A while back I got a bee in my bonnet to haul out my pasta machine and make home made pasta.
What possessed me to start the process at 6pm for dinner that night will forever be unknown.
Making pasta from scratch should never be rushed.
Actually making the dough, is a process that can take up to half an hour. You really need to give the kneading process time. The longer you work the dough the smoother and more elastic it is. You also need to let the dough rest before rolling it.
Then, since the machine is small, you need to actually make your pasta in small batches. Rolling the pasta takes time, you need to roll the dough through each setting a few times to ensure its even. Rolling the entire ball of dough can take over an hour.
But, its worth it, Fresh pasta is delicious!
So before I give you the recipe, here are a few tips from me to you.
Plan ahead. Set aside a morning or afternoon where you have at least 2-3 hours uninterrupted time. I suggest an afternoon because of tip #3 below.
Don’t make pasta alone. Rope in the kids to help. Mine had a blast helping me roll out the pasta and choose which type of pasta to cut. Alternatively invite some friends around and make a day of it. Make the pasta, make the sauces from scratch, maybe even make a batch of artisan bread to go with your fresh pasta.
If you go the friend route (or even the kids route), open a bottle of wine and enjoy a sip or two between rolling batches.
Take a break. The kneading and then the rolling takes work. Your shoulders will get sore. This is also why you need time. Sit between batches. Maybe stop rolling the dough for a while and make one of the sauces.
Take the time to let your pasta dry a bit before cooking. You can cook it right away, but I find letting it dry for at least 20 minutes helps the pasta maintain its shape when cooking.
Bonus tip! If you don’t have a pasta drying rack, you can use a folding clothes drying stand. Just make sure the rack is clean before you start hanging your pasta to dry!
4 cups pasta flour (you can use '00' fine flour or regular flour if you want, I bought a bag of flour that said pasta flour on it and it was delish)
6 large eggs
A pinch of salt
In a large bowl or on a large, clean surface, place your flour and sprinkle the salt into it.
Make a well in the middle.
Crack your eggs into the well.
With your hands, start bringing the flour into the eggs in the centre.
Keep working the flour into the eggs from the outside in.
Once the flour and eggs have become a rough ball, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and start kneading.
Keep kneading the dough, adding a little bit of flour if it is too sticky until the ball starts to become smooth.
You will know the dough is ready when the ball is smooth and silky and stretchy.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave in a cool place (or in your fridge) for about 20 minutes to rest.
When you are ready to start rolling, remove a small ball of dough to work with and cover the remaining dough well before setting it aside.
Follow the instructions on your machine to achieve the desired thickness and type of pasta.
Once your pasta is cut, hang it immediately so it doesn't clump. You could also lay it flat on a floured tea towel.
Let the pasta dry for at least 20 minutes before boiling in salted water for about 5 minutes.
I had about a 3rd of the dough left and didn't feel like rolling it. I left it tightly wrapped in plastic in the fridge and rolled it out the next day and it was still easy to work with and delicious. I'm not sure leaving it for more than one day will work but if you don't have time to roll it all in one day you can definitely leave it overnight and have 2 days of fresh pasta out of one batch.
So I got to thinking, if I can cook with wine why not whisky?
A quick google search showed quite a few whisky chicken recipes so I mashed a few recipes together according to the ingredients I had on hand and O. M. G! I wish the internet allowed you to smell images. This was one of the best roast chickens I have ever made!
Whisky Roasted Chicken
A dark roast chicken, perfect with rice and roast sweet potato
On Friday I roasted a chicken along with potatoes and sweet potatoes and by the end of the meal we had one breast, a leg and a few potatoes left over. Not enough for leftovers for four people the next day but enough to make a chicken pie which can feed 4-6 people depending on portion size and side dishes.
I put everything in the fridge and last night decided it was time for the pie.
The best part about this recipe is that as long as you have the chicken, you can pretty much add any veggies you like and it will taste delicious. I used up the leftover potatoes by chopping them into cubes and I also threw in half a can of corn. You could also add carrots, peas or any other tinned or frozen veggies you have in the cupboard or freezer or just use whatever leftover veggies you have in the fridge.
Whenever I use the heart cutter to decorate food Faith tells me that the food was ‘made in love’.
After an awesome day spent with my husband for his #Big40, and eating almost non stop, Paul picked up a pack of chicken schnitzel for supper last night. Which fits in perfectly with the ‘Fry All The Things’ chanukah meal plan.
I love a fresh, home made, schnitzel and its one of the things I never would have made myself before coming to Israel, here it is pretty much one of the most traditional things you can eat. My kids love it too and its one of our favourite meals, even if it takes a bit of time to prepare.
5 to 6 large carrots, sliced into very thin fingers
Prunes (or a large handful of raisins will do if you dont like prunes)
2 cups rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the meat into cubes as you would for a stew.
In a big deep pot heat up oil.
When the oil is very hot seal the meat on all sides and remove from the pot.
Add the sliced onions and fry until golden.
Return the meat to the pot with the onions and add salt and pepper to taste.
Add in the prunes or raisins and mix everything together.
Add enough water to nearly cover the meat and cook for about an hour until the liquid has reduced but not disappeared (the longer you do this part the softer the meat is).
Once the water has reduced place the carrots in one layer over the meat.
Mix salt into the rice to taste then pour the rice over the carrots so again it's one layer.
Now pour water carefully over the rice (I use the back of a spoon so it doesn't make holes in the rice layer) until the water is about 2 cm above the rice.
Cook on high until it bubbles then reduce to medium low heat, cover and let cook for about an hour.
Apparently you can turn the pot over onto a serving plate so you can see all the pretty layers of rice, carrots and meat but I was scared it would go all over the place so we dished up straight from the pot.
Last night was the first time we have had a shabbat dinner in MY home with my mom, my brother and I around the table.
Even though Paul and I have had our own home together for the last 10 years, its only been in the last 2 years or so that we have been kosher. My brother Matt came to Israel about 10 years ago and is strictly kosher so when he did come to South Africa we always had shabbat dinner at my moms house.
Last night, our family of four was joined by my brother, his wife, his mother in law and my nephew, my mom who is here visiting and my sister from another mister and her other half. 11 people around my table. Naches. It just doesnt get any better than last night!
My mom and I spent the afternoon cooking a feast and I think we really outdid ourselves.
Slow pot roasted beef with onions and potatoes (recipe below)
Teriyaki chicken wings and legs with chopped cashews
Chickpea and red onion salad
Roro brought her famous Quinoa salad (click the link and scroll down for the recipe)