Tag Archives: pasta

Squash Dumplings

I’m still alive! (sort of).  I’m actually home sick today so I figured I could FINALLY update my blog.  Since the semester has started back up I have been busy teaching, taking a class, and doing research.  This usually accounts for 10-16 hour workdays.  By the time I get home I make something quick and easy (omelette, 10 bowls of cereal, oatmeal…) but occasionally I have a particularly bad day and need to cook.  I think I have 4 or 5 recipes that I will be posting today, so stay tuned!

When my CSA decided to call it quits, they cleared out their farm and gave each of us 2 boxes – about 40 pounds – of produce.  In the end, I probably received as much as I would have over the following weeks.  Among my bounty was 17 squash, an enormous bag filled with garlic (I would estimate 30-40 bulbs), bags of potatoes, and lots and  lots of greens.  Also, my CSA gave us this link http://www.localgrowers.org/csa-programs/ to help us find a new farm to support.  I joined a winter CSA and am very excited about it.

So, I have a lot of squash.  Becca and I took a cute date to Nashville, Indiana, and I bought a down home, kitschy squash cookbook.  I’ve been getting ideas from it, but mostly for breads.  When I have a lot of squash, I typically roast 2 or 3 at a time and just keep the roasted sqash in the fridge to put on oatmeal, bake into a casserole, or make breads.  I wanted pasta the other day so I had the idea to adapt my gnocchi recipe for squash.  I got lazy so instead of making “pillows” I just rolled the dough into balls.

Squash Dumplings

-In a mixing bowl combine 1 egg and 1.5 cups roasted squash
-Continue mixing in 2 cups flour (I use wheat) and 1/4 teaspoon salt
-Once dough reaches dough-like consistency, roll into balls and boil until no longer chewy

Mizuna Pesto
-combine (with a mortar and pestle, blender, imersion blender, or however you want) chopped mizuna, 1-2 cloves crushed or finely chopped garlic, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper

It’s really tough to quantify how much any of this costs because of how I got 4 week’s worth of vegetables at once.  These are my best estimates:

Total Cost: $3.29

organic squash: $0.75
organic garlic clove: $0.10
2 cups organic flour: $0.52
1 organic egg: $0.17
Mizuna: $0.75
1/4 cup paremean cheese: $1.00

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Organic Whole Wheat Gnocchi with steamed CSA veggies

Yikes, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted!

I’m writing from the comfort of my porch, borrowing (stealing) my neighbors comfortable patio furniture, and relaxing from what has been a whirlwind July.  This past weekend I ran Great Lakes Relay- a 300 mile relay race across northern Michigan.   Needless to say, I haven’t been doing much cooking, and when I have it’s been the same old things I’ve already blogged about.

view from my porch

Well, not last night.  Last night I made one of my favorite meals in the world- gnocchi.  I’ve been getting these great potatoes lately from the CSA, but I’ve been boiling them almost immediately and never saving myself enough for pasta.  I vowed last night to take the time to make my favorite meal.

Along with the potatoes, I’ve also been getting a good number of cucumber, zucchini, onion, cherry tomatoes, and garlic.  I decided to steam the veggies and toss them over the pasta.  I typically make pesto, but I didn’t have any basil, so I threw in walnuts, olive oil, parmesan cheese, and dried basil in hopes of a pesto deconstruction.  It didn’t really work, fyi.  In the end, I tossed in some mediterranean sea salt (thanks Becca!) and that made my meal much better.

Organic Whole Wheat Gnocchi

-chop and boil enough potatoes to make 1-1/2 cups mashed potatoes (I prefer to mash potatoes with milk only and omit the butter for this recipe)

chieftan potatoes!

-Once you have 1-1/2 cups of mashed potatoes, stir together with 1 egg and 1/4 tsp salt (I use tea smoked sea salt)
-Stir in 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour.  Sometimes I need to add more flour, up to ~1/2 cup more, if the dough is too sticky.
-roll the dough into long thin logs

it doesn’t matter if this looks perfect if you’re going for the “rustic” look 🙂

-using a pizza cutter, cut the pasta into “pillows”


-place the pasta into boiling water and let boil until they rise to the top of the water.

-While you are making the pasta, steam your veggies.  This can be done in the microwave, a steamer, or a rice cooker (thanks, Jill!)
-chop 1 zucchini, a handful of baby tomatoes, and an onion


-Once the pasta and the veggies are finished, toss together with olive oil, grated parmesan cheese, basil, crushed walnuts, salt, and any other seasonings you desire.

