Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Distracted Cook and My Noodle Hands!

Steph from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks' July hostess. Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine. She provided us with recipes for Spatzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with!

This time The Distracted Cook knew it would be great. Home made pasta? What fun. And having someone in the kitchen to help - what could be better? Lucy was here for the week and is always eager to help out at the stove. So, with the aid of her cookbook, Emeril's  There's A Chef In My Soup we got started.

You might be wondering about the sunglasses? Well, Lucy informs me that when you are cutting or cooking raw onions you must wear your sunglasses or else you end up crying into your soup - or sauce! So, here she is stirring up the onions for the sauce she was making for our pasta. Emeril's recipe was an easy one for Lucy to make and it is really good. And while it was simmering away on the back of the stove, Lucy and the Distracted Cook decided to tackle the pasta making. First though, Lucy had to run around outside and get rid of some extra energy. Back in the kitchen without her special "at the stove" shirt on, we got down to pasta business.

The next step was to sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. This is where we parted company for a while. Lucy made her pasta with an old recipe on hand - flour, water, salt. She used our Giusto's Organic "00"  flour  for her pasta and I used plain old unbleached all purpose flour for my noodles using the recipe that Steph posted.

This is what Lucy's dough looks like after she has incorporated the water into the sifted flour and salt.

And this is what The Distracted Cook's dough looks like after mixing the eggs, flour and water.

And this is what they look like ready to be wrapped and set to rest. Can you see the difference in Lucy's dough and The Distracted Cook's dough? The addition of the eggs makes the dough on the far left hand side of the picture have a yellow color rather than the lighter white color of Lucy's dough.

And here they are wrapped in their plastic wrap and taking a rest! After they rested, the two cook's ran  Lucy's dough through the pasta cutter and The Distracted Cook decided to hand roll and cut hers just as she used to do with her Grandmother!

Here is some of the dough ready to be cut into noodles.

And here the cut noodles are just waiting to be unrolled and set out to dry a bit before being dumped into boiling water.

Aren't they great looking? Cutting them by hand was a lot easier than running them through the pasta cutter. BUT, using the pasta machine to cut them made them a lot thinner. The Distracted Cook will have to practice a lot more with that rolling pin. Grandma used to do the rolling, and The Distracted Cook used to cut them and unroll them and hang them up to dry!

Fresh cut noodles waiting to jump into the pan!

After about 5 minutes in the boiling water, The Distracted Cook removed the noodles and drained them.

Noodles! Waiting for that great tomato sauce that Lucy made - and some meatballs also.

And now it's dinner time! Fresh egg pasta fettuccine with homemade tomato sauce. What a delightful way to answer The Daring Cook and her challenge. Thanks to Steph for such a fun adventure! Why don't you join us next time? All you have to do is go to The Daring Kitchen and register. The rest is just as easy and twice as much fun. See you next challenge!

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