At the request of my good friend Amanda, here’s a little insight into my taste buds from this past weekend. My love gave me a pasta machine for Christmas and we put it to good use. Here’s the plan:

BASIC EGG PASTA

3 c all-purpose flour (use whole wheat flour if you like, or a mix of both)freshpasta
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt
1 Tblsp olive oil

Shape the flour into a volcano on a smooth surface (I did it directly on my Corian countertop, but if you have tile or textured laminate, use a smooth cutting board or marble slab). Combine remaining 3 ingredients in a bowl, then pour into the well of the volcano. Make sure the structural integrity of your volcano is sound, lest you end up with a flowing mass of egg lava.

Incorporate flour into egg mixture with a fork until egg mixture takes the form of dough, then begin kneading dough and incorporating more flour. Work about 4-6 T water into the dough, one T at a time. Keep incorporating flour until dough is smooth and not sticky and easily rebounds when you press a fingertip into it. Cover and let dough rest for 30-60 mins, then cut into the shapes of your choice with a pasta machine.

If you don’t have a pasta machine, you can easily roll it out and cut with a pizza cutter, pastry wheel, or shape it into small ropes with your hands. Just remember that it will double (at least) in size when you cook it, so don’t make your noodles too large.

Cook in boiling, salted water until noodles float, 2-3 minutes.

CRAB SAUCE

Start with a thick Bechamel of 3 T butter, 3 T flour, 1/2 t salt, and 1/2 cup skim milk plus 1/2 cup half-and-half. You can use only milk if you like; we were just feeling rich.

Once sauce thickens, add dry white wine until sauce reaches desired consistency (it took a little over 1/4 cup for me). Add 3 cloves minced garlic (I added garlic here so it wouldn’t be fully cooked, giving the sauce a little bite and a more garlicky flavor; achieve a milder flavor by sauteeing garlic in the butter you melt for the Bechamel), about 8 oz fresh crabmeat, and lots of parmesan. Toss with cooked fresh pasta.

Makes enough to feed 2-3 people.

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