Thursday, July 14, 2011

daring cooks challenge - home made pasta

Steph from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks' July hostess.  Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine.  She provided us with recipes for Spätzle and Fresh egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with!

I had just returned from Italy and there was a dish that we had in a restaurant on the last night in Florence pappardella with wild boar sauce, that I really wanted to recreate so it was a challenge made in Heaven.

pappardelle with "wild boar" ragu
Ok I didn't find any wild Boar on the Sunshine Coast, but at the Oak tree Market I did find some really good fairly lean pork shoulder.

You really want pork shoulder or some other tougher kind of pork with some marbeling as if it is too lean it will not fall apart and shred as it should, on the other hand you do not want gobs of fat in it.

2 tablespoons  olive oil
1 pound cubed wild boar, may substitute pork shoulder, if desired
1  diced onion
4 diced carrots
2 stalks of celery chopped
2 garlic cloves sliced
1 small can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 bottle of  red wine
1 bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig sage

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Season the meat with salt and pepper and add to the pan.

Once the meat is browned, add the onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Reduce the heat and cook until the moisture is gone.

Add the tomatoes, red wine and herbs. Cover and cook for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. The sauce is done when the meat is fork tender.

While the sauce is cooking time to make the pasta.  Of course you do not have to make it you could buy it, but they it would not be a daring cooks challenge.

2 cups  all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1/4 tsp salt

Mound flour on work surface or in a large bowl; make well in centre. Add eggs and salt to well.

 Using fork, beat eggs with salt. Then with a wooden spoon starting from inside edge and working around  the well, gradually incorporate flour into egg mixture until soft dough forms.

 On clean lightly floured surface, knead dough for 10 minutes, working in enough of the sifted flour to make dough smooth and elastic.

Cover with plastic wrap; let rest for at least 20 minutes.

Divide into 2 pieces to make handling easier;


 On lightly floured surface, roll out one of the pieces into 5-inch (12 cm) long strip; dust with flour. Feed through widest setting of pasta machine rollers 4 times or until edges form smooth line, folding dough in half and lightly flouring after each pass through machine.

Set machine to next narrowest setting; run dough through once without folding. Repeat running dough through rollers until next-to-finest setting is reached, cutting dough in half if awkwardly long or get a good friend to help hold it.

Lightly flour dough; run through finest setting. Repeat with remaining dough

You can run the dough through the cutters on the machine but for parpadelle you fold the dough making sure it is well floured and cut into thick bands about 2 inches thick.

You can hang the dough to dry it out but we were using it fairly quickly after we made it so just made sure it was well floured to stop it from sticking together.

The sauce had been cooking for 2 hours and was filling the house with the most glorious smells.

The vegetables had almost completely disintegrated and the meat was falling apart.  I mashed it all together with a fork until it was a rich meaty sauce.

When cooking home made pasta really you just add to the boiling salted water and when the water comes back to the boil after a couple of minutes it is ready.

Toss the pasta with the sauce adding a little of the cooking water to get the right consistency, serve in large bowl sprinkled with a little chopped parsley, close your eyes and imagine you are in Florence Italy.

We served this with a green salad and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese delicious though I do say so myself.

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