Tag Archives: pasta

Homemade Pasta Recipe

Homemade Pasta

Homemade pasta is easier to make than you think, and once you get the process down, you’ll never go back to the dry stuff. This recipe is easy, fun and delicious!

You will need:

  • 150g all-purpose flour per serving
  • 1 large egg per serving
  • a dash of extra virgin olive oil
  • some warm water (just a couple tablespoons)
  • a touch of salt

I know I’m vague with the amounts, but this is one of those recipes that takes practice and a little experience to get used to. Just like with any dough, you need to use your senses to know if it’s coming together properly.

In a bowl of your mixer, start with the flour (I use 20-30% semolina with the all-purpose flour for texture). Add the eggs, olive oil and combine, using the dough hook on medium speed. See how the dough is combining. If it looks dry, add a touch of water until it comes together. After a couple minutes, it should just come together into a rough ball. When it does that, shut off the mixer and turn the dough onto a floured work surface.

Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes. Continually turn and fold the dough over itself until you work up a sweat. When that’s done, wrap in plastic wrap and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.

After the 30 minutes, your dough will be pliable and beautiful. Cut into manageable chunks and roll thin enough to put through your pasta roller on the widest setting. Roll through each setting twice, folding the rolled sheet in half after each pass. Continue to roll on every second setting until you get to the thinnest setting. Once that’s done, use the cutter or a knife to cut into the desired width.

Boil in plenty of salted water until done. Fresh pasta only takes a couple minutes to cook, so be sure to test it after about a minute and a half. Serve with your favourite pasta sauce and enjoy!

Pico de Gallo Pasta and Seared Scallops

Pico de Gallo Paste with Seared Scallops

This handmade pasta has a slightly spicy Pico de Gallo cream sauce with hints of lime and fresh cilantro. The spectacular pan seared scallops are from Digby, Nova Scotia and are diver harvested. They’re tender, sweet and so easy to prepare. So I hope you’re ready for some serious eating!

For the Pico de Gallo pasta sauce, you will need (for 2):

  • 3 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced
  • 1 red chili pepper, diced
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 250 ml heavy cream
  • salt and pepper
  • your favourite pasta (fettuccini or linguini is great for this)

Start with a deep skillet with some oil on medium heat. To that, add a couple cloves of minced garlic and cook til fragrant. Next, add ¼ cup of diced shallots and continue to cook for a couple minutes. Once your shallots have had a head start, it’s time to add 2 seeded and diced vine-ripened tomatoes. Continue to cook and stir until the tomatoes start to break down.

When the tomatoes are breaking down and starting to look like sauce, add 1 diced red chili, the juice of 1 lime and a handful of chopped cilantro. Now you can season with salt and pepper and call this your sauce, or continue by adding 1 cup of heavy cream. Once the cream is in, turn up to heat to a steady simmer and reduce by 50%, stirring frequently.

When the sauce has reduced by 50%, add the remaining diced tomato for colour and texture. Now grab a large mixing bowl and put in your freshly cooked pasta. (Here’s a tip: use tongs, never strain or rinse pasta!) In this case, we’re using fettuccini noodles. You also want to save a little of the pasta water, as the starch will help the sauce adhere to the noodles.

Add the finished sauce to the noodles and lightly toss until combined. Finish by adding more fresh cilantro leaves and freshly ground black pepper.

For the scallops, it’s very easy to do, but very easy to screw up. A couple of tips here as we go, first of all, use the freshest scallops you can get your hands on that are dry packed. Sometimes, scallops are shipped in water with sodium tripolyphosphate added to make them appear whiter and plumper. When you sear them, the moisture leaches out and you get steamed, rubbery scallops. Not something you want to pay good money for. It’s important that you have one ingredient: scallops.
So with a hot skillet with a couple tablespoons of oil, add the scallops in small batches. If you add too many at once, you’ll lower the temperature of the pan and steam the scallops again. The moment you place them on the hot surface, you’ll hear the sizzle and they will stick. That’s ok. Avoid temptation to move them around and leave them be.

From here, the cooking time will be very fast. You want to look at the meat as it cooks. Just like prawns, they will begin to turn opaque and the bottom will start to form a brown crust. When that happens, the scallop will be easier to lift off the pan. Gently lift the scallop from the pan and turn over. Once on the other side, add a dollop of butter to the pan and use a spoon to baste them til they’re done. Should only take a minute or 2. When they’re done, take out of the pan and set aside.

To plate everything up, simply place the scallops on a bed of the finished pasta and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves. Enjoy this recipe, make it yours and have fun in the kitchen!

Japanese Sea Urchin Spaghetti – Uni Spaghetti Recipe

It’s amazing what can be done when you have the right ingredients. This Japanese spaghetti recipe uses uni. Uni is the delicious roe of the sea urchin. To be precise, it’s the gonads of the male and female sea urchin. In any case, it’s really really good. Whenever I go to the sushi bar, I have to order some to satisfy my craving for this incredible delicacy.

