12 February 2013

the best pasta ever

a few years ago,
i was in philadelphia and i had, perhaps,
one of the most delicious pasta meals i have ever eaten...
it was a lardo filled ravioli with fava beans
at marc vetri's osteria!

normally, we think of pasta as a heavy meal,
but these were light, velvety pillows
of heavenly goodness!

since that meal, i have been trying to find
a way to duplicate that special pasta.
finally, i just searched for the recipe on the internet.
low and behold, it was there, floating in cyberspace!

the lovely blog of maria & christina, sisters running the kitchen,
led me to the details of the glorious recipe!
so thanks for that ladies. i am eternally grateful!

making fresh pasta is far easier than you might think it would be
and it really does taste so much better than something out of a box.
honestly, i am convinced it is somehow healthier
for you than the pre-made stuff!

the ingredients are probably things you already have in the pantry
and you don't need nearly as much equipment as you could use!
here is the lowdown for making
bob & sarah's version of marc vetri's pasta dough:

11/4  cups                     all purpose or 00 flour
1/3 cup + 11/2 tbls       semolina flour
9                                 large egg yolks (yup, 9!)
3-4 tbls                       water
1 tbls                          extra virgin olive oil

some people use a stand mixer for this,
but we just don't have one,
so we use good old fashioned "bob" power!
in a bowl, he combines the two flours
then adds the yolks, water, and oil,
mixing until it comes together.

he then turns it out onto a floured granite countertop
and kneads for about five minutes.
you know it is done when it is smooth,
not sticky, and goes back into shape after stretching.

we like to roll it into a ball,
wrap it in plastic,
and put it in the refrigerator to rest.
it should sit for at least 30 minutes,
but can stay in there safely for three or so days.

once the dough has rested and chilled,
it can be rolled out and made into any number of pasta types.
we have a manual pasta roller and just love the thin, long noodles!
they don't take very long to cook,
only about two or three minutes
in salted boiling water.

after removing it from the water,
it is up to you how you enjoy the deliciousness!
yesterday, for my birthday,
bob turned that lovely pasta into his famous
chicken parmigiana!

pasta, pasta, pasta
image by sarah c baron

bob's famous chicken parmigiana
image by sarah c baron


10 February 2013

duke's bread... charlotte, nc (yum!)

i don't know if you charlotte locals are aware of this,
but there is an amazing bakery
cranking out spectacular bread in this town!

i came across duke's bread
while wandering the atherton mill saturday.

five bucks got me a fresh, warm
rosemary sea salt round.

it was so, so, so good!
i highly recommend it!

check out duke's bread at their website!!

09 February 2013

back with, yup, you guessed it... more bacon!

i am back
and i am candying bacon!

we've got the recipes worked out pretty well
for the bacon itself.
although next time,
i am recording the specifics so we can duplicate
it perfectly with each batch!

the three favorites so far are
maple brown sugar,
chocolate & chili,
and, my personal fave,
roasted garlic & herb!

the candied version is a new experiment.
this first attempt was pretty darned decedent,
but i think i will be doing some tweaking to
make sure it stays crispy and not gooey.

i will keep you posted!!

"candied bacon"
image (and bacon) by sarah c baron