Thursday, March 3, 2011

Pasta Party

 Some friends came over recently and we made pasta together. It was ridiculously fun. One of them has a pasta roller, so we clamped that to my counter and went to town. I have some fun photos to share with you, but the actual recipe I'm including was not part of our pasta party. It's just a really good tomato sauce that I like to make. Check the comments to see alfredo sauce and homemade pasta recipes that Pete shared.

Pete and Sarah have the genius solution of drying the pasta on a (clean) clothes drying rack. Worked perfectly!

Pete and Jonathan made an extra long strand of pasta. You can see the pride in their faces.



Courtney and I made some fettuccine. To go along with it, Pete made a delicious creamy alfredo sauce. He and Sarah also brought some red sauce they had made previously. Doesn't the fettuccine just look beautiful?

I whipped up some mushroom-pecan pate (LOVE my new food processor) to use as a ravioli filling. The ravioli attachment worked well, but I don't think we were experienced enough with it to make consistently contained raviolis. So, we resorted to making them by hand, which resulted in some really giant raviolis. Still delicious, though. Topped with the creamy alfredo sauce, it was truly decadent.

You can imagine just how excited we were to eat this feast.

We even made chocolate gnocchi. Dessert pasta?! Yes. It actually turned out more like flavorless tootsie rolls than something sweet. We doctored it up with chocolate sorbet, homemade whipped cream, and homemade fudge and then it was delicious.

This was such a fun way to celebrate food. I don't recommend trying to make pasta on your own, since it takes so much work. But it's a great way to hang out with friends and try something new. I've heard that homemade pasta is way better than traditional, and it's true! It was smooth, delicate, and so satisfying.

Here is a recipe for my favorite homemade tomato sauce. We didn't have it at the pasta party, but it seemed fitting to include with this post. It takes a while to simmer, but the deep flavors are very much worth it in the end. It's a good sauce to make if you do decide to make your own pasta because the amount of time it takes will match the time you spend making pasta. Enjoy!

Red Wine Tomato Sauce
Makes enough for a big batch of pasta

3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Cook in large pot over medium heat until soft.

28 oz. whole tomatoes (or 2 large fresh tomatoes, diced)
6 oz. tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
Add to pot and stir together, crushing whole tomatoes with wooden spoon. Increase heat to medium/high. Simmer 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

1/3 bottle of red wine
2 tablespoons Romano cheese
salt
Add to sauce. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes longer. Salt to taste.

Have you made something that's not typically homemade? How did it turn out?

2 comments:

tpeterr said...

Some other related recipes:

Basic Pasta Dough. Use this recipe, but reduce the water a tad and add some olive oil to make it easier to work with.

Chocolate Pasta Dough based loosely on this recipe.

tpeterr said...

Low(er)-fat Alfredo Sauce.

[1] melt 2-4 T unsalted butter in a skillet or sauce pan,
[2] add an equal amount of flour (i.e. 2-4 T) and whisk to blend, allowing to cook until just thickened (can be less than a minute),
[3] gradually add @2 cups milk (I use lowfat) while constantly whisking--if it starts to clump, whisk harder!
[4] Let the sauce simmer and thicken until it coats the spoon nicely (usually just a few minutes).
[5] add and heat until melted @2/3 cup Parmesan cheese (or to taste)
[6] add parsley, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.