What else do you do when you’ve got a hankering for a pasta salad and not a single noodle in the house? Well, make your own, of course.
I’ve been interested in making pasta noodles for a while now but thought I needed some fancy flour, a special rolling pin, and a pasta machine. While that still might be true for some recipes, and a nice rolling pin would be an added bonus, I did come across a super simple recipe for a basic noodle that you can make by hand with ingredients you’ve probably got in the house. This recipe yields a baseball-size amount of dough so feel free to double or triple.
Time commitment: 1 hour Active time: 5 -15 minutes depending on how you cut the noodles
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons water (+/- this amount based on consistency of dough, you don’t want it too dry, but definitely not wet)
- Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl
- Add egg into the center of dry ingredients
- Mix well. Add in water one tablespoon at a time
- Dough should be very stiff
- Knead dough for 3-5 minutes
- Let dough rest for 30 minutes (allows the gluten to relax)
- Roll out dough to desired consistency
- Cut into shape (a pizza cutter works well)
- Pasta can either be dried out and stored or cooked immediately. If cooking immediately, let it dry on the counter for a few minutes while the water comes to a full boil. Pasta will be cooked in approx. 15 minutes.
Adjust the salt quantity and add in some olive oil or other yummies based on your preferences. This basic pasta will adjust beautifully.
This is one of those fabulous dishes that fills everyone up, and in a house full of boys that is a bonus. You’ve got parmesan infused polenta layered with three fabulous cheeses and topped with more parmesan and baked to perfection — it is a fantastic twist on lasagna. And if that isn’t tempting enough, this recipe leaves you with plenty of remaining mascarpone cheese sitting in the fridge just screaming to be made into a tiramisu. (*hint hint*)
This is a very dense entree so I recommend serving it with a nice light salad with a vinaigrette dressing to balance things out a bit.
Time commitment: 2 hrs, 20 minutes Active time: 20 minutes
2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
2 cups water
2 cups polenta (corn meal)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (the stinkier the better)
at least 3 1/2 oz. havarti cheese – sliced
at least 3 1/2 oz. mascarpone cheese 3 1/2 oz.
at least 3 1/2 oz. your preference of crumbled stinky cheese (we use feta, but blue cheese works well)
at least 3 1/2 oz. butter – sliced thinly
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- Brush a loaf pan with oil. Set aside
- Heat the vegetable stock and water in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat until it boils.
- Add in the polenta and stir continuously (sorry about all that stirring but its got to be done) until *very* thick, approx. ten minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese.
- Spread into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth out the surface. You might want to give it a few taps on the counter to get the air pockets out.
- Chill for at least two hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Brush an oven-safe dish with oil.
- Cut the chilled polenta into thin slices – approx. 30
- Place a layer of polenta slices to form a base (you start with a layer of polenta and end with a layer of polenta)
- Top with your cheeses and butter slices.
- Continue layering your polenta and cheeses/butter. Finish with a layer of polenta.
- Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup parmesan cheese along the top layer.
- Bake for 30 minutes in preheated oven, or until a lovely golden crust forms. Serve immediately.