…because for Christmas, Santa Claus brought me my very own pasta roller attachment for my KitchenAid mixer. I know! It’s amazing. I love everything about (although it is a bit heavy). So my happy homemaker self set out to make some pasta. I’ve done linguine, thin spaghetti, and a yummy ravioli so far. Here’s the step-by-step of my latest, and best yet, batch.
First, the recipe. You might want to experiment with your proportions. I have found that adding an extra egg makes it smoother, and cutting back by about 1/2 cup on the flour makes it less crumbly (which is what this recipe is). If it’s too crumbly, add in an egg. If it’s too runny, add in some flour.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted a couple of times
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
dash of salt
Step 1: Using your dough hook, mix together the eggs and flour until it’s a “rubbery” consistency. A lot, if not most, pasta dough recipes will tell you to crack the eggs into a flour well and then use a bench scraper and some elbow grease, but that’s bad news. Last time I did that one of my walls collapsed and I had eggs going allover my kitchen. It was a sticky, disgusting, yellow, bacteria-infested mess. Do it in the mixer. At some point whilst it’s mixing, pour in the olive oil and dash in the salt.
Step 2: Knead the dough a few times on a floured surface. Set up your pasta roller attachment on the widest setting. Using walnut-sized pieces, feed the dough through the roller, fold it in half, feed it again, and repeat.
Step 3: Continue to feed the dough through the roller, each time going down a setting to make it increasingly thinner. I usually go to about the 7th setting. After that, it gets to thin to work with. Repeat until dough is gone.
Step 4: When your finished with the dough and all of your little pasta sheets are ready (a couple hours later!), change to the noodle cutting attachment (here I used the thin attachment). Feed each sheet through once. If you have a pasta drying rack, more power to you. If not, I put my on a baking sheet in a thin layer (if you do this, you will probably use all of the baking sheets in your inventory). You can go ahead and boil them if you’re ready to eat the fruits of your labor, but if not, set them out on your counter and let them continue to dry.
Step 5: Impress all your friends.
Tags: feta, honeymoon, Niagara Falls, pasta, tomato
Cancun? No. Jamaica? Yeah right. Zack and I got married in June, and his parents, so nice to send us on our honeymoon, gave us a few choices for our post-nuptial right of passage. When you get married in the middle of summer in Alabama, tropical destinations aren’t a viable option–to my betrothed and myself anyway–so we chose Niagara Falls, baby. So retro-chic. So beautiful. So Canadian. And so 70 degrees sans the sweltering deep South humidity. We stayed at the beautiful and luxurious Fallsview Marriot and had one of the best meals of our lives in the hotel’s restaurant, the Terrapin Grill. It was a chicken dish that was stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and feta cheese that sat atop fried risotto. When we got back to the Ham, I set out to re-create this dish, and I think I’ve come quite close. Here’s my recipe for you, which certainly differs a bit from the Niagara Falls version. I use whole wheat penne pasta instead of fried risotto, and the diced tomatoes that I bake it in becomes a yummy, light sauce. It’s Zack’s favorite dish I make, now if only we could look out our window to Niagara Falls…
Niagara Falls Chicken for Two
4 boneless skinless chicken tenderloins, pounded thin with a meat tenderizer
Salt and Pepper to taste
Italian Seasonings to taste
1/2 jar of sun-dried tomatoes
4 tablespoons of feta cheese
2 cans of diced tomatoes (or one large can; I use the regular kind, but you can use garlic-basil-oregano flavored if you’d like)
2 skewers or 4 toothpicks
Shredded cheese (I love the 4-cheese blend by Sargento, but use whatever you like!)
Penne pasta, cooked (or whatever kind of pasta you prefer)
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Pour the cans of diced tomatoes into an 8×8 baking dish and sprinkle with Italian Seasonings. This will become the “sauce” for the pasta.
-Pound the tenderloins with a meat tenderizer until it’s thin enough to roll, but not too thin, and season with salt and pepper.
-Dice up the sun-dried tomatoes and spread evenly on each tenderloin.
-Spread a tablespoon of feta cheese on each tenderloin.
-Roll each tenderloin and secure with a toothpick, or put two to a skewer.
-Place in the baking dish and cover with tomatoes.
-Sprinkle shredded cheese on top.
-Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until chicken is baked all the way through.
-Remove skewers and place chicken on top of pasta. Heap all of the remaining tomato-y goodness onto your plate.
-Dream of better places, like Niagara Falls!
I found this sweet little video on Bakerella’s blog, and it’s so cute that I just wanted to pass on the happiness. I’m going to try to embed the video, but if it doesn’t work, just click here. It will sweeten up your day for sure! And a big hi-five to Bakerella for being on Martha Stewart’s Cupcake Week!