Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Garlicky Roasted Squash

A few weeks ago while I was visiting my family on Vancouver Island for Thanksgiving, I brought over a bunch of squash to add to the feast, see pretty picture above. I'm trying to recall what type of squash these were but alas I was completely distracted by the dazzling array of colours of the bounty of produce at the Burnaby Farmer's Market and so I regret that I did not noticed their names. 

Anyway, after some discussion on how to prepare the squash we decided to roast them very simply but in a tasty way that cannot be beat. I was inspired by my sister Ashley's method of roasting butternut squash which I've drooled over on many an occasion. A big thanks to my other sister Melody for doing the grunt work of all the chopping! The most labour intensive part without a doubt. 

Roasted Squash (serves 6-8 people)

Cooking time: about 45 minutes

3 small squash cut up into 1 inch cubes
coat with olive oil
6 garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste

Variations: add fresh thyme, sage or other fresh herbs. A bit of maple syrup to make it sweeter perhaps?

Combine squash, olive oil to coat and minced garlic in a large baking tray. Add salt and pepper to your preference. Cook at 375 for 45 minutes or until cooked all the way through. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fresh Pasta

Sorry for the delay in posts people...I've been run ragged these past few weeks with my return to work, really hoping I can get into the swing of things soon though. So unfortunately its been mostly take-out and quick as possible type meals during the weeknights lately but I'm sincerely hoping to change that soon with a little better planning. Any suggestions?

Anyway, we made this fantastic fresh pasta last weekend when we had some actual time, so I decided to take some pics and show the results. There's something very satisfying about making fresh pasta from scratch..it just tastes better somehow.

We have a really old fashioned pasta roller given to us once which requires two sets of hands since it cannot be bolted to a table..so one person to hold the pasta maker still and the other person to feed the pasta through. A little labour intensive I'll admit, but after some practice it can be done quickly. If you're lucky enough own a pasta roller that can be bolted to a table I suspect this job may be slightly easier.

I used Gwyneth Paltrow's fresh pasta recipe from My Father's Daughter which called for what I initially thought was an outrageous amount of eggs...TEN! I can feel my arteries already starting to clog! But I can say for sure the results were well worth the rise in blood cholesterol.

For a sauce we used this quick tomato sauce and then grilled some prawns on top and finished it off with with freshly graded parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. What could be better I ask? Add a glass of red wine and it's a feast.

Fresh Pasta
From Gwyneth Paltrow's My Fathers Daughter

2 organic large eggs
10 organic large egg yolks
2 1/2 cups 00 pasta flour
or 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour,
plus more for kneading and dusting

Whisk together whole eggs and yolks in a bowl. Put flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. With a fork slowly bring in flour and knead by hand until a nice dough forms. Add more flour if needed.

Next take you pasta machine. Cut dough into 8 pieces and roughly form rectangles and dust each rectangle with flour. Start on your widest setting and gradually go from widest to thinnest. Eventually put through the linguini setting or whatever side of noodle you prefer.

Place on a counter or wrap with plastic wrap. Cook soon after.