Tag Archives: pasta

Gnocchi

Gnocchi

Making gnocchi has been on my laundry list of things to make, but I never made it because I didn’t have a ricer. Do you need a ricer to make gnocchi? Nope. But to get the fluffy light gnocchi that everyone dreams of, a ricer is strongly recommended.

Once I got my ricer, I put on my game face to make some gnocchi. The result was leaps and bounds better than any store-bought. It’s worth the trouble to make and to be honest, it wasn’t difficult. Set aside some time on the weekend and make some. If you want to make enough to freeze for future use, you’ll need a few hours.

You can either boil or bake the potatoes. I boiled mine, but some prefer to bake them so there isn’t any extra moisture added). Once done, you wait until you can handle peeling it (but don’t wait too long because they still need to be hot) and them put them in the ricer. Afterwards, put the riced potatoes in the fridge. This will help in forming them.

The trick here is the amount of flour you’re using. I found that more flour made for a more dense dumpling. A lot of recipes advise against over-kneading to avoid something gluey, but don’t be too afraid because you don’t want it falling apart in the water. Make sure you work it enough so that when you hold a clump of dough it doesn’t crumble.

I used the recipe from Making Artisan Pasta. It looks like a great book, but I haven’t tested other recipes so I can’t give a full review. The recipe makes a small batch making it easy to get your feet wet before you decide you want to double the recipe.

I made SimplyRecipe’s arugula pesto to go with it.

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Spinach Pasta with Pesto

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They say that your first attempt at making pasta should be an easy, basic one without any fancy flavourings. Once you get the feeling for the dough, you can try other flavour combinations. Of course I ignore that sage advice and try my hand at spinach pasta.

Making pasta is a sensory experience. While most people are intimidated by strict instructions, I need structure. I like working in grams and digital thermometers so when I’m left to my own devices to judge whether something looks/feels “right”, my heart starts palpitating.

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Classic Macaroni and Cheese

macaroni and cheese

This was a special request from R. I don’t usually think of a heavy comforting meal such as mac and cheese as a hot weather meal.

I went to Alex Farm Products in Yorkville and I mentioned I needed a sharp cheddar for this recipe. He told me that the recipe sounded “suspicious” and steered me away from it. Why not a sharp cheese? Because of its age it won’t melt as nicely and will be grainy. The taste will also be very strong and smelly (I didn’t mind that part so much — I love a stinky cheese). So I bought a medium white cheddar that he recommended.

This is a Cook’s Illustrated recipe that is simple to make. Just remember to keep an eye on it when you’re using the broiler because the breadcrumbs burnt while I was looking for something. Oops.

macaroni and cheese

I wasn’t too thrilled with this recipe, it felt like it was missing something and didn’t have the “cheese” flavour I wanted. Maybe because I used a medium cheddar?

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Cheese

Blue cheese pasta

I’m a big fan of cheese now. Good cheese is pricey, but it’s a price I’m willing to pay. Blue cheese, asiago, cheddar, and provolone are sitting in the fridge. Goat cheese is also another of my favourites. I love the tangy and creaminess of blue cheese and will put it in everything.

I made a big batch of pasta and I ate an obscene amount of it. It’s meals like these where it makes me want to go to the gym later so I can feel like I’m doing something “healthy”.

Recipe here.

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