Bon Appetit! (only to be said in a Julia Child -esque way)

Total Cost: $6.91
-7 organic chieftan potatoes: $2.00
-1-1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour: $0.39
-1 egg: $0.17
-1 organic zucchini: $1.00
-handful of organic baby tomatoes: $0.50
-2 organic baby onions: $1.00
-1 clove organic garlic: $0.10
-grated all natural parmesan cheese: $1.00
-handful organic walnuts: $0.75

This meal comfortably fed 2, plus there were leftovers!

Zucchini Pasta

This freaking heat has really been getting to me lately.

As a result, I have no appetite for anything heavy.

I picked up my CSA yesterday and had 4 zucchini, 5 cucumbers, a bag of chieftan potatoes, and basil.  With the extreme drought and high temps (2+ weeks straight of 100+ degree weather) the CSAs haven’t been quite as bountiful.

With the basil, I absolutely wanted to make pesto, but definitely didn’t want heavy pasta.  Instead, I opted to make zucchini pasta.  I had done this before with eggplant and figured it would work with zucchini, too.

The pesto was fantastic, plus I got to use my mortar and pestle!!  Overall, the “pasta” turned out pretty well.  The only downside is that this takes some time, because you’re supposed to let it drain.  I personally don’t know if this really makes a different or not.

Zucchini Pasta with Walnut Pesto

Zucchini Pasta
-using a potato peeler (or a mandolin, or whatever you want), thinly slice the zucchini
-place zucchini slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let sit for 30 minutes

-after 30 minutes, rinse and cook in boiling water
-cut red potatoes into quarters, and boil with the zucchini

Pesto

-using the mortar and pestle, smash a clove of garlic
-add fresh basil leaves and continue to smash the leaves and garlic, add olive oil as needed
-add walnuts until you reach the desired consistency
-add salt, to taste

Normally pesto has parmesan, but I didn’t have any.  I really don’t think it made a difference.

To go with this, I also added some goat cheese and chicken I had cooked and previously frozen.

Total Price: $8.60

-4 organic zucchini: $4.00
-1/2 package organic basil: $2.00
-1 organic garlic clove: $0.10
-handful organic walnuts: $0.25
-4 organic chieftan potatoes: $1.00
-organic goat cheese: $0.25
-1/2-ish pound organic chicken: $1.00

I had no idea this ended up being so expensive.  I suppose what I have found is that grains are certainly cheaper than fresh vegetables.  Obviously  I think this has a lot to do with the recent weather, as the shares haven’t been as large lately.  oh well.

 

Squash Pasta with Oysters

Ha, this ended up being a disaster of a night but damn this was good pasta.

I don’t know why I always decide to make pasta on the nights I’m starving.  Don’t get me wrong, pasta isn’t a meal that takes hours, but when you make it from scratach it is a bit time consuming.  I thought I was being smart by making the dough and then letting it rest while I went to the grocery store.  Indeed, that was smart.  However, nothing went right after that.

Part of the problem is that I never follow pasta directions to a T.  I think this, from now on, will be a mandatory rule.  If the dough is not perfect, it can be very difficult to use with a machine.  If you are having problems, though, you can just roll it out by hand and cut it with a knife like I ended up doing.  (note that the tom and jerry glass served as my rolling pin haha)

pretty orange

Squash Pasta

-mix 3/4 cup cooked squash, 1-1/2 cup semolina flour, 1-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
-let rest for at least 30 minutes
-roll out according to pasta machine directions or hand roll and cut
-add to boiling water
-add can of oysters
-when ready, top with olive oil, raw sugar, and crushed red pepper

Unfortunately I don’t have a total price because I have no clue how much I paid for the semolina flour.  I have to imagine it was probably between a dollar or two’s worth.  The squash was probably $0.15’s worth.  Maybe $0.80 for the wheat flour, <$2.00 for the oysters.

All in all, considering I got 4 meals (two dinneres, two lunches) out of this recipe, I’d say I did pretty well.

sugar+spice

+ olive oil.

I don’t have time for a real post…well, unless I want to stay up even later (didn’t end up eating dinner tonight until long after 10 PM 😦 ) but, before I forget, I want to share the best topping for anything orange ever.

olive oil + turbinado sugar + crushed red pepper

I put that on my squash pasta tonight and it was amazing.

I also assume it would be good on sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots?

that is all.

Old Bay Pasta with Smoked Clams

I came home from work today so hungry that I wasn’t hungry anymore.I didn’t want to roast vegetables because I knew that would take a long, didn’t want to make rice for the same reason, and didn’t want to thaw any meat.

