national pasta month...

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by durangojo, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. durangojo

    durangojo

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    october is national pasta month...i'm not sure by whom but nevertheless, let's just roll with it...any ideas? anything special brewing in those heads? ravioli, agnolotti, gnocchi..hmmmm...okay right now i'm thinking maybe pumpkin/pine nut ravioli with a sage brown butter sauce or a dessert ravioli with my favorite fruit of all times...fig...maybe with a  light tuaca(also my favorite liqueur) cream sauce or syrup...... something hearty with a venison ragout or.....any takers?

    joey
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  2. teamfat

    teamfat

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    I'm thinking pasta for dinner tomorrow.   I have in mind some sort of cream sauce based on a local market's chicken basil sausage, maybe a purple gypsy tomato from the garden thrown in.  We'll see what I end up with.

    mjb.
     
  3. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    toasted penne with a smoked gouda sauce, roasted cauliflower, grilled kale, and toasted walnuts
     
  4. thetincook

    thetincook

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    I wouldn't mind mastering agnolotti. I can never get them to form right with the pinching.
     
  5. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    I want to try my hand at making a short rib ravioli with a creamy mushroom sauce.  I've never made pasta before.  I also want to try making gnocchi.  That's my goal for this month.
     
  6. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    I really like gnocchetti. Served up in a savory mushroom sauce with a grilled oyster mushroom & pecorino shavings

    Tagliatelle with butternut squash and sage

    There is also 3 color pasta ,  made with spinach, beet and saffron or other colors.

    @ KK: there should be a thread just on making the perfect gnocchi.

    Biting on something light and fluffy and not a pellet.
     
  7. durangojo

    durangojo

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    yes petals,

     i don't care much for gnocchi because i'm sure i haven't had it made properly..the ones i've had tasted exactly as you say, 'pellets'  i'm also not really a dumpling fan...just don't like the mouthfeel...but would try them again if made right....i recently received a bunch of roasted hatch green chilies, so now i'm thinking a chile rellenos ravioli. also thinking of another dessert ravioli with a cannoli filling. after cooking the ravioli, i would pan fry over dry heat to toast it(don't know what you call that). i have my grandmothers ravioli cutters and utensils and recipes, but they are all in italian!......i love agnolotti the best...fun shape the little priest hats eh?...lest we not forget, the asian won ton or the jewish kreplach........

    joey
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  8. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Gnocchi dough should be as dry as possible, with very little fat, yet still hold together.  Mix the ingredients with the "volcano method."  Kneading should be gentle, stop when the dough is elastic.  Don't overwork (probably why you're getting pellets).  Rest the dough before rolling into snakes.  Then roll the snakes with your palms and fingers with a light -- but not feather-light -- touch, similar to patting out biscuits.  If you're using potatoes, spinach or anything else which must be cooked before incorporating, always let it cool to near room temp.

    Good gnocchi's place on the difficulty scale?  About the same as good biscuits.

    That's pretty much it.

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  9. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    I agree, light and fluffy.

    Joey, they will become hard if you over cook them . They are best served right away .

    I see you have chiles. I can't offer you any recipes on those per se as I am not permitted to cook anything with alot of heat in it. (boss has a sensitive tongue) Most I can use is touch of hot paprika and even that is not hot for me. I cook to please them , not me.

    I don't know if your menu is set yet but here are some thoughts:

    Chef Mcbride makes braised veal shoulder with shiraz, juniper oil  buttered rigatoni and grated aged goat cheese.

    Cavatappi with seafood, dressed with shitake

    mushrooms and fresh basil

    Chef Tony Priolo makes a chestnut pasta. This is a very good dish if you like to cook rabbit, duck , patridge, and so on.....

    Then there is Maultaschen.
     
  10. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    No worries, I will come here for advice once I set my mind to making gnocchi.  What's a gnocchetti???
     
     
  11. eastshores

    eastshores

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    I just finished up a roasted red pepper pesto that I plan to toss fresh semolina pasta in tomorrow (spaghetti) topped with grilled chicken breast and greek olives. Gonna have it with some leftover focaccia! If I'm not around for a while it's because I am recovering from my tongue slapping me upside my head.

    Edit: well I decided to go ahead and do it tonight. I went with linguine instead of spaghetti. I tried spaghetti first but was having a tough time with the machine.. and I learned tonight I have to work the pasta through the flat rollers.. folding over and running back through about 10 times before it has the extremely elastic texture that would have allowed me to run through the spaghetti setting (I'm new to this). Anyway here it is.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  12. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    It looks terrific Eastshores, it looks to me that you have mastered the machine already. I have one too but for some reason I roll it out by hand and then trim. I kind of found a new use for the machine though....fondant for my miniature cakes.

    @ KK : gnocchetti are just smaller gnocchi thats all. If you have a potato ricer terrific, if not don't despair. On a four sided grater (which most cooks have) the side that has the smallest holes can be easily used to make gnocchi. Choice of potato is important too ( I like Idaho ). Another tip : make sure your potato is still relatively hot, use a clean towel if you have to and hold the potato. Tip # 2 : Make sure you have a well. Tip # 3 : make sure your water is salted.

    Oh boy, these are just a few tips but there is alot more to it than meets the eye. Chef BDL brought out some great  points but if your going to make these than you will need a little more info. Let me know when you feel like doing these. The wonderful thing about this dish is that its cost is barely nothing, its what you decide to do after (or before) you make these that might cost a bit more. Take for example everyone loves buttered gnocchi but whenever you decide you can make so many tasty cheese sauces to eat them with  or a very nice olive oil or truffle oil, its your palate so you create. Mediterranean gnocchi is a winning dish too.

