Ger-Nis Fresh Pasta Dough

March 30th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Makes approximately 1 pound of pasta

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

To make dough in a processor

Blend flour, eggs, and salt in a food processor until mixture just begins to form a ball (dough should be firm, but not sticky). Process dough for 15 seconds more to knead it. Transfer to a floured surface and let stand, covered for about 30 minutes for the dough to relax.

To make dough by hand

Mound flour on a work surface, preferably wooden, and make a well in center. Add egg and salt. With a fork, gently beat eggs until combined. Gradually stir in enough flour to form a paste, pulling in flour closest to egg mixture and being careful not to make an opening in outer wall of well.

Knead remaining flour into mixture with your hands to form dough (dough should be firm, but not sticky). Knead dough until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.

Rolling pasta

Divide dough into 8 pieces, then flatten each piece into a rough rectangle and over rectangles with an inverted large bowl. Set rollers of pasta machine on widest setting. Follow directions on pasta maker to roll and cut the desired pasta.

Hand Pounded Pesto

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Pesto, simply translated means pounded. It is one of the Lingurian regions most prized ingredients and traditionally hand pounded. Today many use food processors or blenders but you can still find devoted traditionalists who hand pound it proving that the taste is still superior with this method due to the increase of released essential oils from not only the basil but the garlic and pine nuts as well. The oils are more readily released when pounded versus cut or chopped. Traditionally a large wooden pestle is used and a marble or granite mortar for the pounding process. (They say the granite on many of the mortars still around is the same granite that Michael Angelo used to carve and sculpt with)

Ingredients

Coarse salt
Garlic (they say the garlic in this region is sweeter as well due to the ocean air influence)
Genovese basil leaves-small deep green and sweet leaves, not too pungent and always young
Pine nuts-from the Lingurian region as well, they claim the taste is sweeter and nuttier and also has a higher oil content than pine nuts in the east or south
Extra virgin olive oil-of course with the local region’s olives which have a milder sweeter flavor than other Italian olive oil
Pecorino, grated finely
Parmesan Reggiano, grated finely

Directions

There are several different paths to get to the final product. We have read about and seen many different ways but the way in which we say most was the following method and order.

The pesto is pounded slowly, first by combining the garlic with the coarse salt until a paste if formed adding a little bit of salt at a time. Next the leaves of the basil are added which are small on the Genovese plant and thus a few at a time are incorporated little by little pounding and mashing until the paste begins to turn green and the basil is broken apart. Pine nuts are added next again crushing and pounding until they are smashed into a paste and all oils are released. The pounding process is slow and methodical and each step has a finished product before moving on to the next step. The extra virgin olive oil is added next and once the cheeses are added no more pounding can be done so when the olive oil stage comes the desired consistency of the paste must be completed before adding cheese. Add the cheese and stir with the pestle.

Pansotti with Walnut Sauce (using Prebuggiun filling)

August 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

1 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped
4 borage leaves (optional)
3 cups spinach, chopped
¼ cup pecorino Romano, grated fine
½ cup fresh ricotta
Salt/pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
½ cup walnuts, chopped fine
½ cup heavy cream
Ger-Nis Fresh Pasta

Directions

In a large pot of boiling water blanch all herbs and leaves and drain of all water using a cheese cloth. Chop all the blanched herbs up fine and place in a large bowl. Gently mix in the parmesan and ricotta sprinkle with salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix. Lay out pasta on a floured work surface, preferably wood and cut the pasta into circles. Place a spoonful of the mixture in the middle of the pasta and roll dough over forming a half moon shape, pressing firmly to close (make sure the pasta is closed on the sides). Place in a large pan of boiling and salted water and cook for about 3-5 minutes or until all pansotti are floating. In a blender mix together the oil, garlic, and walnuts, blend until smooth and add heavy cream and season with salt and pepper. After the pansotti are cooked take them out of the water and discard the pasta water keeping about ¼ cup reserved. Place the pansotti back in the empty pan and pour the walnut sauce over heating on a medium heat. Add a little pasta water to loosen the mixture and serve!