In the sushi bars, uni is pricey. Normally, it’s about $5 per piece. If you’re gonna spend your hard earned money on uni, just make sure it’s a place you trust with really fresh seafood. Uni should be bright orange, tender, taste creamy and slightly sweet. If it looks dark orange to brown and smells like socks (no kidding) keep your money and walk away.

Fresh uni

Occasionally, the local Asian grocery has fresh uni for a decent price. I can usually get a whole tray for $13… and I have eaten the whole tray by myself on occasion.

This uni pasta is a lot like making mentaiko pasta. It requires butter, uni, a splash of cream and a bit of salt and pepper. That’s it. I topped my pasta with shredded nori and some masago to compliment the subtle flavour of the uni with some saltiness of the sea. It’s magical. Really.

You will need:

  • 250g spaghetti
  • 125g fresh uni
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • some fresh cream (about 250ml)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • masago and shredded nori, to garnish

Start by dropping your pasta into a large pot of boiling salted water. Meanwhile, on medium heat, melt the butter and add the uni. Cook the uni gently while stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon. There are some recipes that ask you to puree the uni to get a smoother texture. You can do this prior to this step if you like, but I like the rustic texture. When you have cooked for a couple minutes and it starts to smell delicious, add some cream to the pan (enough to just cover the bottom). Turn up the heat slightly and let the sauce reduce, but just a little.

By this time, the pasta should be almost done (al dente). Take the pasta out of the water and put directly into the pan. Don’t strain the pasta (never strain pasta). You need the residual starchy water to thicken the sauce and help it stick. Toss the pasta in the sauce until everything is evenly coated and combined. Give a final taste and season with salt and pepper. Plate up and garnish with masago and shredded nori. Enjoy!

Curry Carbonara Recipe Experiment – Test Kitchen Vlog

This Curry Carbonara mixes the exotic spice of curry with creamy egg yolks in this really easy pasta recipe. A textbook Carbonara consists of 4 classic elements: egg yolks, cheese, bacon and black pepper. I am experimenting tonight with some Szechuan peppercorn, a Chinese ingredient that has a signature numbing sensation on the palate. I thought that the Szechuan peppercorn would be an interesting fit with the curry spices. 

Curry Carbonara with Szechuan Peppercorn

For this recipe, I used:

  • 165g pasta (I used rice pasta since it was all I had on hand, use spaghetti)
  • 85g asparagus* (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, freshly ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (Madras or S&B)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 4 rashers bacon

Start by cutting up the bacon into little quarter inch pieces and frying them til crispy. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Start boiling the pasta in a large pot of salted water. On the last minute or so of cooking, blanch the asparagus for 60 seconds then set aside. When the pasta is al dente, take out of the water (don’t strain it) and put it into a large mixing bowl. Add the bacon the asparagus and toss lightly. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to mix until combined. Salt and pepper to taste and that’s it. Serve up and enjoy!

**notes:

A few things with this recipe…

One: The Szechuan peppercorns would go really nice with a more prominent spicy kick. Next time, I think I will add some chili flakes.

Two: The curry blend should be more subtle. Perhaps half the amount and see what happens. 

Three: use spaghetti. The rice noodles don’t hold up very well to being tossed with tongs. They broke and end up looking like sh*t. Tasted good, but I guess I’m a stickler for details.

Ono Mac Salad Recipe – Hawaiian Soul Food Pt. 2

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Macaroni salad is a staple side to the Hawaiian mix plate. What makes it unique is the subtle Asian influence to this common salad. It’s delicious and there are many ways you can add your own creativity to it to make your own version. Here is mine.

  • 6 oz macaroni
  • 1.5 oz crab meat
  • 1.5 oz salad shrimp
  • 2t grated carrot
  • 1t grated celery
  • 1t minced onion
  • 1c mayo (Best Foods…just sayin’)
  • ¼ t sugar 
  • 2t mirin
  • 1/8t hon dashi
  • s&p to season

Start by boiling the macaroni in salted water until tender. Strain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the macaroni and the other ingredients and mix until combined. Cover with kitchen wrap and put in the fridge for at least an hour to let the flavors make love and have illegitimate children. Just wanted to see if you were paying attention. lol. If you like your mac salad sweeter and you don’t want to more sugar, try shredded pineapple. That’s another trick from my aunt. 

Filipino Style Spaghetti Recipe – Pinoy Spaghetti

Filipino spaghetti is a little different than the spaghetti that you’re probably used to. The sauce is a little sweeter and to make things interesting, someone went and added sliced hot dogs. Whatever the case may be, this style of spaghetti is a favorite among a lot of Filipinos everywhere. I hope you enjoy it!

