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First recipe in this club, eh? I'll get the ball rolling. I've been making this pasta recipe for a while. I made it up, but soon discovered it was a real thing, but I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned, and add marinated chicken to the mix. You can leave out the chicken to make it vegetarian, or add a meat substitute. This recipe serves two, because I'm usually just making dinner for my boyfriend and myself, but you can easily scale it up. INGREDIENTS 1-2 chicken breasts (I've been finding freakishly huge chicken breasts in the grocery store lately, just make enough to serve two) 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp thyme 1 tsp oregano 2 tsp basil 1 tsp red pepper flakes Salt/pepper 1 small onion 2 cloves garlic Approximately 2 cups chopped fresh tomato (I like Roma, but cherry and grape are also wonderful. I'd like to try heirloom varieties) 1 cup optional veggies (I like asparagus, green beans, or spinach) Cooked spaghetti for two 1/4 cup fresh basil PREP 1. Marinade chicken in olive oil and dried spices for at least 20 minutes. Dice the onion and mince the garlic, chop the tomatoes and any veggies you want to add. 2. Toss the chicken in a skilled and cook until it's got some nice color. Add the onions, garlic, tomatoes, and any firm vegetables, if you're into that. Saute until the tomatoes blister and thicken. They kind of form a sauce. 3. In the meantime, cook spaghetti. When it's done, drain and add it to the skillet with the chicken and vegetables. Turn off the heat and add in chopped fresh basil. I like to top it with Parmesan. Super simple and delicious, takes me like half an hour to make, and that's only because I'm marinading chicken.
Today I cooked pasta with my mother's ragù (duck's stomachs and hearts) it was SEVERELY delicious. This type of pasta where I live is called lasagnette, in other places it's called tagliatelle or fettuccine or other names. I am proud to show you it because I had to learn how to do it the hard way, making lots of mistakes. It was a staple of my grandmother kitchen but she didn't have the time to teach me so I had to learn trying to remember her moves and comparing them to you tube vids. This this the dose for 6 people or more. I measured and sifted 400gr of medium strength flour, added a pinch of salt (only a pinch cause it will be cooked in salted water) and put it on a wooden surface like this (you can also see a little unhelpful helping hand). In the middle I put 4 eggs. I beat the eggs to mix yolks and albumens as much as possible. Then I slowly started to add the flour eroding the sides with the fork and letting it slowly be absorbed by the eggs. When fork became unuseful I started to work it with the hands and added a tablespoon of extra vergin olive oil. I kept kneading for some minutes adding a pinch of flour if the dough started to stick, folding and pressing until the knead became soft and smooth as baby's skin and it didn't stick. It's not easy to describe the perfect consistence, it shouldn't be sticky and it should be soft but not too soft, only experience tells you. When it was ready I put it in a plastic bag to rest for 30 minutes (even better if an hour, but 30 mins is enough). After half an hour I started to flatten it with a very long mattarello that's called mescola. To prevent stickiness I scattered some flour. I used a roughly woven tablecloth that I keep for this sole purpose. With the mescola you can only push forward and to turn the pasta to work on the other sides I rolled it around the mescola and unrolled in the new position . I kept the dough a bit too soft because it's quicker to flatten, but it's also stickier and easily wrinkly so I wouldn't recommend it for the first times. At the end you should be able to see your hand through the pasta, the layer should be somewhere between a 1 mm and 0,5 mm. Then I scattered some flour on the whole surface, better not to spare the flour or you'll regret it, especially if you kept the dough very soft. Then I started to fold both sides of the pasta. When I obtained 2 rolls I scattered flour on them too and folded one over the other so I had only one roll. Then I cut the lasagnette trying to make them homogeneous. Once cut I unfolded them taking them from the middle. To make transportation easier I very gently folded them on a big plate. I threw them in salted boiling water (to which I added some olive oil to prevent sticking) stirring gently to keep them from sticking together. When water started boiling again I waited 30 seconds and poured cold water to stop cooking and drained. Dressed with olive oil and my mother's special duck ragù. It was really yummy and of course I totally forgot to take pics. I often do pasta in great quantities and freeze it or dry it so Iit's ready for use when I need. BTW you can use a kitchen robot for kneading and another little machine for flattening, it will save time and work, but personally I prefer this way because the texture obtained with this method is impossible to obtain with a machine and texture is important because it makes sauce stick to the pasta. I hope this explanation will be useful. I surely forgot to clarify something so ask me anything.