Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dark Days: Homemade pasta just keeps getting better!

We recently visited some friends in McCloud and they served us a delicious pasta dinner. Although this particular pasta was purchased, the husband is Italian and knows a thing or two about homemade pasta and so I inquired. A hush-hush discussion between husband and wife followed as to whether it was OK to give me grandma’s recipe. It was decided that I could have the recipe for the pasta, but NOT the sauce. I don’t dare print the recipe here, of course, but I’ll tell that it had more ingredients in it than the recipes I’d already tried.

Tuesday afternoon I began "grandma’s" pasta dough. Attempting not to wake Munchkin from his nap, I quietly cracked an egg and promptly dropped half of it on the floor. The proceeding clean-up woke up the napper. After a snuggle, diaper change and a snack, I finished making the dough and then read books to Munchkin while the dough "rested." We then got out the pasta machine and rolled out the pasta. I found the dough much easier to handle than my two previous attempts. The special new tool I'd bought to make pretty edges on my pasta was quickly surrendered to Munchkin -- it was so dull it couldn’t possibly hurt him.

Anyway, I used the pasta in a favorite recipe and the results were fantastic. Besides local eggs in the pasta, I used leftover local ham from Easter, local butter, milk, non-local parmesan cheese, organic flour & some spices. I made a cheesy white sauce and combined it with the ham and cooked pasta, topped the mixture with more parmesan and toasted it under the broiler for a few minutes. Hardly low-cal, but scrumptious! Scott saved leftovers for his lunch, which is his highest compliment.

The whole process took longer than I thought (I hadn’t calculated the extra time needed for Munchkin's "help") and so I added non-local frozen veggies to dinner. Hardly any produce is local, yet, anyway. Last week, I broke down and bought some (non-local) asparagus at the grocery store, but it was disappointing -- I know what the local stuff tastes like! Our farmers’ market ended last fall just as I was starting to really appreciate it and it reopens sometime next month. I can hardly wait!

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