19 June 2010

home-made pasta, garlic scapes and the green market

today was a good day. (i have so much to do, but first i have to blog)

woke up later than i expected - no big deal. got ready and headed to manhattan for brunch with my roommate at friend of a farmer. brunch was fabulous. i had a spanish omelet and lexi had the boomer special. this special, ya'll, (scrambled eggs, your choice of french toast, buttermilk or pumpkin pancakes & your choice of bacon, ham or sausage) we thought that this was going to include pancakes AND french toast. needless to say we were sad, i think we both really wanted french toast pretty bad. next time.....

then, we went to the green market. it was wonderful. there were so many people at the market, so many stands and so much fresh food. if i could i would show you the most beautiful peonies we got. they were $10 for a bunch, and $18 for two. the florist/farmer who helped lexi and i gave us three for the price of two because he felt bad that they weren't as nice as they should be. they're white and light pink and a deep magenta and there's a few that are speckled pink, white and darker pink. most of them are still tight and in their balls that peonies create before they fully bloom. there's a handful of mini-bulbs that will hopefully bloom over the next few days. they are so fragrant. i think peonies would be great in a brides bouquet but they have to be perfect for that and it has to be at the peak of their season. they are spring. the smell. the color. the texture even. tip for you if ever you buy peonies.....they love really cold water and a fresh cut stems. 

we bought: peonies, garlic scapes (we bought 5 pounds, so that lexi could take some to her chef at work. FIVE POUNDS of garlic scapes. CRAZY), spinach, purslane, thyme, huge radishes, beautifully orange carrots, some sheeps milk cheese, romaine, raspberries, blueberries and fresh strawberries. i LOVE the green market. i said, more than once this afternoon, i would love to work at a stand there. it was so great. we also began talking to strangers. or rather, shouting out whether we liked a dress or a shirt or a barrette in a girls hair. i dont think anyone actually paid attention to us nor did they want to. it was merely for our giggling pleasure.

lexi went to work with her four pounds of garlic scapes, half of the purslane and the thyme for chef and her restaurant. and i did laundry. and i got hungry. and i started thinking about what i could make from our freshly purchased fresh produce. i have been thinking about home-made pasta for over a week. so...i made pasta. i made pasta tonight. my other roommate, chris, was home so i embarked on a pasta making adventure. here's how it went...3 cups of flour, and a few twists of salt (approx. 1/4 of a teaspoon) put it on the counter or in a bowl. i opted in the beginning for a bowl. in another bowl i mixed 3 eggs with a tablespoon of cream and a teaspoon of olive oil. i made a hole in the middle of the flour, a well really, and dumped the egg mixture into this well. i began mixing, with my hands. (i'm starting to use my hands in my mixing A LOT these days...i like it. its a very intimate experience with my food. with the process of cooking. and i feel like it puts me into my making...) it was clumpy. i was concerned. i poured some water in, it started forming a ball. i put some flour on the counter top and began kneading. i kneaded probably less than what i should have, all the recipes called for 3-4 minutes, i probably kneaded for 2.5/3 minutes. then i put it in a bag (supposed to wrap it tight in plastic wrap) and put it in the fridge for a little under 30 minutes. someone on allrecipes.com said that the key was to making good home-made pasta was to let it rest. LET IT REST. so i let it rest. while it rested...i cut some scapes and sun-dried tomatoes and sauteed them. i also cut up a radish, 2 carrots and ripped some romaine. also, while the pasta rested, mixed 3 eggs, Parmesan cheese, pepper and red pepper flakes. i let that rest. 

this is where the fun part came in. i kneaded the pasta once or twice. i put the pasta ball on the counter. and began rolling. i rolled and rolled. i couldn't make a dent in the rolling out of the pasta. i couldnt make it get thinner. so, chris took over. he rolled. and rolled. and rolled. the pasta ball got thinner and thinner. finally, we had a big, thin, flat chunk of pasta. and i began cutting. i had no idea what i was doing. i cut this way and that way. i cut thicker pieces and thinner pieces. some pieces i cut in half and others i left long. it took ages. but it was great. then i threw all of it into a pot of salted boiling water. i let it sit. i let the pasta sit in the water for, maybe, 6/7 minutes...this may have been too long, but it was still good. 

i drained the pasta, put it back in the pot, mixed in the scapes and the sun dried tomatoes, then i poured the egg mixture over this hot, home-made pasta mix and stirred. i stirred and stirred and stirred.

it was great. salad and home-made pasta with a carbonara-type sauce with fresh garlic scapes and sun dried tomatoes. both chris and i were very pleased with dinner. i was very pleased with dinner. i'm glad i tried to make pasta. i think i will do it more and more. i think, and i could be wrong but i think, you're supposed to have 1 cup of flour to 1 egg per person when eating/making. i will knead more. i will do some research and i will figure out how to make pasta amazing. 

i will. guys. i will make awesome home-made pasta some day. and, if you come over for dinner...maybe i will have just gotten home from the green market with unbelievably fresh produce (seasonal) and make you home-made pasta. and a salad, mixed with my hands and maybe some berries for dessert. 




  1. Just the other day, I was flipping channels and saw someone on Food Network making pasta, and I have to say, it looked so fun. She used a pasta maker to thin it all out (and even that seemed a little daunting, not going to lie) but I made a mental note that I have to try it. I really want to try with a different kind of flour, like spelt. Now I am even more determined. Three cheers to you for giving it a go - sounds great!

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