By now, I guess most of you knows that I can cook! Not the regular cooking but the whole nine yards. LOL. Don’t mind my bragging.
I have most kitchen equipment and with a husband who loves shopping, plus eating, I have more stuffs than I can use.
Few years back, I bought a pasta maker. A RM55 Marcato, Made In Italy (I think) steel roller for making pasta.
Sometimes, the only thing that held me back from cooking something special is the mess I expect my kids to churn up. They had been involved in cooking since very small. When I am in a good mood, they would have a whale of a time playing with doughs, chopping soft vege, peeling beansprouts and other safe- for-kids stuffs.
OK, enough of storytelling. Here’s a very easy-peasy recipe for making pasta. If you have the machine, you can have fresh pasta at a fraction of the cost of frozen ones. Over here in Malaysia, we do have frozen fresh pasta imported from Australia. It costs over RM20 for a two-person portion.
RECIPE FOR BASIC PASTA DOUGH
3 eggs – beaten and add salt, about half teaspoon
1.5 cups flour (have some extra quantity on standby)
Place the flour on a flat surface. Marble top is the best. Or a huge mixing bowl. Make the flour like a hill and make a crater on the top. Add in eggs bit by bit and mix well. Knead.
Using the widest setting on the machine, run the dough through several times. (Read manual provided for a better idea).
Once the dough is smooth, you can begin creating the kind of pasta you like. It can be spaghetti, fettucine or ravioli.
For the stringy type of pasta, roll the pasta into thin sheets. Leave to air dry for a while. Then, only roll them through the desired mould. Remember to use lots of flour to avoid them sticking together.
RECIPE FOR RAVIOLI – SPINACH AND FETA
Ravioli is like our Chinese wantan. A dough skin and filled with some stuffs. The ideal cheese to use for ravioli is of course ricotta. But a tub costs RM14.90 and I feel them too expensive. So, I substitute with feta. Feta is a cheaper version, usually very salty. Use sparingly. You may also use cottage cheese.
A handful of chopped spinach (use the frozen variety imported from overseas)
A small block of feta cheese, about the size of a match box
Add some other type of cheese available. I added shaved mozarella and parmesan.
Some blackpepper and pepper
Mixed all the above.
To make the skin, you can just cut the pasta sheets (use setting #1 or #2) and wrap with the filling. Or if you have pie dough cutter, cut into round shapes. Ideally, use a ravioli maker.
Wrap the ravioli, make sure use plenty of flour to avoid the wrapped pasta from sticking together.
RECIPE FOR THE SUPER ELEGANT XO CREAM PRAWNS
A dozen large, FRESH, white prawns, peel leaving tails
Use the prawns shells and heads to boil stock. First, put the shells and head into a hot wok and let it ‘burn’ for a while. A nice, baked prawn smell will permeates. Add about a cup of water, flavour with black pepper and let them simmer for a while.
Chop garlic, stir fry with some olive oil. Pour in the prawn stock, half cup of cream and let it simmer. Add the prawns to cook for just a few minutes. Add in wine or like me, I added two spoons of XO.
The prawn is good to eat on its own. Taste like lobster bisque.
TIPS TO REMEMBER FOR MAKING PASTA
1) Use bread flour which has higher protein content
PLUS POINTS OF HOMEMADE PASTA
The pasta has a distinctive taste on its own and therefore, simple sauces like some chopped garlic with dried chillies and olive oil will bring out its oomph.