WFP: simpler and closer

Last night we experimented with the pasta maker. So. much. fun. My sister came to help- it was a pasta party! I don’t see myself buying pasta again, unless I really want it in a certain shape or something. It was hardly any work at all. I’m excited to experiment with sprouted flour (I’m still figuring out my source), and also to create some easy freezer meals like ravioli and peirogies. Fun!

Super simple to make, just some eggs and flour and a dash of salt, run through my food processor. I kneaded it a couple of times and molded it together.

Then I split it into manageable sections and ran it through the machine’s flattener slot (I believe that’s the technical term for it…), making sure that the dough was dusted in flour on both sides so it didn’t stick.

Vera was very helpful. For some reason my sister and I thought it was too much work to attach the clamp to my strange counter top, although looking back we just should have- or we could have used the table. So we had one person stabilize the thing while we cranked it through. Silly.

Then we sent it through the noodle making slot, and voila! There’s a slot for this wider kind of noodle, and also a spaghetti sized one. And I could always hand cut them too, but the machine is so much fun. Then we tossed them in a little flour so they wouldn’t clump together, and set them aside until Jeff got home.

Unfortunately, that’s when disaster struck. Somehow I managed to break a mason jar right over the top of the pasta bowl. I don’t even know how it happened. My sister and I went to work picking off pieces of glass and trying to salvage the pasta (our first precious noodles!). Thankfully, Jeff came home and looked at us like we were crazy. He told us that it wasn’t worth it and got to work making more. Smart guy, eh? I was bummed, but in retrospect I’m glad that we didn’t ingest shards of glass…

He and my sister threw together some more, this time using the clamp attachment- which made the process way faster (seriously, we can probably bust out some homemade noodles in about 3 minutes), and I made the sauce.

It was just a simple creamy sauce with parmesan and veggies. So simple, and so so delicious. 

I also added some parsley out of the garden, along with some volunteer greens- purslane and lamb’s quarters. It’s much more fun to weed when it all goes right in your dinner!

Dinner. So simple, so fast, really really good. My sister raved the whole time about how it was the best pasta, and while I don’t know if it was the BEST I’d ever had, it definitely had a much better quality than store-bought stuff. I’m sad I didn’t take a picture of the salad (also straight out of the back yard), it was beautiful- speckled romaine, baby spinach, arugula, all sprinkled with pansy flowers… 

Dessert. Simple- local strawberries and rhubarb chopped and put in a dish with a sprinkling of cornstarch and sugar.

I topped it with this soaked oat mixture- not a classic crumble topping, but I’ve been trying to limit the amount of grains that we eat that aren’t soaked. So this is what I tried. It’s just soaked oats mixed with a little sugar, sunflower seeds, an egg white, and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. 

Total success.

After dinner we were talking about what could make a meal that was so fast and so simple seem so much better. My theory? The closer you are to what sustains you, the better. I mean, on an obvious level, the quality of the food can be better when you know where it comes from. No chemicals, it’s fresher, you’re supporting other local people, etc. But on a philosophical/spiritual level? I just keep finding that if I bring more of this stuff home, so-to-speak, it feeds me in more than just a physical sense. I’m more connected to the process, more connected to the people, more connected to my own needs. A lot of the joy that came from this meal was something that couldn’t really be placed, but is an energy that I think is missing in our modern way of eating. I’m still learning about it, but this was a meal that definitely brought out those feelings- simple, healthy, nourishing, honest, loving, fruitful, yummy…

Gracie
Gracie

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Comments (25)

  1. pagangoat

    Awesome. I can’t wait to try my own, although I’m not even sure if Kris brought the pasta maker when he came down…last I heard, they couldn’t find the crank:( Hopefully they eventually did, or we can figure something else out.
    Strawberries and rhubarb is one of my favourite combos, that looks delicious:)
    Sounds like the perfect meal!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Ooh, definitely post about your pasta stuff. I guess you could always make it by hand, but the machine was so fun! 🙂

      Reply
      1. pagangoat

        🙁 My dad couldn’t find the handle, so Kris didn’t bring the pasta maker. I’m sure we could rig a replacement, honestly! I guess I’ll have to wait for his next trip up to the island. Whenever I do get it, I will be posting about it, for sure.
        I could make it by hand, but probably won’t…I think I’ll stick with more sourdough experimenting this week:)

        Reply
  2. impeccablyme

    So, this might be a stupid question, but when you make fresh pasta like that, do you still boil it to cook it? It seems like it would become a soggy clumpy mess?

