Saturday, January 30, 2010

Look what we did!

If you have ever come to our house for dinner, you have probably been forced to make your own pasta. Work for your dinner, that's our policy. Plus, we think it's fun; ergo, we also think you should think it's fun. Doesn't this lady look like she's having serious fun? Maybe? Maybe we should rethink our social activities? Recently we had a visit from a beloved college pal, who we traipsed around Boston in the nose-numbing weather--including a stroll across the frozen swan pond and a detour through the tiny, specialty groceries of the North End--only to conscript her into pasta duty at the end of the day. We made a very, very simple filling of blanched kale mixed with absurdly fresh ricotta (absolutely no substitute here), salt and nutmeg, and popped out a couple dozen capelli. Italian for "tiny hats" (a.k.a. tortellini). Despite my ill-timed snapshot of her serious folding focus, she was a great sport about it.
We didn't really do a Downslice here, but if you wanted to try, you can use this or this recipe for fresh egg pasta, roll it out but don't cut it into noodles. Instead, use a round cookie cutter to make circles, then plop down about a teaspoon of filling. You can use anything: from cooked squash to just cheese to sauteed mushrooms to whatever you feel like. Try this: 1/2 cup blanched greens (spinach, kale, collards, mustards, etc.) plus 1/2 cup fresh ricotta plus 1 tsp salt plus 1/4 tsp nutmeg. Yum.
Now, fold the circle in half and, wetting the edges with water if you like, press the edges of the semicircle together very firmly. Bring the pointed edges together and pinch hard. Repeat endlessly.
Voila! Serve tossed in tomato sauce or just some butter and cheese.

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