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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pasta for Two

Spaghetti (or Pasgetti for the young at heart)

It is just J, Takashi, aka Wo-hoke-ah-show (Translation: The Stomach That Walks) and I. I have difficulty cooking for two. Growing up in a family of seven (being the oldest child, I am therefore the responsible one) cooking and shopping for a lot of people comes naturally.  It wasn't until a few months into our newly wedded life that the realization that the giant 5 lb block of bulk cheddar was not disappearing as fast as it did at my parents house, it then dawned on me that I no longer lived in a house full of people and J and I really could  not eat that much cheese. Thank you Mr. Peterson, for forcing me to learn the math skills to cut recipes down to 1/2 and 1/3 so that I can make a dinner that we do not have to eat every night for the rest of the week.  I was super excited when I found this recipe for pasta for two. I love making fresh pasta.  I don't think I have posted an example of my pasta making skills yet, so here I go.
 Pasta for Two.  Tonight I utilized it for  spaghetti.
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 egg
Splash of olive oil
Pinch of salt
 Measure out 3/4 cup flour on a table top with a pinch of salt and make a well in the center of the flour.
 Add in that flour well one egg and a splash of extra virgin olive oil.
 Scramble the egg, olive oil, and slowly incorporate the flour from the inside of the well.
 When it is thick enough break and flour well and smush it all together into one lump.
 Get your hands wet with cold water and start kneading, incorporating the flour on the table.
 Knead the pasta dough for 5 - 10 min until smooth.  You may need more water.
 Wrap dough ball in plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for an hour, or refrigerate if you do not plan on using it immediately.  You can keep it in the refrigerator overnight or a few days if you need to.
 Roll out pasta dough.  It is easier if you roll it out first before running it through the pasta machine.
 My beloved husband got me this pasta machine attachment to my glorious green kitchen aid that my wonderful parents got for me.  I love it that my family supports my cooking obsession.  Run pasta through until it is long and thin.
 As my darling husband does not like eating one gargantuanly long noodle, cut the pasta sheet into sections.
 Run it through the spaghetti attachment.  I call this Spaghettifying.  If you do not have a pasta machine (you poor Dear), roll the pasta dough out as thin as you like and cut it into strips. Having used both methods, and since one of my goals in life is to serve the future Robot Overlords, I like the spaghetti machine better.
 Spaghettification.  Also when I make lasagna noodles I spaghettify the rest of the pasta to use for later.
At this point the noodles can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator in a gallon zip lock bag for up to a month.
 Boil for three minutes.
 Ahhh! just like Mama used to make back in the olde country. Toss with green onions, tomatoes, garlic, and parmesan cheese.  I do love cheese, just not too much cheese.
For dessert we had caramel cake with whipped cream.

Sponge Cake:

3/4 cup butter, room temperature, softened, or melty.
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 and 1/2 cup self rising flour

Beat together butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla, add flour and mix together.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Caramel:

Cook one 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk in a crock pot, covered in water, on low for about 8 hours.  Refrigerate for 3+ hours or overnight.

Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs powdered sugar
Whip it until it is cream and refrigerate.