I knew I wanted to delve into the smoked clams Santa gave me in my stocking.  I love clams.  I started eating them a few years ago because they are extremely high in iron.  The smoked ones in cottonseed oil are beyond the best!

Anyway, I settled on pasta because fresh pasta is usually pretty quick.  Over New Year’s I bought a pasta cookbook at a secondhand store.  It’s pretty amazing..it has something like 127 fresh pasta recipes.  I came across one which intrigued me – Old Bay pasta.  Normally, I couldn’t care less about Old Bay seasoning.  However, when I moved out of my apartment in Milwaukee I hoarded all the food left behind.  One item was a full carton of Old Bay.  I’ve never used it….until tonight!  The only thing I knew was that the seasoning went well with seafood so I figured I’d give it a shot.  The recipe also called for orange juice, so I was pretty excited for this.  The result?  Surprisingly good.  The strongest flavors in the pasta were the celery salt and orange juice.  As weird as it may sound, it worked.  To go along with the pasta I boiled diced carrots, potato, and garlic in the cooking water.  Since the pasta was made with a tablespoon of Old Bay, no seasoning was needed.  For sauce, I just used the oil from the clams.

Old Bay Pasta

unlikely pasta ingredients

-combine 1-1/4 cup semolina, 1-1/4 cup wheat flour, and 1 tablespoon old bay seasoning in a food processor
-in a seperate bowl whisk together 3 eggs and 2 tablespoons orange juice; combine with flours in food processor
-mix until a ball of dough forms

when I first did this, I stopped too early and tried to use the dough when it was like this:

not ready!

The dough was very tough and kind of dry.  I ended up adding another tablespoon of orange juice, but then the dough seemed too moist.  I ended up just kneading it with some white flour to make it the right consistency.

-make the noodles using the 6 thickness and fettuccine die

chop 3 large carrots, 1 potato, and 1 clove of garlic.  Add to boiling water.
-once the pasta is ready, add it with the vegetables.
-boil ~5 minutes
-plate and top with a container of clams!

not the most photogenic, but it tasted good!

 

Total Cost: $4.69

organic whole wheat flour: $1.69
-semolina flour: $1.66
-old bay: free!
-organic orange juice: $0.08
-organic eggs: $0.50
-3 organic carrots: $0.46
-1 organic potato: $0.20
-1 bulb organic garlic: $0.10
-clams: free!

I have so much left over…definitely probably enough for at least 2 meals

 

Pumpkin Pasta with Roasted Veggies and Brown Sugar Sauce

This is one of my favorite meals I’ve made in a long time.  I’m really happy that I made a full recipe because I ended up being able to have dinner last night, lunch today, and a reworked version tonight for dinner.

I still had a lot of pumpkin leftover last night and pretty much all I have in the pantry is various flours, so I thought pasta sounded good.

I also had a ton of potatoes, onions, and half a sweet potato which seemed like it would go well with the pasta.

I didn’t have anything for a sauce, so I just used olive oil and brown sugar (soooo good)

One of my favorite things to do with leftover homemade noodles is saute’ them the next day in olive oil because they never seem to taste as good as they did the first night.  What made this even more amazing was that I added some brown sugar into the frying pan and let it carmelize on the vegetables and pasta.

yummm

The recipe I used is the same one I used a few weeks ago when I had people over, but I made a couple adjustments:

Pumpkin Pasta

combine 2 cups white flour, 2 tablespoons semolina, 3/4 tsp salt, and a dash of nutmeg in a food processor
-in a seperate bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup pumpkin and 1 medium egg
-briefly  mix together in the food processor
-add one more medium egg and continue to mix until a ball of dough forms
-let dough rest for 30 minutes

While this was resting, I made my roasted veggies.  I chopped 1 onion, 1 potato, and half a sweet potato, tossed them in olive oil and salt, and roasted them at 400 degrees C for 30 minutes.

After letting the dough sit, roll the dough through a medium thickness setting on your pasta machine and then use the fettuccine die.  If you don’t have a pasta machine, just simply roll out the dough and use a knife or a pizza cutter to cut thin strips.

Boil pasta for 5 minutes, then toss with olive oil, brown sugar, and the roasted veggies

pure deliciousness

All this was more than enough for 3 meals, probably more for a pereson who isn’t ravenously hungry by the time they come home at night.

I’m not going to attempt to figure out the price, mainly because I bought the flours before I started keeping track of costs.