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Yep, you boil it for just a couple of minutes! It cooks way faster than dried pasta.

      Reply
  3. poppleshatesyou

    The pasta maker looks awesome!!! A pasta maker is totally something i’ve been keeping my eye out for, i want one sooo badly! Fresh pasta is sooo delicious! Also, Jeff is a smart cookie, glass shards pasta sounds like a terrible idea!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Universe! Send Popples a pasta maker!

      It’s gonna work. I’m tellin you.

      Reply
      1. poppleshatesyou

        Yes please Universe! Please send me a pasta maker!

        Reply
  4. brigittefires

    Hey ladyface! When you get the chance (if you haven’t already) can you do a write-up of how to wash hair with baking soda and vinegar? Or link me to an awesome one? I swear I had it but I can’t seem to find it.

    Reply
    1. brigittefires

      Also, that sounds awesome. Just as fast as making dried pasta, tastier, and more nourishing.

      Your food looks soooooo good.

      Reply
    2. purerandomness

      Google ‘babyslime’and ‘no-poo’.

      Reply
      1. brigittefires

        found it, thanks both of you!

        Reply
  5. decemberthirty

    Your pasta dinner looks delicious! I think I’m going ask the universe if I can be next in line for a pasta machine. 🙂

    I’m intrigued by your comment about limiting consumption of unsoaked grains. Are there health reasons for this? It’s not something I’ve heard of before.

    Reply
    1. brigittefires

      seconding request for info. I’ve heard of it before, but not done any research yet.

      Reply
      1. Gracie (Post author)

        I’ll do a post about it soon. I probably should so that I can link to it every time I do sourdough stuff or anything with grains. Thanks for the motivation!

        Reply
    2. Gracie (Post author)

      Yay! Let me know when the universe provides. 🙂

      In answer to your question- yes, there are big health reasons for it! Basically, back in the day people never consumed grains the way that we do now. They always soaked, sprouted, or fermented their grains before consumption. This is because there’s phytic acid present in the bran (this also applies to nuts and legumes and seeds as well) and it prevents the absorption of nutrients. There’s also enzyme inhibitors which inhibit proper digestion and can really do long-term damage. Humans just don’t really have the stomachs for it! However, when you soak grains it activates both the phytic acid and the enzyme inhibitors and it breaks most of them down. Soaking also increases vitamin content (specifically B vitamins- which I guess most people are lacking in) and makes grains easier to digest. So basically, when we modernized our way of eating and started processing these grains and taking short cuts, we really did damage to our digestive systems. Some of the worst things are stuff like breakfast cereals- the processing of those actually create toxins. Oh but anyway, sprouting is good too because it begins the germination process, which changes the chemistry to be more favorable (it deactivates the enzyme inhibitors).

      Anyway, that’s the short version! haha.

      Reply
      1. decemberthirty

        Thanks for the information. This is something that I really don’t know anything about–I’ll have to work on learning more!

        Reply
  6. 3squares_a_day

    Beautiful food! I love your posts.

    Reply
  7. ladyfaith3

    Oh it looks wonderful! YUMMY!! If I hadn’t just had dinner I’d be really hungry! I love that V* got to help that’s always fun

    Reply
  8. pearlstreetdiva

    are there different settings for width of the pasta? i’ve made it by hand and cut with a pizza slicer but some were really thick. i was totally thinking it was gonna be spaghetti noodle pasta and then you’d hang it to dry! very neat indeed…

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      I’m planning on using the spaghetti setting soon. Basically on the machine there’s three slots (one to just flatten it all out, one that’s for wider noodles, and one for spaghetti noodles), and you just attach a crank to whichever one you want to turn. I could dry it out, but it’s so easy to make fresh!

      Reply
  9. jamievulva

    I can’t tell you how many times I have wanted to make my own pasta, but I don’t have the right equipment. Color me JeAlOuS!

    Reply
  10. jess3686

    hello, I just thought I would ‘de-lurk’ myself and let you know I’ve been reading your wednesday food posts for a while now after I happened upon your blog through chelsea (nashifeet). I’m a grad student in Ypsi and it’s amazing to see all you’ve done in your backyard! I really enjoy your food posts and I’ve learned so much from them.
    -jessica

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Ooh, a fellow Ypsilantian! (is that what we call ourselves?). Happy to meet you. I’m glad that you like my food posts- I’m really just experimenting and recording my progress. It’s nice to know that I’m not boring people! 🙂

      Reply

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