Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Handmade Pasta -- Lasagnette with roasted vegetables

So for you is it late at night? In the car? When you brush your teeth?

By that, I mean, when does stress hit you the worst. For me, the stress usually hits me right after the kids have gone to bed. I saddle up to the sofa, my mind ostensibly focused on the cup of tea and relaxation that is about to ensue. As the tea steeps to perfection, the stress begins to seep out of the deep recesses of my mind. First it comes in dribbles. My shoulders tense. I curl and uncurl my toes. I stretch out my limbs like a cat. At which point, my feeble mind begins to search for the source of the stress—work, work, work, family, money, work…? I begin considering how to deal with the source of the stress—but then, quickly disillusioned, I look for diversions. This is when I start searching for enablers. Friends lurking on Facebook with whom to strike up a chat; the amazing mind/ time suck that is Twitter; and then the most dangerous of all—Amazon.com. That one click shopping is an evil force, like a kindly librarian crossed with a drug pusher. One particularly stressful evening I found myself fantasizing about picking up the family and travelling through Italy to learn about artisanal pasta. I started to imagine our tiny little gypsy wagon and the quaint meals we would share in our cozy abode. In the end, I have too much of the bourgeois in my soul to chuck it all away. I am of the sort who approximates these far flung fantasies. (Knowing yourself is half the battle in life.) So, back to that evil, evil kitten Amazon.com. Within seconds, I was the proud owner of the Encyclopedia of Pasta and Silver Spoon Pasta. All of a sudden, the stress disappeared and my mind was lost in reverie of flour.

And so began our weekly handmade pasta adventures.

One of our first was lasagnette… The example in Silver Spoon was potatoes and flour dressed in butter. You can see why this was our first choice. Carbs with carbs with butter and joy.


I can’t say I have a recipe (and I didn’t follow the one in Silver Spoon either.) I baked 3 large blue potatoes & 1 medium baking potato. Learn from my mistake--use only white potatoes. The blue just makes the lasagnette a sad, sick grey blue. It is the sort of color that you expect for DMV walls not dinner. When the potatoes are still so hot that they seared off my fingerprints, I peeled and mashed them. I then added 2 cups all purpose flour by the ½ cup amounts. Then finally I added 2 beaten eggs, 2 egg yolks, splash of milk, and a tablespoon of olive oil. Final, I played with the consistency by adding flour and water accordingly until a firm but supple dough resulted. After a one hour rest, we kneaded a bit; patted the dough down; and then gave it a final roll. This dough kind of makes me think of how your tongue feels when you get Novocain. But it with a ravioli cutter into wide strips. Boil in plenty of hot water for a few minutes after they pop up at the surface of the water. Then dress with browned butter, parmesan and roasted seasonal vegetables. Don’t be stingy with the salt. We served this with slowcooker turkey breast and gravy. It was like Thanksgiving in July.

I am sending this lasagnette to Presto Pasta Nights hosted by Siri at Siri's Corner and run by Ruth for For Every Kitchen.



Jaya Wagle said...

Girl, I can so relate to the purple potatoes turning a sad grey blue in the pasta. I tried to make red pasta with some tomato paste and the pasta was hard to roll because of the moisture. You were smart and cut it with a roller. We were trying to roll and cut it in the pasta machine and it kept sticking no matter how much flour we sprinkled. But, the taste of freshly made pasta is out of this world.

Joanne said...

Oh I know you don't like the color of the pasta but from here it looks splendid! I love making my own pasta and it is always so soothing (at least until it starts getting stuck in the machine. Then it is possibly the least soothing thing ever.) and worthwhile. I love this recipe! Your photos are gorgeous.

Pam said...

It looks great and I have to get up the nerve to try it!

girlichef said...

Oh yes...mine usually hits me mid-day for some reason...looking around and thinking of all that still needs to be done...will I have the time/energy/patience to accomplish everything... But alas, shopping and food...my stress relief ;) Beautiful, beautiful pasta.

Claudia said...

Good one! I had to laugh, but won't be tempted to use blue potatoes as we don't have them here. I have been fantasizing about making my own homemade pasta, and keep saying, 'this is the week.' It is, really.

Heather said...

Blue potatoes! I was wondering what gave the pasta that ashen pallor.

I like the idea of linear gnocchi. Putting this one in my mental backburner.

Johanna GGG said...

I avoid twitter, amazon and facebook but dive into blogging to avoid the whirl of thoughts of things I should be doing - and write lists of things to be done - but if I had it in me I would travel italy, bake bread and eat pasta! Have you read heat by bill buford about his travels to italy to learn to make pasta - quite interesting!

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