food processor

Fresh Pasta

Fresh Pasta

Fresh Pasta1

There is nothing quiet as fulfilling as a plate of fresh homemade pasta. How does homemade pasta differ to store bought pasta? Homemade pasta is made from flour, eggs, oil and salt, crafted to the shape and thickness to match the sauce. Whereas store bought pasta is flour and water pushed through moulds.  However, dried egg pasta can now be purchased for selected delicatessens.

Fresh pasta cooks in just a few minutes, store bought pasta takes longer to cook.

When you serve a plate of fresh pasta, the focal point of the dish is the fresh pasta, and you will be the envy of all your guests.

You can get really creative with fresh pasta, by adding different herbs for a variety of flavours and colours.

Why use ‘00’ flour? 00 flour is milled to be finer, resulting in a more delicate end product and a little higher in gluten. If you do not have any ‘00’ flour you can use ordinary plain flour.

Fresh pasta can be made in a food processor if you have a dough attachment or in your stand mixer using the dough hook attachment.

Rolling pasta maybe a challenge on your own if you are using a manual or electric pasta machine, working with the kids or friends is easier and much more fun. Machines are available for a relatively low cost in most homeware/department stores.

 

Egg Pasta

255gm bakers ‘00’ flour

Pinch salt

2 large eggs

15mls olive oil

Variations:

Herb pasta

15gms finely chopped mixed fresh herbs.

Spinach pasta*

50gm pureed raw spinach (drained)

  1. Wash and dry hands.
  2. Organize workspace, get equipment ready.
  3. Combine the flour and salt in a bowl, make a well in the middle, and add the eggs and the olive oil.
  4. Mix the flour with the egg mixture and work into a dough. Knead well until very smooth and elastic.

Or Get your food processor/mixer ready with a dough hook, place the flour, salt, eggs, olive oil, pulse until the dough becomes a smooth ball.

  1. Wrap in plastic and set aside to rest at least 45minutes before rolling out.Dough

Note:  if it is too dry, add drops of water a few at a time to moisten the dough and help it come together.

*If spinach is chosen add 100gm or more of flour to the dough.

  1. Set up your pasta machine, dust it with a little flour. Cut pasta dough into 4 pieces; flatten gently with your hand. Place the pasta machine onto the widest hole, each machine will have a different numbering/measuring system.Rolling pasta
  2. Turn the handle and feed the pasta through, each piece of pasta dough should be passed through each number 3 times so you get a nice and smooth pasta. If the pasta becomes a little sticky, just sprinkle with a little more flour.Rolling pasta 3
  3. After you have passed the dough through the thinnest number 3 times, attach the fettuccini or spaghetti cutter and pass the pasta through once. If you could like shorter noodles cut the sheets of pasta to desired length prior to passing through cutter.Cutting pasta
  4. Boil a large saucepan of water with a pinch of salt, cook pasta of 3 minutes or until ‘al dente’ strain and serve with your favourite sauce.

Fresh pasta 3

Baklava Fingers

Baklava Fingers

This sumptuous desert of sweetened walnuts encased in light and flaky filo pastry, soaked in a sweet honey syrup, is a great companion with a cup of tea.

Baklava served with Persian Fairy Floss500g walnuts

2T soft brown sugar

1Tb honey

1tsp ground cinnamon

1Tb lemon zest

20g butter, melted

10 sheets filo pastry

50g butter, melted

Syrup

1 cup sugar

2 T honey

Method

To serve:

pink Persian fairy floss

  1. Pre heat oven to 180c, line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Place the walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, honey, lemon zest and butter into small bowl of a food processor, and pulse until finely chopped (if you do not have a food processor chop the walnuts as finely as possible with a knife).
  3. Remove one sheet of filo and cover the rest to prevent drying out. Place the sheet of filo onto workbench and brush with melted butter, place another sheet of pastry on top.
  4. Cut sheet into 2 strips for large fingers or 2 strips for smaller fingers.
  5. Divide mixture into 10, and shape into a log, it should be 2/3 of the length of the pastry. Place a log of mixture in the centre of the pastry.
  6. Fold edges over the nut mixture, brush length of pastry with butter roll.
  7. Brush top with a little more butter and dust cinnamon over, place onto lined tray and repeat with remaining mixture.
  8. To make the syrup, combine the sugar, honey and ½ cup water in a small saucepan. Stir for one minute, allow to reach a boil then reduce temperature to a simmer, simmer for 5 minutes. Pour syrup over baklava fingers.
  9. Serve fingers individually with Persian fairy floss.


baklava fingers before cooking

 

Baklava before being baked

baklava fresh out of the ovenBaklava fresh out of the oven

Baklava served with Persian Fairy Floss

Baklava served with pink Persian Fairy Floss

 

Recipe 2 this week as promised !!! BEEF BIRYANI

Beef Biryani

This delicious Middle Eastern inspired dish will set off your senses. Chockfull of delicious and aromatic spices. All the labour is done in the first few minutes, after that the oven takes care of the rest. Best of all it is made in 1 pan, a great balanced meal extra veggies can be added if you like.

The fresh curry leaves add a slightly spicy, citrus element to the dish, if you do not have access to fresh curry leaves you can use dry curry leaves, double the amount (6).

Beef Biryani

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

500 grams beef mince

1 tsp ground cardamom

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp tumeric

2 tsp garam masala

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp curry powder

¼ tsp ground cloves

3 curry leaves

1 cup basmati (long grain rice)

1 cup frozen peas

2 cups vegetable stock

Garnish

3Tb Toasted almond flakes

1Tb chopped coriander

  1. Preheat combination steam oven/steam oven to full steam.
  2. In a medium sized pan, that can go from stove/oven, place chopped onion and vegetable oil, cook on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until they soften, add garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add ground spices, curry leaf, toss around pan and cook for 2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Add beef mince cook for 2 minutes, constantly breaking the meat up, add rice, peas and stir through, the mixture will look very messy, add vegetable stock, sprinkle with salt and pepper, allow to reach a boil while on the stove top. Place into combination steam oven/steam oven and steam for 30minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with almonds and coriander and serve.
A one pot wonder meal, balanced, flavorsome and the oven does all the hard work !

A one pot wonder meal, balanced, flavorsome and the oven does all the hard work !

*note, rice cooking times can vary.