RECIPE 19: Fresh Pasta Sheets with Parsley

                      -= Exported from BigOven =-

                   Fresh Pasta Sheets with Parsley

The whole parsley leaves rolled into this pasta make it especially pretty but you can easily leave them out. Simply omit Step 3 of the recipe.

Recipe By:
Serving Size: 8
Main Ingredient:
-= Ingredients =-
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour ; plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons water
Cornmeal ; or semolina
36 medium flat-leaf parsley leaves

-= Instructions =-
In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt to blend. With the machine on, add the eggs, one at a time, and the water. Process until the dough forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead into a smooth ball. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle 2 large cookie sheets with cornmeal. Lightly flour a work surface. Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces. Working with one piece at a time, flatten the dough with your hand and run it through a pasta machine: Begin at the thickest setting and work your way through consecutively thinner settings until you reach the thinnest one. Spread the sheet on the prepared cookie sheet, brushing away any excess flour.

With a moistened finger, make 18 dots of water on the left half of each pasta sheet randomly or in rows; they should be 2 inches apart. Set a parsley leaf on each dot and press down lightly. Fold the other half of the pasta sheet over to cover the parsley leaves. Run the folded sheet through the pasta machine on the next-to-thinnest setting. You may need to cut the pasta dough in half, partway through rolling out.

Cut the parsley-flecked sheets into 8-by-6-inch rectangles of dough. Repeat with the second piece of dough and the remaining parsley leaves.

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10 on Tuesday: Ten Things Most People Don't Know About You

From this page comes this Tuesday’s question… What are 10 things most people don’t know about me? In no particular order…

  1. I am a scuba diver.
  2. When I was in high school, I used to wear a ‘rat tail’ in my hair (think mullet but the ‘party in the back’ is only several strands thick).
  3. I took a few years of ballet & modern dance in college.
  4. I am a nearly-obsessive cookbook collector.
  5. I used to play Frisbee nearly every day with my friend John. We were good!
  6. I think that the lid should be kept down when not in use.
  7. I am a philanthropist who was born poor.
  8. I mercilessly abuse telemarketers when they cold-call my house.
  9. Inconsiderate drivers really get under my skin.
  10. I do not like to borrow or lend books.

Reading: A Meal Observed

I am reading Andrew Todhunter’s A MEAL OBSERVED. It’s a magazine-length idea that he’s turned into an amusing little book, combining history and experience with a sheaf of helpful culinary notes. The book recounts their meal at Paris’s Taillevent, “a Michelin three-star restaurant considered by many critics to be the finest in France and thus the world”.

A Meal Observed
Interestingly, Todhunter is not a ‘foodie’ — indeed, his first couple books were about extreme sports – though I think he downplays his ignorance of the food world for the purpose of the book. The first few chapters of this book irritated me because Todhunter would provide a bit of information about the restaurant and then launch into a recollection of dining with his father as a child or other nostalgic claptrap that I feel is unnecessary and misplaced in this book. Happily, the latest chapters I’ve been reading have gotten away from this indulgent approach; I hope this trend continues.

Upgraded to WordPress 2.1.3

After thinking about it for far too long, this morning I spent some time upgrading my WordPress installation to 2.1.3, the most current version. I had to update a bunch of plugins to their most current version and then deactivate them one-by-one, install the new WordPress files, then re-activate (one-by-one — WordPress REALLY needs a batch plugin scheme!) them and tweak out the system. Everything seems to be working, but if you spot any weirdness, please let me know.

RECIPE 20: Cauliflower and Crab Ravioli


                      -= Exported from BigOven =-

                     Cauliflower and Crab Ravioli

These impressive supersized ravioli are constructed with large rectangles of homemade pasta that are dotted with whole parsley leaves and filled with the unexpectedly alluring combination of crab and cauliflower.

Recipe By: Food & Wine magazine, February 2006, page 124
Serving Size: 8
Main Ingredient:
Categories: Seafood, Food & Wine Magazine, Main Dish

-= Ingredients =-
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil ; plus more for drizzling
2 cloves Garlic ; minced
1 small head Cauliflower ; (1 pound), cut into 1-inch florets
2 tablespoons water
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 pound lump crabmeat ; picked over
to taste Salt & white pepper
8 each Fresh Pasta Sheets with Parsley ; see * below
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese ; freshly grated

-= Instructions =-
* “Fresh Pasta Sheets with Parsley” is included in this collection.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter in 2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Add the minced garlic and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, just until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the water, cover and cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 4 minutes.
Add the heavy cream and simmer until slightly thickened, about 6 minutes. Add the crabmeat and stir gently to heat through. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Add salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the boiling water and cook the pasta sheets until just tender, about 1 minute. Drain and return to the pot. Lightly drizzle the sheets with olive oil and, using 2 large spoons, toss lightly to coat.

Place 1 pasta sheet on each of 4 warmed plates. Spoon the creamed crab and cauliflower onto the pasta sheets and sprinkle with half of the Parmesan cheese. Cover with the remaining pasta sheets and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Serve right away.

** This recipe can be pasted into BigOven without retyping.     **
** Easy recipe software.  Try it free at:    **

Reading: The Supper of the Lamb

I am reading THE SUPPER OF THE LAMB by Robert Farrar Capon. My friend Mary W suggested it to me, and I trust her taste in books so much that I ordered the book (and somehow ended up with two copies) sight-unseen. If the first 15 pages are any indication, I am going to enjoy this book very much! The author’s gentle tone and easy sense of humor left me wishing I had more time to read it this afternoon! Here are some excerpts from reviews posted on Amazon.COM:

It is a book about food, spirituality, ferial and festial cooking (ferial being cooking done with leftovers; festial being the type of cooking that creates leftovers), and reflections on life and reality. Worth buying simply for his devotional reflection on the beauties of an onion. There is obviously tongue-in-cheek here, but there is also great spiritual depth. The theme of ferial cooking is transferred to a kind of manifesto on ferial living. Capon sees food, and life as well, through a lens of wonder. Capon’s book is really a recipe for living life more fully. To read this fine book is like sitting on a stool in Capon’s kitchen, listening to this old-school master talk (as he slow-cooks) on subjects as diverse as onions, knives, wine, love, dinner parties, and baking soda.

It thrills me to know that Capon has several other books about food as well, so if this turns out as well as I am hoping, I have more of his works to enjoy!