Let me just start by saying people hate me. My coworkers, neighbors, friends, fellow Muni-ers - and I can't say I blame them. I'm starting to hate myself for choosing garlic as our ingredient last week. I went a little overboard. My house smells like garlic (yum! at first.), my lunch has been garlic themed for the past week and I'm sure my yoga instructor wonders why his studio smells like an Italian restaurant when he cranks the heat up to 90 degrees. I should have anticipated this - as I had a run-in with a pile of garlic fries at a Giants game last year (and the year before) - but somehow, I manage to forget that garlic sticks to me for days after I eat large quantities of it. Mmm, attractive. Am I single? You can probably answer that.
But, it's soooo worth it. And luckily, my equally stinky roommate, Kristen, agrees (sorry Kristen). If you love garlic, you'll love these recipes. Super simple garlicy Asian noodles. And even if you don't love garlic (or smelling like it) you could try your hand at making some fresh fat noodles which are also super simple and only slightly time consuming.
Making fresh pasta seems scary, but it's actually not difficult AT ALL. And it can be even simpler if you have a pasta roller machine of some sort. In this case I used an attachment for my stand mixer. One attachment rolls the dough flat and the other cuts the sheets into noodles. Of course, you can do this Italian grandma style and roll the dough out, just make sure to kneed it for 15 minutes (instead of the 10 listed below) and roll it out super thin - as thin as you possible can. Also - flour EVERYTHING. The dough sticks to itself really easily so flour the counter, the dough, your hands, the dog. Flour everything you don't want pasta to stick to. Then, while the pasta is cooking, whip up the quick garlic sauce and your done!
This recipe makes a lot of pasta. I'd say it can easily feed 5 people as a main course. If that's too much pasta for you, go ahead and make it all (rather than cutting the recipe in half and trying to split an egg) and freeze the remaining uncooked noodles. To do so, cover the noodles liberally with flour. Twirl handfuls of them into small bird nest-like bundles and lay on a cookie sheet. Freeze in a single layer and then transfer to a Ziplock bag for long term storage.
Fresh Pasta a la The Joy of Cooking
2 cups flour
3 eggs, slightly beaten
pinch of salt
Thoroughly clean a large work surface, preferably your countertop. Pile the flour in the center of the counter and create a deep well. Add the beaten eggs and salt into the well. Starting with the sides of the well gently pull some of the flour into the eggs using your hands in a circular motion. Continue to pull more and more flour into the mixture. If your well walls break and egg spills out, don't panic! Just reinforce the walls a bit and throw some flour on the egg that spilled out to stop it from spreading. Work the rogue egg in when you get to it. Once you've nearly worked all the egg in, you'll probably have a lumpy, inconsistent, sticky mess. Perfect! Pull the dough together with your hands and begin to kneed. If the dough seems too dry, and a few drops of water. If it's too wet, add a little flour. As you kneed the dough, it will become smoother. But at first, it will look like a disaster, so just be patient. Kneed the dough for 10 minutes.
Cut the dough in four equal chunks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Once chilled, work with one dough chunk at a time. If you are using a pasta roller - follow the machine instructions that most likely say - roll the dough through each setting 3 times, starting with the largest setting. If you are rolling by hand, go buy a pasta roller. Cut the dough in any shape you like. I prefer fat noodles, but any shape will work. Prepare your sauce and then boil your fresh pasta for 2-3 minutes and combine.
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
a bunch of fresh pasta
Melt the butter in a large skillet on very low heat. Do not let the butter brown. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the garlic and soy sauce and cook for 5 minutes, again, on very low heat. Do not let the garlic burn. Add your fresh cooked pasta and toss. If the sauce thickens too much, add a tablespoon or two of the pasta cooking water to thin it out. Serve in bowls and sprinkle liberally with cilantro.
Much love and a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!