For our second Dark Days meal, I thought we’d make some pasta. We got married this summer and received an Atlas pasta maker from my aunt and uncle (hi Sue and Tom!) as a wedding gift. We’ve already used it a half-dozen times and it will be fun to continue to experiment and perfect our technique over the years. Making pasta is really quite easy and not as time consuming as you might think. It has a more delicate taste and texture than dried pasta and I find it very rewarding to make.
I used a basic recipe from The Herbfarm Cookbook by Jerry Traunfeld which calls for:
- 2 C. flour (Stone-Buhr, WA)
- 2 eggs, (backyard)
- 1/4 salt
- 2 tsp water
- Rice flour, for dusting
I didn’t have the rice flour, but purchased some later in the week, so we’ll try it next time. It’s supposed to help the dough from sticking to itself after it’s rolled out. I thought the dough felt really good because it was soft, moist and supple. I realized I misread the recipe and added 2 TBS of water instead of 2 tsp. It was somewhat difficult to roll out, and when it came time to cut the pasta, the noodles didn’t want to separate on their own. I think less water would have helped. Anyway, I pulsed all the ingredients in the Cuisinart and let the dough rest for about half an hour before running it through the pasta machine.
The recipe I wanted to try for the pasta noodles is also from Jerry Traunfeld, but it comes out of his Herbal Kitchen cookbook. It’s a simple combination the French call fines herbes, which often includes chives, tarragon, parsley, and chervil. This was the first year I grew chervil and I’ve been exited to try it in lots of recipes. If you haven’t had it before, it’s a mix between anise and parsley. It’s very perishable so you don’t usually see it at the grocery store or market. It’s very easy to grow and it’s winter hardy. I sure love growing unusual and/or hard to get items.
This recipe is also a good choice with fresh pasta because it doesn’t overpower the noodles and lets it’s flavor shine through.
- 1 TBS butter ( Golden Glen Creamery, Bow, WA)
- 1/3 C. ricotta (not local)
- 1 TBS chives (backyard)
- 2 TBS parsley (backyard)
- 2 TBS chervil (backyard)
- 3 TBS Parmigiano-Reggian0 (not local- Costc0)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- fresh ground pepper
Melt butter in skillet. Add ricotta, herbs, Parmesan and salt. Take off heat and add to cooked pasta. Grind with pepper and serve hot. I served our pasta with some roasted parsnips and kale and a salad of claytonia and cress from under the cloche in the garden. All the produce from this meal came from our backyard.