home made pasta with a side of reflection

Someone I went to high school with complimented me on the blog the other day and then asked me if I had gone to culinary school. While I was completely flattered, I couldn’t help but thing, culinary school? Who? Me? I still can’t hard boil an egg. Well, maybe I can, I just haven’t tried yet. When I used them for the lobster cob salad I used ones my mom had already made me. Ya… I cheated… sue me.

When I started the blog there wasn’t a completely formed goal to achieve. I just wanted to share my life and this crazy learning-to-cook journey I was on. The first few months, filled with dropping things on the floor and trying to learn cooking terms were so fun I had to share! I wish I had more pictures of the first couple months because it was comical. The computer was constantly handy for me to google terms I didn’t know, I would have to look up images of ingredients before I hit the store and if one item I served was hot come dinner time I considered that a major success.

However, with all the inquiries about attending culinary school, tips I’ve given on which fish works best with basil and requests I’ve gotten to cook at functions, I feel like the idea I started with has completely morphed into something I never expected.

The point that I’m trying to make is that while I may have come a long way from that fateful day I decided to make crab cakes, I still don’t totally know what I’m doing. In the kitchen and in life. I don’t want anyone who reads my blog to thinks for ONE SECOND I am a chef. Sure, now I know what it means to “fold” the eggs in. By the way, to “fold” means to add in something a little at a time. Folding is often used when you are adding eggs to something hot so that they don’t scramble. But that is beside the point. There is so much learning yet to be done.

Now, while I don’t know everything there is to know, I have to come to terms with the fact that I know something. I know more than something. I know a lot. So, while there is still so much to learn, I’m going to do something a little different for NFT this week. This week, I’m going to teach. Of course, it is a recipe I’ve never done before, but I’m going to teach someone techniques I’m familiar with while teaching myself!

On the menu for tonight is beef stroganoff, caesar salad (with egg less dressing since Morgan is allergic) and homemade fettuccini. I’m a little nervous because I’ve attempted homemade pasta before and I wouldn’t exactly call it a success. I was overly ambitious about three weeks in to my cooking adventure and attempted to make raviolis from scratch. I guess they turned out alright if you use the term “ravioli” very loosely.

So here goes attempt number two.

Hopefully it looks like this...

and not like this (since I'm not even sure if this is pasta)

Wish me luck and think happy thoughts for Morgan who has to deal with my bossy nature.

Love and Beer Floats

Homemade Pasta
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups semolina flour
1 pinch salt
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil

Thoroughly sift together the all-purpose flour, semolina flour and salt. On a clean surface, make a mountain out of the flour mixture then make a deep well in the center. Break the eggs into the well and add the olive oil. Whisk eggs very gently with a fork, gradually incorporating flour from the sides of the well. When mixture becomes to thick to mix with a for, begin kneading with your hands.

Kneed the dough for 8 to 12 minutes, until it is smooth and supple. Dust dough and work surface with semolina as needed to keep dough from becoming sticky. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic and allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough with a pasta machine ora rolling pin to the desired thickness. Cut into your favorite style of noodle or stuff with your favorite fillint o make a ravioli. Bring water to a boil in a large pot, then add 4 teaspoons of salt. Cook pasta until tender but not mushy (1-8 minutes depending on the thickness). Drain and toss with your favorite sauce.