Holiday cheer? I mean pasta.
I suppose these might be seasonal.
P. and I are working on our pasta-making super-team. I make the dough, he rolls the pasta. If it’s a filled pasta I fill and cut it while he keeps rolling. Then we cook the pasta while I cook whatever the pasta is going in. Supposedly he cleans the kitchen and feeds the cats while it finishes cooking. Supposedly a bottle of wine is opened and poured at some point during this process too. There is no arguing over someone rolling pasta too fast or filling pasta too slow or anything like that.
The major problem of course is that if the original dough is a bust it can be a major problem. Entire dinner explodes problem (no dinner). Our fail safe plan is that we don’t cry, we just order pizza, but it’s harder than usual not to cry over handmade pasta.
I tried to make this pasta once before. I had visions of vivid purple pasta filled with bright green filling. It would be a lurid but cheerful combination and let’s face it, the weather is pretty grey. I found a Martha recipe where she grinds up an assortment of veggies and puts them into an assortment of pastas before moving onto things like turtle-pasta, hamster-pasta…. nevermind. If Martha can do it I can try to do it too.
I bought a giant beet at the farm market. I baked it until it was mush, I pureed it in my food processor…. and it was only pink! I tried to make the dough. Not only was my dough a bust (not enough flour, waaaaay too soft and sticky) but because my beet was pink and not purple my soft dough turned into an odd fleshy wrinkly mass, especially as it settled into folds caused by the saran wrap. It was oddly cadaver like. I needed Dr. Frankenstein to come along and bring life into it. P. tried hard to work enough flour into it but I’m surprised he didn’t kill our pasta machine. The flesh ball went into the trash.
This time I got plain old supermarket beets and they were plenty purple. I added plenty of flour to the dough and it all worked out. Though it turns out, well, you boil beet pasta and it just turns pink anyway. Bust-a-thon for this one. Pretty while it lasted though.
The pasta itself is agnolotti; a sort of rustic ravioli. I was very sick of the ravioli press and angnolotti are super-trendy at places like, oh, The French Laundry these days. Pretty easy and no fancy equipment needed, just a pastry cutter.
The filling is a standard mixture of greens and ricotta from the food processor and is remarkable only because the greens are turnip greens (my Encyclopedia of Pasta says this is traditional for Sardinian agnolotti as opposed to agnolotti from other places in Italy which can be filled with a variety of things up to and including donkey meat, which is not an acceptable item in our household) and because I used the rest of the turnip in the actual pasta dish. Going for a nose-to tail use of the turnip!
Anyway, I keep getting asked if this blog is still alive. See the problem? There’s too much information.