followed by the pancetta. Cook it until it is light-golden in color.
Add the carrots, celery and onion along with a pinch of salt. Sweat the mirepoix (you may have to turn the heat down slightly) for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the vegetables soften but do not brown. Add the garlic and cook until it starts to soften and release its aroma (do not let the garlic brown either).
Next, add the chopped tomatoes, bouquet garni and the parmesan rind, followed by the stock. Bring the soup to a simmer and let cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Peel and cut the potatoes into medium dice and place into cold water. Dice the zucchini the same size.
Trim the kale from the stem and cut or tear the leaves into rough, bite-sized pieces. Wash and spin dry. Set aside.
Once the soup has simmered for about 15 minutes, start to cook the pasta in a pot of salted water. Add the pasta and cook until al dente
Bring a medium pot of cold water to a boil. Season with salt (about 1 teaspoon per liter/quart of water). .
Once the soup has simmered for about 15 minutes and you have started to cook the pasta, add the potatoes to the soup. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes then add the zucchini and beans, followed by the drained, al dente pasta. Season to taste.
Add the kale and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes. Season the soup again with salt and pepper to taste.

Garnishing and Serving the Soup

  • pesto (optional)
  • grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

To serve the soup, ladle it into warm bowls. Garnish with a dollop of pesto and top with Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and serve immediately.

Raw Vegetable Salsa & Cooked "Chili"

Step 1: Preparing the Raw Vegetable Salsa

  • 1 small red onion, (1/2 cup diced)
  • 1 medium zucchini (1 cup diced)
  • 1 medium red pepper (1 cup diced)
  • 2 tomatoes (1 cup diced)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (1/2 cup chopped)
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp date paste* (maple syrup or agave)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

To prepare the salsa, first dice the onion, zucchini, red pepper and tomato and place into a bowl. Roughly chop the cilantro and mince the garlic and add to the bowl.
Next, add the date paste, coriander, cumin, chili powder and salt.
*Note: To make a small amount of date paste, place one pitted date into a small bowl and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of boiling hot water. Let sit for a minute or two and then mash into a paste (search Rouxbe for "Date Paste" recipe).
Fold everything together. At this point, remove about 1/3 of the mixture and place into the food processor. Pulse several times until fairly smooth. Add this mixture back to the bowl of salsa and stir to combine. 
Set aside while you prepare the chili mix.

Step 2: Preparing the "Chili" Mix

  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos (tamari or soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
To prepare the ingredients, place everything into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is crumbly and just starts to come together.
Place this mixture onto a parchment lined baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes or until the moisture has evaporated from the mushrooms and the mixture has browned nicely. Be sure to stir the mixture once or twice during cooking.
To serve the dish, place some of the salsa into a bowl and top with some of the mushroom chili mixture. Garnish with some fresh cilantro, if desired, and enjoy!

This is a dish i had to prepare during culinary school