It's been a long week. I discovered a crack in my bike frame... unrideable. I'm not running while I spend alot of money trying to fix my hip alignment. And I've been fighting a cold. Fantastic.
The one redeeming thing from last week was that I discovered how easy it was to make fresh pasta! I had taken a class when I was in Italy this summer, but I hadn't braved the process on my own so I still expected it to be worse than it was.
I'm sure there is room for improvement, but it turned out well and I couldn't be more pleased :) Well, unless my bike didn't need to be fixed and I didn't have so many biomechanical issues... anyways...
Luckily I had some wild mushrooms from Marx Foods to distract me. I've had alot of "flavored" pasta that didn't live up to the hype, so I really wanted to create a mushroom pasta that really fit the bill. To do this, I ground up the dried mushrooms and used that in place of some of the flour. It made the dough a little more difficult to work with, but a little bit of extra water was all it needed.
I love how light fresh pasta is, truly amazing! Topped with, an earthy Mushroom-Goat Cheese Sauce, this was certainly a winning dinner :)
Wild Mushroom Pasta
adapted from in Tavola
150g Italian Style '00' flour (I had gotten some from KA, but you can use all purpose flour)
50g dried porcini mushrooms* (1.8oz), ground in a spice grinder
2 large eggs
salt to taste (we didn't taste the raw dough in class, just a generous pinch :) )
Mound the flour and ground dried mushrooms on your work surface (a granite countertop or a large wooden pastry board work well). Make a well in the center and crack eggs into the hole. Add a generous pinch of salt.
Beat the eggs well with a fork, then slowly begin to incorporate flour from the inside perimeter of the well into the eggs. Once enough flour has been incorporated, knead dough until smooth and elastic. If the dough is too dry (maybe your eggs are a little small or the mushrooms are absorbing more liquid), add water, a few drops at a time, until it is easier to knead. If the dough is a little wet (eggs a little large, etc), add a little extra flour until the dough is not sticky. Wrap the dough ball tightly in plastic wrap and let rest while you prepare the sauce.
As I was making the sauce, I brought a large pot of water to boil. For this pasta, I simply sauteed some sliced baby bellas, shiitakes, and red onion in a little olive oil/butter until browned. Added some fresh thyme and saute until fragrant, then crumbled in some goat cheese. A little pasta water to thin it out, and it was ready for the cooked pasta!
Divide the dough in half, and wrap one half back up as you work with the other. Roll out one part of the dough on a slightly floured surface. Fold in thirds, roll out with rolling pin. Repeat two times. I really wanted to get more pictures while I was doing this, but I needed another pair of hands. To get the idea, check out this post!
Run dough through the widest setting of your pasta roller (this was a 1 on my machine), fold in thirds, and repeat twice more, almost like you were making puff pastry. Adjust your pasta roller to the next thinnest setting and run dough through. Continue this process until your pasta dough is nice and thin (I did this to 7 or 8), the dough will start to ripple a little bit and if it was regular dough would almost be transparent. If the dough breaks apart when you're running it through the roller, don't worry, gather it back together, roll it out and repeat the process. This happened a bit more than when I made a simple egg pasta, I think because the dried mushrooms were probably not ground as fine as flour, but it still came together with a little extra work.
To finish the pasta, cut your pasta sheets into desired shapes using appropriate cutter (I chose fettucine). Cook in boiling, well-salted water for a few minutes. Remove with large slotted spoon and toss directly into the sauce. Serve, garnished with some fresh parsley!
I also tried drying some of the noodles overnight. They're wrapped up in the freezer, so I'll come back and let you know how that worked out when I use them ;)
Have you ever made your own pasta?
*Disclaimer: I received some wild mushrooms from Marx Foods to have fun and create some recipes, my sweet corn and wild mushroom risotto being another!
I'm entering this into the Grow Your Own #46, being hosting this week by MomGateway! Maybe one day I'll forage for my own mushrooms :)