Start by roughly chopping 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery and half a medium onion. Pop them into a food processor and give them a good buzz til they’re finely chopped. This key step will cut down a lot of cooking time when making the sauce. Heat up some oil in a large pot on medium heat and add the veg. Start to cook until they begin to get tender, then add the ground beef. Continue to cook until the beef is browned. 

 When the meat is browned, deglaze with a quarter cup of red wine. After that, add 720ml of strained tomatoes, 1.5t basil, 1.5t oregano and 1 bay leaf. Cover and simmer on med low for about 10 minutes.

 After the 10 minutes, add a 1/4 C of ketchup and mix well, but for an authentic flavour, use banana ketchup. Throw in 2 or 3 sliced hot dogs, cover again and continue cooking for another couple minutes until they are cooked. Finally give it a quick stir and a taste. Season with salt and pepper and you’re done! Serve on top of spaghetti and set the kids loose. Enjoy!

Fresh Handmade Pasta

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When it comes to great food, fresh is the ultimate way to go. Give me something made on-the-spot opposed to pre-packaged any day. In fact, I try to keep my consumption of packaged food minimal to zero. In today’s world, it’s getting increasingly difficult to keep everything simple. With all our time wrapped up in work, driving the kids to hockey practice, juggling schedules and generally stressing out, it’s simply easier to choose the convenient solution. I want to tell you that it doesn’t have to be like that. Today, I will show you a recipe for handmade pasta. It’s not something new. In fact, pasta has been made like this since the dawn of time… but it’s so easy and quick to do, you’ll be delightfully surprised. I often find making pasta and working with my hands to be quite therapeutic, so if you want some time to chill out and relax, make some pasta. The taste will make you never buy the box stuff again.
This recipe is simple. All you need is:

  • 1 egg per person
  • about 100g per person, all purpose, semolina or spelt flour

 Start with a mound of flour on your work surface or large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle, like a science project volcano. Add your eggs in the well and start to gently beat the eggs with a fork, slowly bringing in flour from the sides of the well. You want to do this until the mixture turns into a rough ball of dough. Take the dough ball in your hands and squeeze it. Does it feel sticky? If so, dust with a little more flour. If it’s too dry, add a drop or 2 of water, but not too much.

Knead the dough on your work surface for at least 15 minutes to get the elasticity working. Dust the surface with flour and work the ball with the heels of your hands, pushing away from you. Bring it back and repeat. Feels good, doesn’t it? Once you have given the dough a good workout, set aside for about 10-15 minutes. This resting time will make the dough easier to roll.

When you ready to roll, dust your rolling pin and surface lightly with flour. Roll the dough, rotating every so often and flipping over until you get it thin. You want to roll this thin enough to see through, since your pasta will expand to twice the thickness when you boil it. Trust me on this one. If the sheet gets too big to handle, you can cut it into manageable pieces and work from there. Once you have the dough thin enough, you can cut the noodles. Dust the dough sheet with flour and fold in half. Using a large chef’s knife, but the sheet into noodles as wide as you want. If you have kids, you can get them involved, cutting their own noodles with butter knives or rotary cutters and letting them watch you cook it. It’s good fun!

Fresh pasta takes only a couple minutes to cook. Get a pot of salted water to a rolling boil and add the pasta. Serve up with your favorite sauce and enjoy… no, really… sit back and savor your handiwork. You just made fresh pasta. You rock!

J

Spaghetti Carbonara

What a great summer we’ve been having. I savor every weekend I have and take the time to enjoy life. Let me take this opportunity to tell you that you have every right to live your life exactly the way you want to. Why should you settle for anything less? You make your reality, so let that sit in your head for a while and see what happens.

In this post, I will be teaching you a very simple Italian recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara. Like many recipes, I have given this one a little twist. The simplicity of this dish screams for creativity, but the basic recipe is the same. The thing I love about this recipe is the fact that it has such a rich and creamy sauce without using butter and cream. We are going to achieve this richness using egg yolks and the starch from the pasta. I have added a little almond milk to round it out.

You will need:

  • 70g bacon (in the video, I found some nice double-smoked deli bacon)
  • a small handful of chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (you can use regular milk)
  • 2 room temperature egg yolks (1 per serving)
  • S&P to season
  • fresh parsley to garnish
  • spaghetti noodles (for 2)

So all you have to do is fry the bacon in a skillet and add the chives. You want to cook the bacon until it’s done, but not crisp. Once that’s done, add the milk and reduce slightly. When it’s done, remove from the heat and set aside.

When your spaghetti is done the way you like it, take it out of the water, but don’t put it in a strainer. You want the pasta wet with the starchy water. That starch is going to help thicken your sauce. Add the pasta to the skillet of sauce and mix well. During the mixing, add the egg yolks and continue mixing til well blended and rich. Season with salt and pepper to taste and plate up with more fresh chives or parsley to garnish. If you have parm, add that too, but you don’t really need it. Take this recipe home and make it yours. Enjoy and have fun in the kitchen!