    There are so many pasta variations out there....well I could go on but I don't want to bore anyone.
     
  13. durangojo

    durangojo

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    okay, what's a girl gotta do to get an invite? i'll bring wine!....beyond nice eastshores...way beyond nice...one question though, is that linguine or fettuccine? looks a little wide for linguine, not that it matters, and of course you would know since you made it....maybe it's just your wonderful camera angle...obviously you didn't use a phone camera like i do....i need to take a lesson or two from you, that's for sure....really really nice.....

    joey
     
     
  14. durangojo

    durangojo

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    petals,

     the roasted new mexican chilies don't pack a lot of heat, just a wonderful roasted pepper flavor...but i won't hold it against you that you don't like heat, mon amie...i wish i could send you some...and you can send me some of your gnocchetti!...god, i love good pasta...it's good 'they' made a whole month for it!

    joey
     
  15. chrisbelgium

    chrisbelgium

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    It may be pasta month, but it's apparantly also pumpkin/squash month in the foodshops. I just bought a Hokkaido pumkin and I haven't decided yet wether to make pumpkin gnocchi (85% potato/15% pumpkin) with sage butter or filled pasta (ravioli, agnolotti/tortellini...) with pureed pumpkin? Saw a recipe yesterday for a filling made of pumpkin puree, handful of amaretti cookies, breadcrumbs(panko), parmezan and an egg...

    Nice pasta dish, Eastshores! I would have thought it was tagliatelle, but what does it matter? I'm curious after your roasted red pepper pesto. Like to share the recipe?
     
  16. eastshores

    eastshores

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    Haha! Thanks very much for the kind words, and you are absolutely right.. it is fettuccine! I should have known better. I also misspelled "linguine" which I see you had no such trouble. I've now made a point to learn the pastas better. If you're interested I've done two articles on taking food photos linked in my signature. I used a small point and shoot digital set to macro mode and the main thing is taking it outside in the shade to get good natural lighting, not too much effort but makes all the difference in the shot.

    ChrisB.. here's a walkthrough on the pesto:

    I purchased 3 medium red bell peppers at a local produce stand which I am very thankful to have now. We had nothing prior to this stand except large grocery stores.

    Remove the stems, seeds, and membranes and quarter the peppers. Place these over med heat on a grill skin side down until a nice char forms. I then flipped them and let the flesh roast a little. As soon as you take them off you need them to be covered in something so that they steam which loosens the skins. After about 10-15 minutes remove as much of the skin as possible. Leaving a little char on is not a bad thing.

    I then pan toasted some pine nuts. Basically you want to put a small skillet over high heat and don't walk away from it. Toss the pan carefully to keep the nuts flipping and moving around. Remove them from the heat to cool once they have a bit of golden color.

    Combine the roasted peppers, along with the pine nuts, olive oil, diced garlic, and grated pecorino romano cheese in either a large mortar and pestle (or a food processor). Use your own judgement on when it's done, less time for more rustic, more for a smoother pesto.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  17. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Petals:  You certainly have a passion for gnocchi.  Now I know who to go to for help when I get around to making them :)

    Eastshores:  Your plate of pasta is lovely.  I'd say they fall somewhere between fettuccine and tagliatelle based on their width.  However your presentation reminds me that grilled chicken served on pasta is a pet peeve of mine.  It makes me question the authenticity of chicken with pasta, and even I hate the idea of authenticity in food.  I understand cooking chicken within the sauce so that it marries with the sauce.  I understand serving a chicken cutlet as a secondi after the pasta.  I even understand the more american version of serving grilled chicken with pasta on the side.  But I don't understand grilled chicken on top of pasta.  What role does it play?  Is it part of the sauce?  Is it the main course?  Is it a topping? 

    Chris: You haven't been with us too long but autumn is our favorite time of year around here.  This is the time when most of us stop grilling outside, and start planning for the fall harvest bounty!  It's not just the foodshops that are loaded with squashes, it's the surrounding fields as well :)  The most delicious vegetables come to our kitchens now and I can't wait to get my hands on this season's mushrooms, leeks, carrots, apples, etc.  In a few weeks the threads will be hot with Thanksgiving topics which are very inspiring so stick around and enjoy :)
     
  18. eastshores

    eastshores

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    It's the protein for the dish. I'm not sure what you actually have issue with, is it simply that it is sitting atop the pasta? It's not uncommon to present grilled chicken like this, we also place it similarly atop a ceaser salad to make a "grilled chicken ceaser salad". As far as the role it plays, it is up to the person eating. I like to mix my bites. I ate some chicken by itself, some pasta by itself, and a good deal of it together. Towards the end I used the chicken like bread to move around the plate and scoop up sauce.
     
  19. durangojo

    durangojo

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    you know another thing that crossed my mind thinking about pasta... it is someting that people share all over the world in in every country in some form....asia with its ramen, soba and a hundred other noodles, the middle east and africa with couscous, europe and germany with spaetzle,...dumplings, kugel....can anyone think of a country that doesn't eat pasta in some form? i think that's kinda cool that it is so global....don't you?

    joey
     
  20. eastshores

    eastshores

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    Definitely. I also think it goes back to the most basic way that humans have used grains. Ancient people would grind grains into flour and mix with water to make a primitive dough. Usually baked over fire to form a sort of bread. I think pasta must have evolved from that and maybe that is why it is so heavily rooted in all cultures.