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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fresh Pasta

Saturday Dinner:
Crock Pot Beef Braciole w/fresh hand made pasta
Flax Seed Baguette w/herbed Cheesy Butter
Yellow & Red Tomatoes & Cucumber Salad tossed with Cultured homemade ranch dressing

Hmm....homemade pasta....Really not as intimidating as you might think, I have made noodles & dumplings b4 and pasta is pretty much the same.

What I learned from what I should have done:
  • I just didn't roll it thin enough, I learned to cut the dough into quarters, I thought cutting it in half was good enough, but still not thin enough. It plumps while cooking so needs to be thin enough to nearly see your hand through. 
  • Roll it thin, a very thin rectangle shape as stated above, dust with flour and roll up jelly roll style long side. 
  • Then cut roll into thin- very thin 1/8-1/4 " slices. Shake out roll and lay pasta strands on table while you cut the rest. 
  • I also think I will follow some ppl's recipe and add a splash of EVOO and a pinch of kosher salt for more flavor.  
  • Plus I will rinse slightly, not liking the starch on pasta and shake to remove excess water, if not cooking more pasta I would add back to HOT pan to get the excess water off, I also like Giada DeLarentas tip of adding shaved Parmegana Reginano to pasta b4 you add to sauce to create a nice coating to adhere to sauce.
3-3 & 1/2 C Flour
5-6 eggs
splash of EVOO
pinch of salt
(Basically 2 eggs for every c of flour and 1 egg per person to figure out how much to make for a meal. I made extra so we would have pasta for lunch 2mrrw and if anyone wanted seconds.)

Pour flour on flat surface and make a well in center break eggs one at time in center and beat with fork. Bring sides of flour "mound" into eggs and mix with one hand until well incorperated with eggs. Using both hands kneed flour until smooth and elastic (about 10 min), only slightly tacky but smooth not too wet. Wrap in damp towel and sit at room temp for 20 min for gluten to rest will improve flavor and texture.

In a large pot add cold water and bring to boil while you work on dough, salt after bringing water to boil. Cut Flour into quarters, keep remaining dough covered to prevent drying out and flour surface, keep flour handy in case dough sticks. Roll until very thin and into a long rectangle, a very thin rectangle- nearly thin enough to see your hand will plump when u cook them, dust with flour and roll up jelly roll style long side. Cut roll into thin very thin 1/8-1/4 " slices. Shake out roll and lay pasta strands on table while you cut the rest.

Add EVOO to water and add pasta once boils, stir to bring back boil and allow to cook for 2-3 min do not over or under cook will get hard and gummy/chewy or limp & mushy. Will float nicely when done, taste test to be sure.

Rinse and return to HOT pot, shave some Parmesano Reggiano to pasta and a splash of EVOO and some herbs if desired, serve as is add to fresh Marinara sauce. 

 Served with Crock Pot Beef Braciole

For Sauce:
2 (26 ounce) jars San Marzano Roma Tomato Puree
2 T of homemade Italian Herb Mix (posted yesterday)
1 T sugar
pinch baking soda
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
3/4 C Red dry red wine, I like Lambrusco
1/2 C Beef Stock
4-8 oz crimini mushrooms sliced & sauteed
1med onion, diced finely
3-5 cloves garlic, grated
Grated parmesano reggiano cheese to taste to sauce
Mix up in bowl leaving broth and wine out and add to crock after you add Beef

Beef and Filling
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs- (used bread crumbs from freezer storage of homemade bread scraps)
2 (2 1/2-pound) flank steak, pounded to 1/4 inch
1 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh cracked black pepper
1 cup shredded/grated  Italian cheese blend (I LOVE asiago, parmigiano reggiano, & Pecerino Romano)
2 tablespoons EVOO
5 slices smoked turkey bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled-cook the remaining veg in the drippings:
4 oz sliced crimini mushrooms
3 gloves garlic, crushed and minced or grated
1 small onion diced, finely
  1. Combine the eggs and the breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of the meat with salt and pepper. Pat the breadcrumb mixture over one side of the flank steak, leaving about a one inch border around edges. Top breadcrumbs with the bacon, onion, garlic, mushroom crumble mixture; sprinkle with shredded/grated cheese. Starting from one long side, tightly roll flank steak into a log. Use string or toothpicks to secure the log in 4 or 5 places.
  2. Heat EVOO in a heavy skillet. Saute mushrooms, onions in EVOO, when onions are translucent add grated garlic. Cook for a minute or two or until garlic is fragrant. Remove from oil and set aside.
  3. Sear the stuffed flank steak in the hot oil until well browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the meat to the slow cooker.
  4. Add wine and broth to pan to pick up the brown bits and add vegetables
  5. Spoon veggies and sauce over meat to cover.
  6. Turn slow cooker to Low; cook meat until very tender, 6 to 8 hours. Remove string/toothpicks before slicing. Serve with fresh pasta.
Also Served Homemade Flax Seed Baguette w/herbed cheesy bread-used master dough from Artisan Bread in 5min/day book with added ground flax seed. Baked on stone and shaped as baguette then smeared with Italian Butter from Flavored Butter post yesterday with added Italian Cheeses from Braciole filling and toasted under broiler:

Along with Sunburst Cherry & Grape tomatoes, cucumbers in homemade cultured ranch dressing as side salad w/crispy and bacon bits, hard boiled egg slices, and crunchy garlic herbed croutons made from left over bits of bread and homemade garlic oi sprinkled on top!!.... DELISH!!!!!

Very Yummy Saturday night dinner!

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