Sunday, August 1, 2004 in food

My fave pasta salad

Mostly because it has NO mayo!

3 cups cooked small shell pasta or 2 cups coloured rotini
2 ripe tomatoes finely diced
1/2 green pepper finely diced
1/4 cucumber -English) finely diced
1 green onion sliced fine

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup salad oil
1/3 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
– – –
Cook, drain and cool pasta. Combine dressing ingredients and mix
with pasta and chopped vegetable. Serve cold. This salad is best if refrigerated overnight.

No idea how many calories or fat grams, but it sure is good.

Monday, May 17, 2004 in food

Making pasta!

I did an entry in pictures, the caption explain the steps involved. If you’re looking for the basic nitty-gritty, here it is. You could do it all by hand, but if you love pasta at all, a pasta maker pays for itself in no time.

I start about 2 or 3 in the afternoon, depending on whether or not I’m making ravioli.

One egg per person
flour (a pound of flour for every 4 eggs, I think)

Dump the flour in a bowl, and crack the eggs into a well in the middle. Stir the eggs up, bringing in a bit of flour at a time. When it is a big lump, start kneading in more flour. You want the dough to be elastic and kinda smooth, like heavy bread dough, so don’t try to knead in as much flour as possible, or it will be too stiff.

Cut off a small chunk of dough and leave the rest in the bowl, or on the counter, covered with plastic wrap or a clean damp dishtowel. Flatten this chunk a bit more, dusting with flour on any sticky spots.

If you don’t have a pasta maker, get out the rolling pin and start rolling. Roll and fold a couple of times until it looks a little smoother. Then keep rolling to flatten until it is really thin. This is why Italian women have such strong arms.

If you do have a pasta maker, make sure you’ve clamped it to the counter good firt off. Turn the dial to the #1 position. This is the biggest gap. Send the dough thru once to get the hang of it. Fold the dough in half and send it thru again, folded side down. Fold again, and send it thru sideways. Sometimes this is enough, it depends on how well you kneaded the dough earlier. Turn the setting to #2 and pass thru again. Don’t fold! It doesn’t matter which end goes first. Continue turning the dial and sending the pasta thru. It gets longer every time, but mostly on the last one or two settings.

Set it aside on a clean damp dishtowel or a *floured* piece of waxed paper. Yes, it has to be floured, it *will* stick.

Do another chunk of dough until you’ve used it all up, or you’ve run out of counter space.

Now, you can cut strips of dough with a knife, use the noodle cutter attchment on the machine, or do up some ravioli. You can fart around figuring out the ravioli attachment if you like, (and have the time and patience) but by hand you can do this:

Lay out one long strip of pasta. Put a scant teaspoon of filling along the sheet, in two rows, about an inch or so apart. Use a fingertip dipped in water to moisten the pasta between the filling. Lay another sheet over top and press down to join. Cut apart, trimming off extra at the ends. The sheets should have been dusted with flour, so you should be able to set some ravioli on a plate or sheet of waxed paper to wait until you finish them all up, without worrying they’ll stick. Now would be a good time to freeze them if you like.

I cook these in a very large pot of boiling water for about 5-7 minutes. Fresh pasta takes less time. On another burner, I have some thick & chunky tomato sauce simmering. You could use canned or jarred stuff, but homemade is the best, or in a pinch take a jar of chunky sauce (the good stuff, not the dented cans on clearance) and add a large can of stewed tomatoes, broken up.

Take the ravioli out of the pot with a large slotted spoon, just dumping the pot in the colander won’t drain them as well and may break them. Serve in a large flat bowl with a spoonfull of sauce drizzled over top.

If you want to try and be authentically Italian and not a goomba like me, you could swig some red wine, holler “Bellisimo!” and random people and wipe your floury hands all over the back of your pants.

Oh wait, I do that floured hand thing anyway.

Friday, September 12, 2003 in food

Andrea’s All-Time Big Batch of Bread

This is a really adaptable recipe that makes four good-sized loaves of bread, or 6 pizza crusts, or a bunch of rolls or… well, it makes a lot.

You will need:
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