100 Day Project: Days 11-20
Its a little late but here it is! The breakdown of days 11-20. So far I have not become tired of pasta, if anything, I crave it all the time. I've decided not to worry about it. The routine is still the same, I have been mixing things up by inviting people to make it with me. Making homemade pasta is a little intimidating, but once you've done it once most people gain the confidence to try it again.
The only thing I'm tired of at this point are the overall flavor palates of the dishes. This is kind of my fault, I buy pretty much the same things at the grocery store every time I go- that means a lot of these dishes have the same flavors. Things have gotten better now that we have a farmshare, its like a basket of mystery vegetables that I have to figure out something to do with each week. My favorite thing to do so far is to use the spinach to make spinach pasta- more on that later.
The Tastiest: Lorighittas with Clams and Scallops
This was a win for a bunch of reasons - it had my favorite flavors, garlic, lemon and white wine. The pasta was a fun shape to make and the coils held the sauce really well. I can't wait to try this one again.
The Most Exotic: Spinach Fusilli with kale, fennel and lemon
This dish might not seem like anything special (especially because I made dumplings this week) but these ingredients were definitely more out of my comfort zone than those for dumplings. I tried to make the most out of our farmshare- turning our excess of spinach into these curly semolina noodles, and incorporating fennel and kale. It was actually an excellent dish, one of the reasons we liked it so much was probably because it tasted so different than everything else we've been making.
The Most Disappointing: Dan Dan Noodles
This dish was a perfect storm of disappointment. We went on a special trip to get spices, to try to create a more authentic flavor. It turns out - I do not like authentic spices. We bought sichuan peppercorns, chinese cinnamon, and star anise to make our own chili oil. it was both incredibly spicy and soapy. The noodles were tricky to cook, they fell apart after cooking them and were a little too mushy for me. It wasn't much to look at either. I will try to make it again, but I'll probably wing it rather than follow a recipe.
The Prettiest: Agnolotti colored with beets and tomato paste
I follow a few pasta instagram accounts and one of them (@saltyseattle) makes the most beautiful rainbow pasta. Following her has made me want to make crazy colored pasta, but we started off with something simple, coloring it with tomato paste and pureed beets. This was also a milestone because it was my first "pasta party." I had some friends over and showed them how to make these little guys from start to finish.
The one you could make tonight: Gnocchi with butter and parmesean
Do you have potatoes, flour, an egg, parmesean cheese (or romano), butter, salt and pepper in your house? (spoiler alert- these are basically the same ingredients as last week) Then you can make gnocchi! Ive been trying different recipes, but have yet to find one that has the right chewiness I've come to expect. I'm going to defer to my favorite cooking blog here, I don't think (in the 10 years I've been reading and cooking from her blog) I've ever been disappointed. Here is the link for her gnocchi in tomato broth - feel free to skip the broth and just give these the old butter and parm treatment. You wont regret it.
From my gnocchi mistakes I can offer you some wisdom
-under cooking your potatoes will result in hard little potato chunks in your goncchi
-overcooking potatoes will result in a wet mess that requires extra flour
-too much flour + too much kneading results in a gummy and undesirable texture.
The ones I made this week were light, fluffy, and definitely good - but reminded me too much of mashed potato balls. Now full discretion - I've never made this gnocchi recipe, my mother has, and has approved. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!
Here are some of my favorite pictures from these 10 days, to see photos of all 10 finished dishes check out this link to my #100daysofpastafresca on instagram!