Better Homemade Pasta (an Easy Trick)

I’ve been making pasta ‘by hand’ for a few years.  I’ve had two major phases:

  1. Truly by hand, in which I kneaded the dough from scratch.
  2. With the assistance of a stand mixer.

The stand mixer is a luxury – it allows me to easily make noodles on a weeknight (handpulling added about 30 minutes to the process).  I’m comfortable making noodles by hand and felt confident that mine were good – until last weekend.  We ate at a fantastic Italian Restaurant (Enoteca Sociale) in Toronto and the noodles were better than mine.  Mine taste fine and are significantly better than store-bought but there was something nearly magical about the texture of the ones I had that night.

Better Homemade Pasta (an Easy Trick) pasta [Read more...]

Green Pasta Recipe (Spinach)

It’s lean, it’s green it’s pasta that’s green!

Green Pasta Recipe (Spinach) spinach pasta Noodles [Read more...]

Possibly the Best Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

When you sit down to consume this meal, it’s best to plan ahead.  Start by planning to be hungry and then choose an evening when you’ll have time for a nap afterwards.

There are all sorts of ways to make this a lighter meal (you can lower the butter, replace the cream with skim milk, reduce or remove the cheese or use less seafood) but that wasn’t my objective.  This meal isn’t about being healthy, balanced or light.  It’s about pure indulgence – And I think there’s a lot to be said for the occasional binge.

Possibly the Best Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe shrimp seafood Possibly the Best pasta fettuccinne Alfredo December [Read more...]

Making Better Tasting Pasta Noodles with Shrimp Shells

This is one of the oddest titles for a post that we’ve ever written!

I really love finding uses for things that are usually discarded.  In this case, we’ve found another use for shells from seafood (we’ve previously written about our seafood stock recipe).

Making Better Tasting Pasta Noodles with Shrimp Shells shrimp seafood pasta Lobster December [Read more...]

Pasta with Tomatoes: Recipe

The alarm clock went off at 5:30AM on Saturday morning.  Dana, Shaeffer (our dog) and I piled into the truck and got to the dog park for a morning run.  He ran until his tongue was long and we all headed home and back to bed.

The alarm clock went off at 7:30AM on Saturday morning.  I bolted out of bed and felt all the emotions of a child on Christmas morning.  I was excited, grateful and a little sick to my stomache from pure anticipation.  I shuttled out of bed, down the 46 stairs of our hallway and into the back alleys of urban Toronto where I dove into our truck and headed to market full of anticipation.

Pasta with Tomatoes: Recipe Tomato pasta [Read more...]

Sea Asparagus Recipe: Gluten-Free Pasta, Lemon, Olive Oil and Parmesan

What is sea asparagus?  I first heard of it a few years ago and, oddly for me, only tried it this year.  It vaguely resembles asparagus – in much the same way that it looks like swollen rosemary.  In other words, if you close your eyes, rub them really hard and look at the asparagus in a dimly lit room while wearing 3D glasses, it may or may not look exactly like asparagus (wild or domesticated).

Sea asparagus goes by many other names including sea bean, saltwort, pickleweed and even marsh samphire.

Sea Asparagus Recipe: Gluten Free Pasta, Lemon, Olive Oil and Parmesan Vegetarian Sea Asparagus Olive Oil Lemon Gluten FreeParmesan

All kidding aside, it’s wonderful to eat. [Read more...]

White Bean Pasta Sauce Recipe

We had planned to make bean burritos for dinner when I realized I had made a bad assumption: I couldn’t buy wraps anywhere in our neighborhood (they were sold out) so I needed to come up with something on the fly.

I’m not sure that this is the most photogenic meal we’ve ever had (*cough*), but it was fantastic:

White Bean Pasta Sauce Recipe white beans Beans [Read more...]

Wild Leek Pasta (Noodles with Dehydrated Ramps)

It’s a few weeks before we’ll see wild leeks (also known as ramps) available in local markets but I still have some dried ones available from last year.  If you don’t have dried ramps, don’t fret – this will work with any dried herb (and would theoretically work with fresh ones if you chopped them find though the color of the pasta may change).

The final product is hand-made noodles with dried herbs embedded in the middle.  Instead of talking our way through this one, have a gander at the next five shots and they’ll show you the process (then we’ll share the process and recipe):

Wild Leek Pasta (Noodles with Dehydrated Ramps) Wild Leek Ramp [Read more...]

Quick Tip: What’s the Right Texture for Pasta Dough?

Given that I learn most things the hard way (skim directions and dive into trial and error), my learning curve can sometimes be rather tedious (I make up for lack of quality learning with the quantity of experimenting).

Pasta dough is one of those tough lessons.  I’d never seen it made (in real-life or on video) and followed instructions which often finished with something like “adjust flour and water until you get the right consistency.”  This wasn’t overly helpful and led to mixed results.  I turned to a friend (who was raised in Italy, in the Kitchen) and asked the question; “What’s the right texture for pasta dough?”  He smiled wryly and replied with a word:

Quick Tip: Whats the Right Texture for Pasta Dough? Semolina Flour Flour [Read more...]

Quick Recipe: Israeli Couscous

Israeli Couscous is made from Durham wheat.  It was designed as a replacement for rice and also goes by the name Ptitim.  It can be baked or boiled and eaten as a dish unto itself or used to go with other ingredients including fish, scallops, meat or vegetable stirfrys.  I cook it like I cook risotto.

This was a quick snack put together over the weekend as a late lunch:Quick Recipe: Israeli Couscous pasta israeili couscous Couscous [Read more...]