Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Quick, Easy & Homemade

homemade pasta

I went through a phase several years ago, back when I was first getting into the whole crafting and cooking thing, where I just had to make completely from scratch lasagna (which is funny because I can't remember a single time eating lasagna for dinner growing up). My mother-in-law-to-be gave me an Italian cookbook as an engagement present, I was an unemployed college graduate, and my only job was to take care of my newborn nephew a couple times a week and cook my family dinner.

Not a shabby life, right?

You might think that having a newborn around might deture me from tackling a lasagna that took a few hours to complete. Where noodles were rolled out to cut before dropping in boiling water and meat & tomatoes simmered into a rich sauce.

But he was a newborn, he didn't required constant entertaining. He was quite content sitting in his high chair on the other side of the island watching me cook. Or as I use to say we would cook together.

With homemade noodles, lasagna turns into a very hearty meal. My noodles are thick, as I am without a pasta roller and my rolling pin skills are seriously lacking (you should see me try to roll out pizza dough every couple weeks). So thick that you might mistake them for a dense bread, but it is a welcome change from the store bought option. Especially when you have an afternoon to spare.

As my tenure of being baby-watcher and head chef came to a close, and I neared full-time employment and life with a husband, afternoons of creating homemade lasagnas also faded to be replaced by a handy (and much quicker version) utilizing store-bought noodles and, at times, sauce. Since that discovery I hadn't ventured back into the realm of homemade lasagna or handmade noodles, despite the desire to expand my horizons by making up my own ravioli or something similar.

1 Cup Flour + 2 Eggs = Pasta for 2
1 cup flour + 2 eggs = pasta for 2

Then a couple weeks ago, an old friend posted about the joys of homemade noodles even on a hectic night, and that was just the push I needed after all these years.

So last Monday, our typical pasta dinner night, I set about making some noodles. And by the time my pot of water came to boil, the noodles were ready to be dropped in. Mike was skeptical, as he always is when I tell him one of my hare-brained work night dinner plans, but even he was pleasantly surprised when I told him that "no he didn't have time to weed the garden before dinner."

Dinner was ready in nearly the amount of time it took to cook our frozen garlic bread slices, and though our plates weren't piled high with (processed) starchy carbs as is normal, I walked away from dinner feeling fuller and much more satisfied.

Perhaps next time, my noodles will be tossed with a homemade pesto (as was the original plan, but I found half a jar of store bought pesto left in the fridge) and a couple slices of handmade garlic bread.

Though boxes of store bought past will still grace our pantry shelves, I'm thinking the handmade noodles will be showing up on our dishes more frequently…

1 comment:

gemma said...

I'm very happy to see that your pasta turned out well!