Homemade Pasta

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I am so lucky to live with some of my absolute best friends- it really feels like I live with family. We’ve started a tradition of family dinners. Honestly, they usually happen spontaneously when we all talk about a new recipe we want to try. Last week we had a family dinner inspired by my friend Caroline who has a pasta maker and is our resident homemade pasta expert. She taught me how to make fresh spaghetti and WOW was it amazing. Here is Caroline’s fresh pasta recipe!

What you’ll need: 

2 1/4 cups flour (plus a little extra when using the pasta machine)

5 eggs

Pasta Machine

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What to do:

Put the flour into a bowl and separate it so there is a hole in the middle. Put eggs in the middle of the hole and beat them. Then mix the flour and eggs together. The dough should be somewhat wet- you can add additional flour if it’s too sticky.

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Let the dough rest for 15 minutes. After letting the dough rest, divide the dough into slightly smaller balls.

 

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Flatten the smaller dough balls and put through the pasta maker. There are six levels on every pasta maker and you want to put them through to the second to last level.

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Once they’re all flat, hang on the drying rack. Let them sit until they harden a bit (we waited around 10- 15 minutes) then put them through the cutting part of the machine. Then you’re ready to cook your pasta!

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Of course we needed some vino with our homemade pasta

Of course we needed some vino with our homemade pasta

Final product

Final product

Spaghetti Squash with Homemade Tomato Sauce & Turkey Meatballs

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Pasta is one of my favorite treats so I’m not going to lie to you and say spaghetti squash is an equivalent substitute. It’s kind of crunchy and doesn’t have much flavor, but when you add my homemade tomato sauce and turkey meatballs it tastes a lot more like a pasta dish.

I’ve posted about the tomato sauce before, click here to get the recipe. (Also, this sauce is amazing on quinoa- try it!)

Turkey Meatball Ingredients

Turkey Meatball Ingredients

What You’ll Need:

1 Spaghetti Squash

Olive Oil

1 lb ground turkey

1/2 cup mozzarella

1/3 cup bread crumbs

1 egg

Salt and pepper

Ingredients for Tomato Sauce

What to do: 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Poke holes all around the spaghetti squash with a knife or fork. Place in oven for an hour.

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Meanwhile, make the turkey meatballs. Mix the ground turkey, mozzarella, bread crumbs, egg and salt and pepper into a bowl. Mix the ingredients thoroughly. When mixed, roll into small meatballs.

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Warm a pan over medium heat with olive oil. In batches, place the meatballs in the pan until they are crisp and browned all over. Place on a baking sheet. Once all the meatballs are on the baking sheet, put in the oven for about 10 minutes to fully cook.

When the spaghetti squash is done, let cool for a bit and then cut in half. I always cut them horizontally but was just told cutting vertically may be easier (give it a try!). Scrape out the seeds and then, with a fork, scrape the spaghetti squash out.

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Put the spaghetti squash, tomato sauce and turkey meatballs together and you got yourself a meal!

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Homemade Gnocchi and Creamy Kale Pesto

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A couple weeks ago I was listening to my favorite cooking radio show, A Splendid Table. One of the guests said that when she was 16 years old she decided she was Italian. I’ve gone through a similar experience. I love Italy—Italian food, the culture and the beautiful cities. This love of Italy has grown after several family trips and it really hit home when I studied abroad in Florence and studied wine and food pairing—life doesn’t get much better than that. Most of my indulgent recipes are Italian dishes, although not all may stick to the traditional and classic Italian cuisine. I like to take many recipes and lighten them up to a more healthful version but also indulge every once and a while (cough cough this recipe).

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Here is a fairly simple recipe for gnocchi and creamy pesto. Gnocchi is the easiest pasta to make and is also really cheap. This recipe turned out really well and I am definitely going to try it again soon, especially because it’s such a great fall comfort food!

For the gnocchi:

3 small- medium sized potatoes

2 cups all- purpose flour

1 egg

For the creamy pesto:

½ cup pine nuts

1 small bunch kale, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves

1 ½ cups fresh basil leaves

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

½ cup nonfat milk

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Start by making the fresh gnocchi. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Peel potatoes and add to pot. Cook until tender but still firm, about 20 minutes. Drain, cool and mash with a fork or potato masher.

Combine the mashed potatoes, flour and egg into a large bowl. Knead until dough forms a ball. Shape small portions of the dough into long “snakes.” On a floured surface, cut snakes into half- inch pieces.

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Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Drop in gnocchi and cook for 3-5 minutes or until gnocchi have risen to the top; drain and serve.

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For the pesto, combine the basil, chopped kale and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the garlic. Pulse a few more times.

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Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the salt and pepper to taste.

Combine milk and flour into a saucepan and warm. Once the flour has dissolved completely and the combination has warmed, add the pesto from the food processor and stir.

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