Homemade Basil Fettuccine

Start a big pot of water boiling. Saute some chopped onion in olive oil for about 5 minutes in a large skillet. Add a clove or two of garlic, sliced zucchini, and cherry tomatoes to the onions and saute until the veggies are cooked through. While they are cooking, add your pasta to the rapidly boiling water. It will only take 1 1/2 minutes to cook if it is fresh, and about 2 minutes if it's frozen. Add the pasta directly to the pan with the veggies, along with about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. I wanted a nice fresh tasting sauce, so I just added about 1/2 c sour cream, s&p to taste, and any other herbs or seasonings you like with your pasta. Add as much Parmesan as you like, and toss is all together, take it off the heat and add a couple big handfuls of fresh spinach. Top with more Parmesan. I also added veggie meatballs that I mentioned in the post I wrote about before. Again, it was vegetarian with out trying to be so. It was quite good.

Pasta Making

Enough of these annoying internet posts and on to what really matters...food. I did do a few new cooking projects during my hiatus. I while ago I bought a HUGE bunch of basil. Usually when I go
to the store they don't have much of a selection of the delicious herb, so I didn't think twice before buying such an amount. I promptly bought fresh mozerella and made many things with the delicious pair. I wanted to make basil pasta, but without a pasta machine, I thought ravioli would be easy enough. But a couple days after the idea of making pasta came into mind, my Cooking Light magazine came displaying several ways to make it without the help of the machine. So I knew I wasn't in too over my head. I decided to make a graham flour and basil lasagna. It made quite a bit of dough for the two of us, so I made and froze fettuccini with the rest. It was so easy and delicious, I think one of my faves. So here are a few simple directions:

Combine 1 c all purpose flour, 1 c graham flour (I bought it at a farmers market, but it is very similar to whole wheat), 1/4 t salt,and a couple big hands full of basil in a food processor and pulse until the basil is very finely chopped. Whisk together 5 T water, 2 T olive oil. With the machine running, pour the egg mixture in the food chute, letting it run just until it forms a ball. Place on a floured surface, and knead 4-5 time to combine. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic, and let sit for 30 minutes. (I was looking forward to making the pasta the old fashioned way, on the counter without a bowl, but I decided to let the machine to all the work here.) Something I will do different next time, pulse the water with the basil before adding it to the flour. I think it would really liquefy it, resulting in more of a green pasta, which is what I wanted.
Cut the disk into 6 peices to make it more manageable.
Roll it out one by one holding one end with one hand and rolling the dough the the other. It will take a little stength to get it very thin. Keep the surface floured, it will get sticky. Start your big pot water with about 1 T of salt boiling.

After rolling each peice, set it aside and over with a damp towel while you finish the others. (These are folded in half because they were so long.)

For lasagna, slowly lower the big sheet into the boiling water. Only cook for about 1 1/2 minutes. Carefully remove the pasta with a slotted spoon and lay on a damp towel. I only needed to cook two for our dinner.
Spray your oven proof dish with cooking spray and put a little marinara sauce in the bottom.

Place one end of the noodle in the baking dish and layer in your favorite toppings. I did marinara, spinach, quartered veggie meatballs (these are from costco and are so good. I wasn't trying to make this vegetarian, but I did.) fresh mozerella, and little sprinkle of an italian blend or cheese. I think there is salt and pepper in there too.
Fold the noodle over and repeat until it is all stacked up nicely. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, just so the cheese is melted and everything is heated. The meatballs are already precooked, and just need to be warmed.

Sprinkle with fresh basil and you have a delicious and elegant individual lasagna. Of course this could be made the traditional way in a large baking dish, but this is how they did it in Cooking Light and I thought it was so cute. Thanks to them for all the tips and tricks.

With the rest of the pasta sheets, I floured them well, folded them up and cut them into strips for later.
I layed them out on a baking sheet and placed it in the freezer. When they were set, I transfered them to a ziplock. When you are ready to eat, but put them straight from the freezer to the boiling water. It may take an extra 30 seconds for them to cook. I'll put what we did with these on Emily's Experiments soon.
I hope you try it. KC and I really think fresh makes a big difference, although, I don't see myself doing this that often. As easy as it was, I still want the pasta attatchment to my KitchenAid.

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