A SIMPLE LUNCH
Last week I made some pasta. Yes, from scratch. Do you realize how ridiculously easy it is to make pasta? And now much better it tastes? 100 grams of flour, one egg, and a pinch of salt for each serving. Mix well, knead 'til smooth, then run it through the pasta machine.
Starting with a small ball of dough, maybe golf ball size, run it through the pasta machine 5,6,7 times at the widest setting, then once at each progressive setting until the dough is thin as a sheet of paper. Cut into the desired shape, using cornstarch, not flour!, to keep it from sticking at this point. Pop into a pot of boiling water and within a few minutes you'll have pasta so wonderful you'll want to eat every last bite!
I made the pasta last week so that I could make a batch of lasagna, and I wasn't sure how much I'd need. Better safe than sorry is always my motto, so of course I ended up with more pasta than I needed. No problem! I cut the pasta into ribbons of tagliatelle, put them into a zip lock bag and popped it into the freezer.
Today when I wondered what to fix to go with the last bit of the tomato basil soup, I decided to use the pasta and experiment just a little. I ALWAYS have pesto in the refrigerator! I make gobs of it in the summer, then freeze it in convenient 8 ounce rounds. We LOVE pesto!!! We love it on bruschetta, on tomatoes, on salmon or chicken, or simply on pasta.
When I make pesto pasta I always keep a ladleful of the pasta water and add it to the pasta along with the pesto. The pasta water helps the pesto to stick to the pasta, and makes a wonderfully creamy coating. Today I decided to take that creaminess to another level by adding just a touch of real cream!
I had maybe 300-400 grams of pasta, which I threw into the boiling water and swirled around a bit to make sure none of the strands stuck together. Knowing that it would only take a few minutes to cook, I'd already heated up a pan with a little olive oil. I added about 3/4-1 cup of pesto, and warmed it up, then added a few tablespoons of cream.
As soon as the pasta was ready I dumped it into the skillet along with maybe 1/4 cup of the pasta water. I lifted and mixed the pasta, then threw in a handful of pine nuts. I dished this out into bowls and we garnished it at the table with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
This, along with the tomato-basil soup made such a simple and delicious lunch! Wonder what I'll make for dinner?