Recently, I dug out my pasta machine to play with because I found a bag of 00 flour lying around in my cabinet. I bought the flour to make pumpkin ravioli on my birthday a couple of months ago and ended up having some left over. And thus, my pasta/ noodle craze began!
Making pasta is great because its so 1. simple and 2. delicious. It’s also great to do for parties because people can get all messay and involved in the process.
Making pasta is definitely a team effort. =D
So to make pasta, a basic recipe from the Culinary Institute of America is:
1lb Pasta flour (which is 1 part 00 flour, 2 parts AP flour)
2 whole eggs
a drip of olive oil
So though I said making pasta is simple at the beginning of the post, it can get fairly complicated if you really want get into it. There are a lot of different opinions such as what flour to use is best, or what number of eggs to use it best, should I use yolks only etc… Well. I guess all I can say is experiment, try different things and see what you like.
Back when I was working at Plum, the recipe we used (which was from the french laundry) called for:
1kg 00 Flour
1T olive oil
And so because I don’t want to think of what to do with all the left over egg whites each time I make pasta, I tend to find a happy median between the basic recipe and Mr. Keller’s one. Is the quality significantly different? Yes, I think it is. TK’s version is much richer with all the yolks, however the basic one is definitely not bad at all.
As you can tell just by the color between these two raviolis. The top one is made with 29 yolks, while the bottom one, significantly less. (The top is a quail egg yolk ravioli with Dill in the pasta, while the bottom one is a Pumpkin Ricotta cheese ravioli)
Here is pasta making session 1. You can tell from the left to the right that the pasta progressively gets better and better
Broccoli, Ricotta bacon Ravioli, to be served with a mushroom white wine parmesan cheese sauce
Pasta making session 2. Here I tried 2 kinds of pasta dough. You can barely see a difference. The pasta on the left has 1 whole egg. The pasta on the right had 2 egg yolks. The taste was similar, however the texture was quite different. The one with more yolks had a chewier, bouncier texture, while the one with 1 whole egg was a tiny bit softer.
Fresh diced tomatoes, mince garlic, chopped basil, olive oil.
A tip to making pasta, use the pasta water to help thicken the sauce. If you don’t put pasta water the pasta might give off a very oily mouthfeel to it. The water will emulsify with the oil and create a really nice tomato sauce.
Pasta session 3: Capellini with sun dried tomato-pesto sauce
Extra pesto with salmon
noodle session: ramen!
So I was on the phone with my aunt Judy this morning, and she told me to figure out how to make ramen. Thus the inspiration.
For the ramen, the key ingredient is sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda). Ramen’s main ingredients are Flour, water and kansui (water high in alkaline). Historically, Kansui (鹼水) is the water that came from Lake Kan in inner mongolia. The water from Lake Kan had a lot of minerals and alkaline and thus noodles made with that water had a more firm/ bouncy texture. (Does that mean ramen was originally Mongolian? Who knows.)
I found Marc’s blog to be the most informative (Thank you sir!) So there’s more information there if you’re interested!
Since I did not have kansui, I simply used baking soda instead. The texture of the noodles were really good and ramen-like. However it did not have that yellowy color to it =(.
playing with my noodz
I used about 2 cups high protein bread flour, 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp baking soda.
Laksa noooodles =D
And before I know it, I made pasta/ noodles 4 times within a week.
I apologize for the crappy photos taken. 1. A lot of them were taken on my iphone with flour-ed hands, 2. I was really hungry and didn’t have the patience to take better photos 3. The lighting my kitchen is terrible =(.
And here are a few extra pasta-related photos from before
3 cheese ravioli, whey and nettles served at plum
Tomato quail egg ravioli served at plum
pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sage sauce and walnuts
simple and easy #pasta #dinner #saturday night #tomatoes #garlic forgot to take a photo of the #basil
I think the last time I had a birthday in Hong Kong was exactly 10 years ago. Because my birthday is in October, I’ve always spent my birthday while I was in school. And This year, I finally came home.
On the day of my birthday (25th), my mother surprised me by organizing a surprise party at a lounge with my friends in HK. I was super shocked because I didn’t really tell many people I came back to HK. I don’t know how my mom pulled it off, but she did a great job! She even had a friend who’s a DJ, and he did the music for us that night!
Thanks mom! Love ya!
even my grandma came out for a little!
After part 1, celebration with mom, I had a part 2, celebration with dad. On saturday (27th) my dad wanted us to host a dinner for my and his friends. We had a dinner party of 20 people total, however, because we only have room for 10 on our dining table, we did 2 sittings. The first group would sit down to eat, while the second group would set the table, serve the food, pour drinks and what not. After the first group is done eating, they switch roles. It was a great and fun night!
making pasta dough
2lb flour, 4 eggs, 4 yolks, 1/8c milk, splash of olive oil
pumpkin ricotta ravioli!
3 cheese spinach dip
soft cooked egg, croutons, mushroom bacon, charred green garlic
pumpkin ricotta ravioli, pumpkin whey, butter sage sauce, toasted walnuts
crab and tomato spaghetti
red wine braised short ribs, roasted potatoes, bacon brussels sprouts
Chocolate ganache cake from Thomas Trillion, and strawberry short cake
thanks for coming!
I can finally announce that I am back in Hong Kong! I’ve been hiding the fact that I’ve been back in Hong Kong for 2 days because I wanted to surprise my dad on his birthday (Yesterday, Oct 16th). Because of school and college, It’s been 9 years since I’ve celebrated my dad’s birthday, and therefore I had to make it epic. So my dad was super happy and excited and had a great birthday night.
Here is the dinner from Bellavita.
Bruschetta, Foie gras with blueberry, Langoustine, parma ham
squash + prawn pasta
bistecca alla fiorentina
Happy birthday dad!
So the other reason why I came back is because my grandma has dementia. And therefore, the doc’s said that a change of scenery might help her with her memory issue. It would break her routine and could help trigger her memory senses again. So she’ll be here for at least a month/ if she likes it here she’d might stay at my uncles.
My parents are also super happy that I’m back, but there is an issue. They see this as I’m back for good (as in not leaving HK again), however I don’t think I’m on the same page with them. I am happy to be back and don’t mind staying for a while (a year or so) but I do not want this city (as much as I love it) to be my final destination.
So we shall see where life takes me!
Hello Fig & Olive. This is a really yummy restaurant in the Meatpacking district, NYC.
3 different olive oils.
I think it was cheese something puffs with figs.
Clockwise. lamb chops, seafood paella, mushroom pasta with truffles, and lamb skewers.
I forget what this was.
great food with great friends =D
So My dad and I love to cook. And right before I came back to New York, we decided to cook a meal to celebrate. My dad also loves good food and good Italian food is not that easy to find in Hong Kong.
Arugula with tomatoes, prociutto & peaches. Yum. The occasional sweet peach flavor does go well with the salty prociutto and the tangy balsamic vinegar.
Penne with tomatoes, Olive oil, basil with ground beef. I like this better than the typical ragu sauce. This one is lighter and with fresh tomatoes, so it has a stronger tangy taste to it.
Roasted Potatoes with a rib eye steak. YUM.
Failed souffle =(. Thats all there is too it. =( fail.
We also had Carbonara and salmon steak that night, but none of the pictures came out good. So yeah…haha.