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West Virginia
When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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February 03, 2010

Pasta Again!

Well I'm just all a-twitter!  After a fair amount of procrastination, I finally set out a jumbo egg this morning to warm up, hoping to ensure that I would make pasta again today and it worked.  I had already decided that my next batch would be trying something I had seen in my all-pasta cookbook (which is another one I love - very inspiring).  With this one, you roll out the pasta, rollin', rollin', rollin' (that will have to become my theme song) and when it's at its thinnest, you put a basil or sage or parsley leaf along one side of the wide strip, then fold the other side over and roll it again.  And I did that!  It didn't go perfectly mind you.  The first time after I folded it over, I put it through again  at the thinnest setting and that was a mistake - it tore the pasta and stretched the  sage leaves!  I didn't know you could stretch sage leaves.  But I worked around with it and managed to get 5 out of 8 leaves to come out basically all right.  Then you cut them out with a pretty little edge and voila!  Pretty pasta.

The long strip on the right shows a stretched sage leaf.  For all I know, they may all be a little stretched, but that one is really stretched.

So, to critique - they are pretty, and if I ever did make them again, I know a couple of things I'd do differently.  But, I was surprised that they didn't seem to really have any flavor except pasta - I expected them to be kind of bursting with sage flavor.  If I try them again, I'd probably try basil and see if that came through more.  But if they're not really very flavored, then I'd say they're definitely not worth the hassle.  But it was fun to try.  And I really have to remember to start adding some salt to the flour.  Oh, and just for an experiment, on this batch I did 2 ounces of semolina and 1-1/2 ounces of all purpose flour and that worked fine.

And I also had purchased a piece of flannel backed vinyl so I could do my kneading on my dining room table without having to take off the table rug my sister gave me as a housewarming gift.  After my first attempt when I kneaded it on the kitchen counter, I knew I was going to have to do it on a lower down surface and I also knew if I had to take the table rug off every time, I'd never make pasta.  So look what I found - is that Italian or what!?

I only used 1/2 recipe for the sage leaf pasta so with the left over I made some more noodles and am drying them so they'll keep for a few days.  Actually my book says a couple of weeks, but I'll use them before that.

So, thinking that the pasta was going to be the star of the evening, I still figured I'd better have more than 5 pieces of pasta for dinner.  So, after perusing my beautiful E-R cookbook and finding wonderful but complex recipes, I pulled out an ancient cookbook (have had it probably over 40 years) and there was a recipe for Costallette di maiale alla Roberto (that's Pork Chops Roberto in English - not nearly as great sounding).  The cookbook is "Italian Cooking for the American Kitchen" by Garibaldi Lapolla.  It was very simple, I had that pork tenderloin from yesterday and the few other ingredients and thought "what the heck - it'll be something to eat".  Well, it was quite delicious and a pleasant surprise.  And even though the recipe is Pork Chops Roberto, the recipe says either pork chops or pork tenderloin.  I wasn't even all that careful with it cause for some reason I just thought it would be kind of nothing.  I will make it again and probably take a little more trouble with the sauce part because it would be wonderful with some buttered noodles.   My  meals never look very appetizing in my pictures, but I feel compelled to keep  taking them, so here's tonight's dinner.  The pasta just has a butter, olive oil and garlic dressing.


vrmichie said...

Weird that the sage doesn't have much flavor but it certainly does look pretty. Maybe you could cut up one or two leaves and add them to the sauce. The pork looks and sounds wonderful. I'm surprised the apples don't turn to total mush but I'll give it a try someday and hope mine turns out as well. The Roberto recipe doesn't come thru on my computer so please check if there's a link missing. I'm really bored with everything I've been making so it's nice to get some new ideas. And CHRIS!! Easy for you to say that house looks like a simple project!! Just try building it yourself! That's what I'd be thinking if I was your mom reading your comment. :)

Mary Lynne said...

I tried the link and it's working for me, so hmmmm...

And those were my exact thoughts when I saw Chris's comment about building the house, but I didn't want to sound like a grouchy mom! :)

Strangely enough, the apples don't get mushy - I use Braeburns usually (thanks to you introducing them to me).

January said...

Not much sage flavor, huh? Weird. I mean, I assume it was kind of sagey at least when you bit into the sage leaf, right? No? Hm.
I'm so glad that you're on a pasta making roll after the initial trouble - maybe it was some sort of cosmic test to make sure you were worthy of making pasta, and you passed! :)

Mary Lynne said...

I know, January, it IS weird. I don't know why I didn't think to do what Chinch suggested and put a little sage in the butter and oil dressing. But I also don't know why the sage in the pasta didn't have any flavor that I could discern.

And I was thinking too about why I'm now making pasta with no problem. I DO think the jumbo egg and weighing the flour probably help, but I think maybe also I shouldn't have done my first "solo" attempt publicly. That and I had to keep chasing the egg glop to keep it from running all over the table, so the bowl method works better for me too. At any rate, ravioli is next...Oh, and I LOVE my E-R cookbook!

Christopher said...

That is sure some mighty pretty pasta, sage flavor or not! I love the little rounds with the leaf in the middle---until I read, I thought you'd done a green pasta and a plain, and in a final roll, merged the two together for a "striped center" effect or something... Glad it is working out and you and the roller have come to an understanding...
As for the house--I merely meant that it looked liked a fairly straightforward design... not lots of wings, cantilevers, etc. But I'm sure, even in miniature, there is much to consider... (I do like that little porch on the 2nd floor!)

Mary Lynne said...

Thanks, Chris - I thought they were kind of pretty. Although I think if I ever did it again, I'd use smaller leaves and then use a smaller cutter. And that same book does tell you have to make striped pasta to use for ravioli or whatever. Don't know that I'll ever get that insane!

kacki said...

Olive Garden sounds so much easier! LOL

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