>> Sunday, February 26, 2012
January and February have been such busy months.
We've almost been out of town more than we've been in town, which is really rare for us. Luckily they've all mostly been fun trips, but regardless, they still get you out of routine, change your pace of life, and overall make things feel a bit unsettled.
Since January 1st, Archie and I together have been gone for four trips, and Archie has had 2 trips for work. It's been cutting into my blogging time (and cooking time), so things are a bit crazy.
I also started Weight Watchers in January, which has overall been a really great thing. It has taught me a lot about food in general, which I thought I knew, but didn't! It's been a really slow process for me - because my body thinks I have the metabolism of a 60 year old, not 29 year old, and it's really unfair. Especially when your husband does it too and the weight just FALLS off of him. I know that men obviously lose weight easier, so I'm trying not to get discouraged, but really!! I run everyday some weeks in training for another half marathon, and gain weight - he does nothing but the long runs on Saturday and loses 3! ha. :) Overall, I feel healthier, and my clothes are fitting more loosely, so that's what is really important!
As I promised, I wanted to give you guys the recipe for my homemade pasta that I learned in Florence. The pasta is so good! And it's really and truly the easiest thing - you can even make a big batch and dry it for later. The recipe does call for "00" flour, which my friend Jen found for me at a local Italian market - but you can also use semolina flour, which can usually be found in grocery stores. The "00" just makes it a bit lighter.
The biggest tip to remember with this pasta is to roll it out super thin. Probably thinner than you think, and you'll be okay. I've made this (with Jen) since I've been home, and we didn't roll it out thin enough, making the past a bit thick. Which is okay when you're having a bit hearty meat sauce, but maybe not so much if you would be pairing it with something lighter.
You also can cut the pasta into whatever size you want - thinner for a spaghetti/angel hair and thicker for fettucinni or thick cut pasta.
Home Made Pasta
Ingredients (Per Person - just multiply the ingredients by the number you will be serving):
100 grams of flour (3 1/2 ounces)
1 large egg
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1. Measure out the flour using a kitchen scale if available and sift onto a large work space.
2. Using your hands, make a large "well" or circle in the middle of the flour - pushing it all out to the sides.
3. Crack eggs into the middle of the well and drizzle the olive oil on top.
4. Using a fork, begin to beat the eggs until yolks have broken up and SLOWLY begin to work in flour into the egg mixture. You only want to get a little bit of flour at a time, and beat until each addition of flour is completely worked in.
5. As mixture gets thicker, continue to beat in more flour until you are unable to use a fork because it's too thick.
6. At this point, begin to use your hands and incorporate the flour, kneading the dough to mix in all flour.
7. Continue to knead the dough working it with palm of your hand, down towards the counter. Flip the dough around and fold the top half over pushing again towards counter. You want to use this same motion to knead the dough. Continue kneading for about 10-15 minutes or until dough is completely smooth - NO cracks left in the dough.
8. Form the dough into two large balls and wrap in plastic wrap, leaving out to sit for approximately 15 minutes.
9. At this point, roll your balls into large flat discs until about 1/4" thickness - very thin. If you need to break your balls into smaller more manageable balls, that's fine.
10. Fold the pasta over on itself in about 1" folds. Cut the pasta to desired thickness, and unroll from folds.
11. Place pasta in boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes or until al dente. Really watch it, because it will cook pretty fast.
12. Serve with your favorite sauce and enjoy!