Homemade PastaDave got a pasta maker for Christmas, so we decided to give it a go recently. The whole process was actually pretty easy, but there’s still definitely room for improvement! It sort of reminds me of trying to perfect the dough for a pie crust. Not too wet, not too dry, not too hard, not too soft. Our first batch of pasta was a bit thick and lumpy.

The Cucina Pro pasta machine (#S178*) comes with a recipe/instruction booklet, and a few attachments to make all sorts of pasta and a ravioli maker. To make sure we were making the pasta right, Dave looked at other pasta recipes and they are all very similar. For our dough this particular day, we had to add a bit more water – so your mileage may vary depending on the day, weather etc. Pasta making can be a one person job, but I helped grab the sheets of dough and pasta as it came out. Everything stuck together a bit, so we need to keep refining this process! America’s Test Kitchen has an excellent recipe and video that we look forward to trying next time.

Pepper PastaThrowback Food – Introduction to Olive Oil

We decided we would use one of our ‘throwback recipes’ and introduce our kids to the dish where all of our culinary adventures began. There was this amazing Italian restaurant, Pasta Piatto in Shadyside. It was about a twenty minute walk on a good day, and close to our college campuses here in Pittsburgh. One of the first times we went it was a frigid winter day filled with sleet and lots of snow. (When you’re hungry, all logic sort of goes out the door – I still can’t believe we walked that day!) This restaurant was sort of out of budget for most of us, so we only went 2-3 times a year, if that really. All the dishes were fresh tasting, perfectly seasoned and very light (more toppings/sauces than pasta). My experience with Italian up to that point was anything in a red sauce, but not here – olive oil was a key ingredient in so many of the dishes. Fresh warm bread served with olive oil, butter or wait…freshly grated parmesan cheese. For about $10, we had our first introduction to the amazing world of fresh garlic and olive oil. Add that to any dish and it was SO good. In hindsight, the dishes were an amazing deal, but I personally needed money for other things – like gas to get to school (a tank of gas, or pasta lunch).

In between visits to Pasta Piatto, we decided to be daring and try our own spin on one of favorite dishes: Pepper Pasta with garlic and olive oil. We made our dinners in the resident hall kitchen, which was an adventure too (/shivers). We thought were were culinary geniuses, GENIUSES! I mean, grab a bag of frozen pepper mix (or 2 fresh peppers), olive oil, garlic and voila = dinner! Hah! We did it, our first replication of restaurant food. (Which I guess is why Pasta Piatto closed in 2003. We were so sad to hear when we came back to Pittsburgh to visit after living in Florida. I did find one of the line cooks has a restaurant in Washington, PA – Al an’ Rubens)

There’s a bunch of different ways you make this, so tweak it to your preferences! We like to add hot italian sausage to ours sometimes, or in a pinch red pepper flakes!

Pepper Pasta
 
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Olive oil, garlic, peppers and more make for a light and easy pasta dish. Add or subtract ingredients to availability or tastes!
Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Cuisine: italian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Olive Oil
  • Garlic (minced, fresh preferred)
  • 2-3 fresh peppers, diced (or frozen pepper mix - thaw before)
  • Optional: Fresh spinach, hot/mild italian sausage, diced mushrooms
  • Pasta/Linguini - cook per box instructions
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet and warm. (If using sausage that's not cooked, you can cook here and go lighter on the olive oil.)
  2. Saute minced garlic until it becomes fragrant.
  3. Add in vegetables.
  4. Mix together until warmed.
  5. Serve or toss with cooked pasta.
  6. Garnish with parmesan cheese and/or red pepper flakes

 

Adventures in Pasta Making: Pepper Pastahttps://www.thesugarpixie.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/wpid-20140112_170501-e1390154715234-768x1024.jpghttps://www.thesugarpixie.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/wpid-20140112_170501-e1390154715234-150x150.jpgthesugarpixieRecipesgarlic,italian,mushroom,olive oil,pasta,peppers,sausageDave got a pasta maker for Christmas, so we decided to give it a go recently. The whole process was actually pretty easy, but there's still definitely room for improvement! It sort of reminds me of trying to perfect the dough for a pie crust. Not too wet, not...Misadventures and fun in the kitchen and beyond