Prebuggiun per la Pasqualina (Spinach & Herb Fresh Pasta Pie)

August 15th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6-9

Ingredients

Lingurian Pasta (3 cups flour, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, made into a pliable dough)
Linguarian Prebuggiun Mixture
1 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
¼ cup fresh marjoram, chopped
4 borage leaves (optional)
3 cups spinach, chopped
¼ cup pecorino Romano, grated fine
½ cup fresh ricotta
Salt/pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 large egg

Directions

In a large pot of boiling water blanch all herbs and leaves and drain of all water using a cheese cloth. Chop all the blanched herbs up fine and place in a large bowl. Gently mix in the parmesan and ricotta sprinkle with salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix. Roll out the dough and place in a greased pie plate. Place the mixture in the dough in the pie plate evenly and make a whole in the middle and crack and egg, cover the top with more dough and connect the bottom layer to the top sealing the edges, like a giant ravioli in a pie tin. Bake in a preheated 375° oven for about 20 -30 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to cool before cutting and serving. Cut and serve like a pie!

Trofie Al Pesto

August 6th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Serves 6

Trofie is a simple rolled flour and water pasta widely seen in the Lingurian cuisine. It’s like Linguaria’s version of Gnocchi. It’s a hand rolled pasta typically served with pesto and because of the extreme labor intensity is generally served in small portions. Trofie is not widely available outside of Italy and is relatively simple to make with just time being the main component. The dish is often served with boiled potatoes and green beans and you will find very few variations to this regions dish. Never fear the beauty of this dish is that the trophies are supposed to look rustic and so don’t sweat too much if yours are not perfect, the key is long thin tubular strips with a little corkscrew shape to them, cooked always aldente!

Ingredients

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup water
1 cup potatoes, boiled and chopped fine
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut
Salt
Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Directions

Place the flour down on a flat surface and sprinkle in the salt. Make a well or a volcano shape and pour the water in the center. Using your fingers begin to mix the flour in, making sure to keep the water in the center. Mix until the dough is together, the dough should feel tacky and slightly damp. Knead the dough a few minutes until your fingers can move across it without sticking. Then clean the work surface and re-knead the dough for another 5-8 minutes until it is smooth and elastic; super smooth! Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or in a plastic bag and let stand to rest, refrigerate at least one hour and up to 24 hours.

Shaping the trofie

Get a large baking sheet line with parchment paper and sprinkle with semolina flour. Prepare a clean work surface as well and sprinkle with regular flour. Keep the dough covered in the plastic at all times when not using it. Divide the dough into about 4-6 small balls. Take each ball and roll it out using two hangs into a thick rope about 13 inch thick. Cut that rope into ¼ inch pieces. With each ¼ inch piece, roll it into a longer thinner rope. With each longer thinner rope place it down on the table and roll it into a 2-3 inch long thin strip. Using the back side of your hand and pinky finger (if your thumb is facing straight up and the back of your pinky touching the table) roll in an upside down V shape, starting with the right side roll up starting with the right side of the pasta strip and moving into the center as you roll up to the bottom part of your hand, slowly without lifting the hand, change the position of your hand to start to roll back down through the left side of the pasta strip rolling the pasta as your hand rolls down to the top of your pinky touching the pasta. Repeat this process with all the dough and until you have enough to make a batch.

Cooking the dish

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and place in green beans. Cook for one minute and then slowly add the Trofie. When the Trofie begins to float, about 3 minutes they are done, toss in the cooked potatoes and take off heat. Take out all the goods using a large slotted spoon and place in a large serving bowl. Add a little of the pasta water and spoon in some pesto. (About 1 tablespoon per 1 cup of pasta, 2 for those who like it bold). Mix together the pasta and the pesto until a smooth silky sauce is rolling around the Trofie. Serve with finely grated parmesan.

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