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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fresh pasta- the real kind

I am all for the pasta substitutes, and low carb diets, and being healthy, 
but sometimes you just need a plate of pasta. 
And a big one.  And a REAL one. 
And hey... I am a runner so carbs aren't the worst thing out there.

Moderation is key. 
A real plate of pasta once in a while is fine by me.    

Could my portion be smaller?  
Of course... half the size would have been acceptable.
But it looked too good- Pair it with a fresh arugula salad for a green peppery bite and a better balance. 

Guess I will run an extra mile or five next run...

Because I am going to over indulge in a plate of pasta the size of my head,

 I decided I was going to have to work for it.  I made EVERYTHING from scratch: pasta, meatballs, sauce, all from scratch.  This provided a healthier meal with all fresh ingredients from the local butcher or the food co-op.  

I started with the sauce.  
Making my own sauce is key.
Jarred sauces are usually full of sugar and other junk, while my sauce is sugar free and flavor packed.  I used about 4 tomatoes, 8 mushrooms, 1 onions, and 4 cloves of garlic.  Everything was diced and simmered on the stove for about 30 minutes with some olive oil, salt, pepper and fresh basil. 

Next I formed the meat balls so they would have time to sit before I cooked them.  I used a pound of ground pork from the local butcher.  I figured pork would be leaner than fatty ground beef and was something fun and different.  To the meat I added 1 egg, whole wheat bread crumbs, basil, salt, pepper, chopped onion, parmesan cheese, and grated garlic. 

When it was time to cook the meatballs, I cooked them in a tiny bit fairly decent amount of bacon fat.  
Hey.... no ones perfect.  
It made them super crispy and got some fat into the meat so they weren't super dry and bland.  While this isn't the healthiest decision I have ever made while cooking, it was probably the best one.  These were some of the best meat balls I have ever tasted.  
And they tasted bacon-y.  

Next I made my pasta. 
 I use Pioneer Woman's super easy recipe.
 1 cup of flour 2 eggs. 
 I added some salt, pepper, and grated raw garlic to this and threw it all in the food processor.  The food processor is so great for making dough.  
Easy Peasy and no sticky counters and hands.  
Throw in some extra flour if your dough looks wet.  
Mine needed a lot of extra flour because they eggs were local from the food co-op and were gigantic.  

At this point I decided the meal needed some wine. 
 And no I did not cook with it.  

I cooked holding it.  And drinking it. 

 I thought this bottle was too cute.  
A red wine called cannon ball. 
And on the cork a cute little caption "Dive In"  
Dive in I did.  

I cut my dough into two sections and sent it through the hand crank pasta machine to roll it out and then cut it.  
TIP:  Roll it through a few times on the first and widest setting... this really helps to "knead" the dough and make it easier to roll and cut.  Keep adding flour- wet dough does not go through the roller easily.

The end product is a huge delicious mess.  
When I lived at home, my father would label any cooking session 
"Katie Messy Time".  
This messy time is doubled when I am making pasta.  Make sure you toss the pasta in some flour to prevent it from sticking, or hang it on a rack to dry.   

I threw my pasta into a pot of boiling salted water.  Fresh pasta just takes 2 -3 minutes so keep an eye and don't over cook it. 

Throw everything together,
 top it off with some fresh basil, 
Parmesan cheese and pepper flakes.
Fill up your wine glass, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.... 
or maybe the carbs of your effort.  

Bon Appetit!


  1. it was!!! not something I can eat every night but it was a great treat!


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