Category Archives: Pasta

Pasta recipes, tuts and experiments

Ravioli for everybody!

The other night I had the urge to make some homemade ravioli. I didn’t feel like making a big production out of it, so I chose to use wanton wrappers in place of pasta made from scratch. I made the filling using up some ricotta that was about to go bad and some parley that refused to stay around for longer than two days in my fridge. I added some shredded fresh Parmesan (never, ever use that crap that comes from a container – never!), some S&P and one egg I whisked first.

I added roughly one teaspoon of filling to each sheet, wet the edges with my water dampened finger around the blob of filling to ensure a good seal when I cooked them in a pot of boiling water. The last thing you want is for your pasta sheets to seperate and leak your lovely filling out into the general public. It’s dirty and hard to clean up, and you end up draining the pot and starting the water all over again. Trust me. Been there, done that. Oy.

So, after I let the sheets tack together, resting on a cookie sheet covered with plastic wrap, for a few minutes, I went back and used my ravioli cutter to crinkle cut the edges. Don’t they look pretty and yummy?

After the assembly is complete, I placed them in the fridge as it, uncovered, to chill till the next night’s dinner time rolled around. (I made these at 10:00pm the night before, so I missed that night’s dinner hour.) If I had had time, I would have made these the night of given they only took me 30 minutes from start to finish for a batch of 12 raviolis. If you are planning to serve more than 5-6 per person, give yourself a full hour to make more.

Oh, and don’t forget to generously salt your pot of water when it starts to boil and before you add your pasta to cook. Let them cook for about five minutes for one side and another 2-3 on the other side (wanton sheets are denser than fresh pasta, therefore take longer to turn translucent, but worth the waiting time). Scoop each out using a slotted spoon, place them in a shallow bowl and top with your favourite heated up pasta sauce.

I need more fiber (according to a few women I know who have medical degrees) so I have taken to adding a half cup of split peas to my sauces now to bulk them up. It really adds a nice texture to your sauces. Try it.

What’s cookin’, Pastarella? (part 7)

So, food… Foodfoodfood. I have been busy with everything but food these days, and yet, amazingly enough, I still managed to make a few things in the last few weeks. If I didn’t have to make any of these items, I wouldn’t be typing this post out. Sad, but true. :-\

From top to bottom: Poached Pears, Vegetable Pasta Soup, Dinner Rolls, Apple Brown Betty, and Ribs Stir-fry.

While rooting through the crispers last night, I came upon four baby pears I can’t recall when I bought, so I decided last night to make something fast, simple and sweet. Poached pears fit the bill. It’s ridiculously easy to make, and you will wonder why your home ec teacher never taught this one to you in grade 8. It looks and sounds fancy, and it certainly is decadent tasting, but I assure you, anyone can make this dessert.

Poached Pears

I peeled and steamed a few baby pears in a bath of light brown sugar and margarine in the microwave for ten minutes, covered with plastic wrap. After the pears cooled a bit to handle, I removed them from the pan and plated them. To the leftover pan juices, I added a bit of heavy cream (you can use a scoop of vanilla ice cream, too), and stirred till it was well blended before pouring it over the plated pears and serving with garnish of choice. A few sprigs of mint leaves would be nice.

Lovely, sweet and fun little seasonal fruit dessert to serve on a whim. Very easy, very fast and a great use of seasonal pears.

It was bitterly cold here the other day. Cold enough for me to make some soup from scratch. I used the broccoli I didn’t roast for Thanksgiving along with some pre-cut carrot strips and onions, in some broth I made using powder, S&P, olive oil, and water to start the soup in my small rice cooker I have in the back kitchen at work. After the soup came to a boil, and my veg had cooked down enough, I added a small pinch more fresh cracked pepper and some homemade dry pasta cut into crinkle cuts. I let that sit at a rolling boil for another 7-8 minutes for the pasta to cook through before bathing in its warmth. This soup did the trick. I was no longer cold that day.

Vegetable Pasta Soup

We celebrate Thanksgiving the second weekend of every October in Canada, so that means Canuck Cooks are in a position to make and post about great foods that their American friends, readers and search engines can access a few weeks in advance if anyone’s looking for ideas, inspiration or lovely Thanksgiving recipes that just work. This year my MIL asked me to bring the vegetables and I told her I would also bring the buns. She was nervous but said ok. These are the best buns I have ever made. They tasted just like the best biscuits I have eaten. DH’s whole family concurs. Must be all the butter the recipe called for. *wink* The dinner rolls and the roasted vegetables recipes can be found over at my Flickr account.

Dinner Rolls

A week or so before the mum gave us the ribs, she also gave us a huge bag of baking apples. I cored and peeled most of them to seal and freeze, but I left a few apples aside to make a dessert I love. It’s comfort food for me. I especially love the ease and speediness of making this after a long day and coming home to make dinner from scratch. Apple Brown Betty = sheer brilliance. Me love!

Apple Brown Betty

We stopped by DH’s parents’ for a quick visit one Sunday and they were in the last stages of making a billion ribs, so on the way out, the mum threw a few into a small container for us to use on top of the pizza I planned to make that night. And I did. It was yummy. DH was very happy. I didn’t use all of that rib meat on the pizza, so the next night I ended up using the rest of it in a stir-fry along with a bunch of aging veggies. Two birds + one stone = win-win for me.

Rib stir-fry

‘Guine In A Bottle

Drying out fresh spinach pasta noodles

I made some spinach pasta from scratch awhile ago, and since my brother and his girlfriend were heading down this weekend, I took the opportunity to thaw the dough out and make them some lovely linguine pasta.

Linguine in a bottle

It should be good and tasty for them, and I made enough for two people to enjoy two meals in total. I still trying to work out how to keep the pasta noodles from arcing as they dry, but I think I might be onto something by placing my good heavy cookie sheets over them for a few hours before letting them completely air dry flat as pancakes.

Will have to try this method again a few times in order to refine the best home based method.

What’s cookin’, Pastarella? (part 3)

Jerk Chicken Frittatta – DH loved this. He has already requested I make this often. 🙂

Jerk Chicken Frittata

Detail shot of the pasta, chicken, prosciutto and egg mixture with its lovely golden cheese top.

Jerk Chicken Frittata - Detail

Tiramisu. Delicious, decadent and way too fattening for us, but what the hell, right? 😀


A fuzzy detail show of the lady fingers and cream layers with cocoa topping. Brilliant dessert!

Tiramisu - Detail

[ Flickr photo link for more recipe details ]

Pasta Girl’s Chicken Carbonara

Chicken Pasta Carbonara Recipe:

– Leftover or fresh Grilled Chicken (sliced or diced)
– Penne
– Procuitto (wafer thin Italian salami) or Pancetta (Italian smoked bacon)
– 1/2 C Cream (or milk)
– 1-2 tbsp Butter
– S&P to taste
– Parsley to taste (fresh or dried)
– 3 Egg yolks

Pre-grill the chicken (seasoning it however you like) and dice or sliced it up. Set aside. Cook the penne in salted water to just before al dente. Reserve 1/3 C of the starch water.

Cut up the procuitto or pancetta into small chunks. Heat up a dry non-stick skillet or heat up a metal skillet with 1 tbsp of olive oil and add the chunks of pork to it. Cook for five minutes over med-low heat.

Drop the heat and add the milk, starch water, S&P, chicken and penne. Cover and cook for another five minutes.

Uncover and add butter and parsley, take the skillet off the heat and stir in egg yolks in vigorously till the white sauce thickens sufficiently to coat the penne thickly.

Plate and serve with freshly grated parm cheese over top with a small side salad or grilled veggies.