Tuesday, March 8, 2011

An Invasion Part II

     So, I have a confession to make. Today's dish is not all mine, it is mainly my mother's. It's just, I did do some of it (the topping)...and it is too good an opportunity to pass up. An opportunity to talk about something oh so wonderful and new and exciting that I have never done before: fresh pasta.

Look at all the pretty pasta!
     Is fresh pasta hard to make? Not really. It doesn't take a lot of ingredients, just flour and eggs. It does also take a pasta machine, which I'm sure all of you don't have. You could roll the pasta out by hand. Yes, it would probably be frustrating and take a long time. But I think I might do it back at school one day, probably a day right before a midterm when I just cannot study....you will just have to wait and watch.


     The mushroom topping was actually a spur of the moment thing. The vegetarians in the house (my father) obviously could not enjoy the boeuf bourguignon I made earlier, so I was thinking of making a mushroom bourguignon. But, with my mother's inspired pasta making, we came up with something new! No mushrooms in bourguignon, but a mushroom sauce / topping, whatever you would like to call it, for the pasta. Something light and fresh and summery - mushrooms and tomatoes and parsley.  


     Even with its vegetarianism, the pasta was much appreciated by my brother and his friends who came over for dinner yesterday. In all its mushroom and tomato glory, they gobbled it up. Hurrah! But how could anyone not appreciate fresh pasta? Soft and silky and not overpowered by the slightly sweet tomatoes and soft mushrooms and bright parsley. Light and so easy to eat far too much of, I do love remembering a good meal. 


Pasta 

5 Eggs 
6 cups Flour 

Pour the flour into a large bowl so it is a large mound, and make a well in it. Pour in the eggs, and stir them together thoroughly (you can also mix them together in a food processor). Flour a surface and turn the dough onto it. Knead it a couple of times (not too much), and then put it back in the bowl and let it rest for about an hour. Once it has rested, divide the dough in two, roll it a little flat and start running it through the pasta roller. Run it through until you get a sheet of pasta about 1/6 of an inch thick. You may want to sprinkle it with flour to keep the sheet from sticking to itself. Once all the dough has been rolled out, cut it into thin strips (about 1/4 in thick). Sprinkle flour on the strips so they don't stick together either, and let them rest. Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water with a spoon of salt, and add the pasta. Let it cook for about 8 minutes, until it is al dente, and you are done! Drain the pasta, and then top it with the sauce. 

Mushroom Topping 

1/2 tbsp Olive Oil 
1 cup Mushrooms, diced 
1 Garlic Clove, minced 
2 tbsp Red Wine 
1 cup Parsley, chopped 
1 Mid-Sized Tomato, Diced 
1/2 tsp Salt 
1/2 tsp Pepper 

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan at medium heat. Add the garlic and the mushrooms and allow them to cook down until they are soft and browned. Add the red wine and stir it in, allowing the mushrooms to cook for a little longer. Then, add the parsley and tomatoes. Stir them in, until the tomatoes are softer and the parsley is wilted. Sprinkle on the salt and pepper to taste and stir them in.

Put the pasta in a large serving bowl and add the topping. Toss them together, and you are ready to serve! 

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