Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Pasta Virgin No Longer



I lost my pasta making virginity on the last day of 2006.

Yes, really. I've been claiming to be a foodie in league with the best of them, but it is only shy of three months ago I ventured into the land of pasta-making. Why no sooner? Surely, pasta is easy to make?

Guess I just never saw the need, really. I love my De Cecco pasta. Of course, you don't get that with interesting stuffing, but I'm all about sauce anyways - preferably something creamy and clingy. So what's with the idea of making dough, leaving it to rest, roll it, thinner, thinner, and then just a little bit thinner again, and then spend ages making neat little packages out of them?

Well - that - spending ages making little packages, is exactly the point of it all, if you ask me. The fact that I'm using my Kitchen Aid attachment - hereby sticking to one of my 2007 dares - makes this even better, and faster and easier, too. If you haven't already tried, do so. It's worth it (and you can still put a creamy sauce on top - just wanted to make sure we're clear on that)

The fact that you can put anything you could ever want into these makes this no less fun. I'm very much still a novice in the tortellini-ravioli-what-have-you-department - but I am definitely a convert. There's no looking back. Making pasta is so the new kneading.

I've made two kinds of stuffed pasta so far - the pasta dough itself - well, we use 300 g. flour to 3 medium eggs - I know a lot of recipes use all egg yolks, but I haven't gone as far as to experiment with the pasta itself - for now, I stick to stuffing-fun!



The stuffing picture, above, was what I used for our New Years Dinner Ravioli Course - it's lobster meat, mascarpone, dill, chives, lemon zest and salt and pepper. The ravioli were served in a lobster consommé and garnished with a little dill. These were kinda big ravioli, so I used a teaspoonful of stuffing for each and each guest had three. Lovely - and makes lobster go far!

The tortellini pictured in the beginning of the post we made this Saturday. Martin sautéed some sliced serrano ham, shiitake mushrooms, brown mushrooms and a little dried, but rehydrated, morels. We had some majoram around, so it got a shot of that, too. Left it to cool, and then we mixed it with a really nice fresh goat's cheese and used about half a teaspoon stuffing for each tortellini. The method for making them came straight from Jamie Oliver (the second book, I think it was) and worked a charm. I love their little puffy bellies!

As I said already - not the last you've seen of pasta around here!

18 comments:

Ilva said...

They both sound and look delicious - brava!

Pille said...

Can this Still A Pasta Virgin here have some, please?? They're really cute and perfect-looking!

Anne said...

Oh, good job!! I've made pasta, but never tortellini, it looks way hard. Impressed! :) I made your bread the other day - the one from Svineklov? Oh man. I substituted most of the normal flour for Manitoba Cream - a higher protein flour that makes for chewier bread - and it was just divine. Incredibly good! :)

Zarah Maria said...

Ilva - thank you!

Pille - 'course you can! Just get your butt back to Copenhagen!;-)

Anne - thanks! Actually, I found tortellinis to be a lot easier to handle than ravioli - and well, the job to be sort of meditative in it's own right so I enjoy the whole fiddling thing!

Glad to hear the bread turned out well! Hmm, it's been a while since I made it and we are running short on bread...

Sara said...

those look very well done! are you sure you were a pasta virgin??

ann said...

Brava! those are wonderful! What a unique, and I can only imagine, tasty way to use lobster. I would never think to do anything this creative with it!

Monika Korngut said...

Just wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Now I have a craving for pasta :)

Cathy said...

I've made ravioli before, but never tortellini, tortelloni, etc. Yours look wonderful and it really sounds like fun - sort of like making cookies with the rolling, shaping and filling!

chris said...

hmm, i never thought of using lobster as ravioli filling but it does sound divine! i'll have to give it a try the next time i make some. or rather, the next time i help my mum make them. hehe :)

Mary said...

I love lobster ravioli and I love tortellini stuffed with anything especially when doused with something creamy. Now you've made me hungry and wishing I'd planned something fabulous for dinner.

Mary
www.ceresandbacchus.com

Julie said...

I am still a pasta virgin at a far more advanced age than you! Hopefully pasta and I will consummate the act shortly after G's and my wedding, since I think we may be gifted with a KitchenAid pasta attachment...

Anali said...

Oh that looks wonderful! I'm still a pasta virgin though. I have to make some soon!

Heather said...

I will need to get me a pasta attachement. You make it sound quite easy and rewarding!

Joyce said...

The tortellini image makes my mouth water...how lovely! Now you've given me the urge to pull out the Atlas pasta maker and get with it!

Monika Korngut said...

Congratulation on your pasta endeavour. I'm still afraid. They look and sound delicious :-)

Zarah Maria said...

Sara - I was, honestly. I've never even helped anyone making pasta. It's just *that* easy!:-)

Ann - too much working in the restaurant business will do this to you (and wanting to stretch lobster as far as I could would, too):-)

Monika - thank you!

Cathy - I sure enjoyed it! Not something I would do on a need-to-put-food-on-the-table-in-five-minutes-flat evening, but for a leisurely Saturday afternoon? Definitely!

Chris - give it a go! And let me know how they turn out!

Mary - sounds like we're two of a kind!;-)

Julie - you must try it. And if you get the KA attachment, nothing is easier - I'm not sure it is as much fun if I were to roll all of these by hand...

Anali - I can only repeat myself: try it, it is fun!

Heather - I truly think it is both easy AND rewarding!

Joyce - thank you! And get that machine out!;-)

Linda said...

what stunning pasta!!! beautiful photograph. i love making pasta, especially with a huge group of friends and lots of wine :)

Orchidea said...

Very good! Your tortellini look great!
Ciao.