J

Quick Spaghetti

I went to a friend’s place one weekend for some good old fashioned family fun time. As I’m not much of a planner and love to do things spontaneously, I figured I needed to cook something quick that would feed a large number of people. I got this great trick from Jamie Oliver, so I want to give credit where credit is due.

This spaghetti sauce with meatballs is incredibly easy and I hope you enjoy it. I made a lot. Ended up feeding about 7 adults and a few kids. Here’s what I used:

  • 2 large cans tomatoes, crushed or diced..up to you
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • some basil and oregano
  • a few fresh cloves of garlic
  • 1 package of your favorite Italian sausage
  • a splash of red wine
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes
  • S&P
When I make this sauce at home for just the fam, it takes about as long as it takes to cook the pasta. The first thing you want to do is sweat the onions and garlic in some oil in a large pot on medium high for about 8 minutes. When that’s done, it’s time to make some meatballs.
Take the Italian sausage and cut the tips off one end. Then, pinch off the desired size that you want and simply squeeze the meat out into the pot with the onions and garlic. What did I tell you? Easy!
Turn up the heat and brown the meat until you get some fond on the bottom of the pot and a nice surface on the meatballs. When you’re ready, add the red wine and de-glaze all that wonderful flavour from the bottom of the pot. 
Next, add the tomatoes (the cans and the sundried), the basil and oregano and bring to a nice simmer. You want to cover and simmer this until everything comes together and the tomatoes break down. Depending on how much sauce you’re making, this could take from 10 – 20 minutes. Like I said, when you make this for 2 or 4 people, you’re probably only going to need 1 can of tomatoes so it will only take about as much time as it takes to boil the pasta. 
When you have simmered your sauce long enough, take that lid off and season with salt and pepper. Serve on your favourite pasta and finish with some fresh grated parmesan. Enjoy and have fun in the kitchen!
J

Going Raw

I have been having a pretty interesting week so far. I am in Winnipeg, Manitoba for a few days and really having a great time. It has been great to be able to catch up with videos and writing back at the hotel. What I love most about traveling somewhere new is the opportunity to discover and learn something new. In my case, I have been looking for great places to eat here in Winnipeg. I only wish I had more time to explore.

Anyways, today’s recipe takes us to the extreme end of Vegan cuisine… Raw, or more appropriately….living food. In case you didn’t know, Raw foodists eat food that is never heated above 115 degrees F. This enables the preservation of the nutrients so that they enjoy them at their peak. There are many other reasons that I’ll get into in a later post. I thought about today’s recipe because I wanted to take a page from this creative and innovative cuisine and apply some of it’s great ideas to my own. I must admit, this dish surprised me by its simplicity and taste. You’re gonna love this one.

Raw Lasagna


for the ‘pasta’:

  • 1 large zucchini, thinly sliced on a mandoline or a veg peeler to resemble lasagna noodles

for the sauce:

  • 3 ripe hothouse tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 85g sundried tomatoes
  • basil and oregano (dried or fresh)
  • S & P
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • some extra virgin olive oil
for the ‘ricotta’:
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, raw
  • juice from half a lemon
  • a few fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup water
First we will make the sauce. Roughly chop 2 tomatoes and the bell pepper and put into the food processor with the 2 cloves of garlic. Add 1 Tablespoon each of the basil and oregano and give it a quick buzz til blended, but still slightly chunky. Once you have done that, add the sundried tomatoes and a Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and process again until the sundried tomatoes are well incorporated. This is gonna bring on the roasted flavour you would usually get by simmering. It also adds a heartiness, so you won’t miss the meat. Set aside your sauce and let’s get to the zucchini!
What I did with my zucchini ‘noodles’ was I marinated them in extra virgin olive oil with a little basil and oregano. This made a huge difference from when I tried this recipe out the first time. Marinating softens the zucchini and gives them fragrance and flavour that you just don’t get when you use them plain. All I did was put the zucchini in a ziplock bag and add the oil and herbs. I added a pinch of salt and set it aside while I made the ‘cheese’.
Now grab a blender or just clean the processor you just used and add the macadamia nuts, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Have the water handy but don’t add it all at once. Start blending the nuts and add the water gradually. You want to achieve a consistency of ricotta cheese with this. Add the basil leaves and blend until smooth. Check the taste and add salt as you see fit. 
To assemble, just layer the zucchini, tomato sauce and cheese….then repeat until you get at least 3 of those layers. You can assemble the lasagna in a big dish or do an individual presentation. Finish the top with a tomato slice and some fresh basil leaves. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and you’re done!
I urge you to try this dish if you are looking for something amazing and off the beaten path. It’s inventive and so healthy for you. Take this recipe home and make it yours. Have fun in the kitchen!
J