Fresh pasta recipes

28 February 2007

from the Cordon Bleu

Homemade Pasta
1.sift 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour onto a work surface. make a large well in the centre with your hand. Add 3 lightly beaten eggs, 1 tsp salt and 1 TBSP olive oil to the well
2.mix the ingredients in the well with your fingertips. incorporate the flour by pulling it into the centre.
3.Continue incorporating the flour, drawing it in from the sides of the wel and using a pastry scraper to mix the dough.
4.Work the ingredients until the egg is absorbed by the flour. The dough should be moist; if sticky, sprinkle over a little more flour.
5.Begin kneading the dough by holding one end and pushing the other away from you witht he palm of your hand. Continue kneading until smooth and elastic, 10 – 15 minutes.
6.Let the dough rest, covered, for up to 1 hour before rolling and cutting.

Add 2 TBSP finely chopped, well-drained cooked spinach to the wet ingredients in the well, and mix thoroughly.

Add 1 TBSP sun-dried tomato paste to the dry ingredients at the same time as the oil and first of the eggs.

Saffron strands, Fresh herbs, Crushed pepper

Paglia e fieno: “straw and hay,” spinach and egg
Pasta all’uovo: the most popular pasta in norhtern Italy, made with eggs.
Pasta Nera: black pasta that gets its colour and unique flavour from squid ink.
Pasta rossa: usually a tomato pasta with an orange tint. Can also be made with a deeper red colour using beets.
Pasta verde: a green pasta made with spinach, but can also include swiss chard or basil.
Tricolore: “three colours” spinach, tomato and egg.

Rolling & Cutting
1.Cut rested dough in half. kep one half covered and flatten the other into a round. Roll the dough into a thin round sheet.
2.Bring the edge of the sheet furthest from you up over the pin and use it to help stretch the sheet, as shown. Turn the sheet 45º and repeat seven times.
3.when paper thin, hang the sheet of dough over a suspended floured broom handle. repeat with the remaining piece of dough. let dry about 15 minutes.

Rolling pasta by machine
1.Cut rested dough into four pieces. Faltten the pieces with your hands to form rectangles, roughly the same width as the machine.
2.feed one piece of dough through the pasta machine, with the rolelrs set at their widest setting. repeat with the remaining pieces.
3.fold each piece of dough into thrids and roll again. Repeat three or four times without folding, reducing the norch width each time. let dry as in step 3 above.

Cutting pasta by hand
1.take one sheet of the dried pasta dough and roll it into a loose but even cylinder. Transfer the cylinder to a board.
2.cut the cylinder crosswise on the diagonal into strips about ½ inch. wide. unroll the strips and dry as in step 3 (below), or as bundles.

Cutting pasta by machine
1.cut the pasta sheet into 12 inch lengths as it passes through the rollers ont he thinnest setting. place the sheets on a floured kitchen towel until all the dough has been rolled.
2.feed each length of dough through the machine set on the desired cut.
3.hang the cut pasta over a floured suspended broom handle or over the back of a chair, or lay them flat on floured kitchen towels. let dry 1 – 2 hours.

Drying pasta
take a few strands and curl them loosely around your hand to make bundles. places side by side on a floured dish. let dry 1 – 2 hours.

put lasagne rectangles or squares side by side on a floured kitchen towel. cover with another floured kitchen towel. let dry 1 – 2 hours.

Stuffed pasta.

1.trim one pasta sheet o a 12 x 24 inch rectangle using a chef’s knife. use the trimmings to make tagliatelle.
2.put 16 rounded teaspoons of filling over half the sheet, making usre that they are evenly spaced.
3.Brush a border around each mound with a little water. this will help the pasta stick together
4.fold ovdr the plain half of the pasta sheet to cover the filling, making sure the edges meet. press between the mounds of filling using the side of your hand to seal the two layers of pasta and exlude any air.
5.dust a fluted metal pastry wheel lightly with flour. cut around the edges of the pasta to neaten them and make them square, then cut around the mounds of filling to make the ravioli shapes. the ravioli between two floured kitchen towels. leave them to dry about 1 hour, trning them halfway through. meanwhile, make another batch of ravioli with the second sheet of pasta, and more filling.

1.make and roll out pasta dough. cut out rounds from the pasta sheets with a floured 3 inch plain ravioli cutter or pastry cutter. keep rounds covered to prevent them drying out. put a small spoonful of filling in the centre of each.
2.using a small brush, dampen the edges of the rounds with a little water. then pick up each round in your hands and fold it in half, carefully pressing the edges of the dough together to form a sealed crescent around the filling.
3.wrap the screscetn around one index finger, turning the sealed edge upward at the same time. pinch the pointed ends firmly together. As you make each one, put the tortellini between two floured kitchen towels while you make the others. Let them dry for about 1 hour.

1.make and roll out pasta dough, then cut the pasta sheets into 4 x 3 inch rectangles. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and half fill a large bowl with cold water. add 1 TBSP oil and 1 tsp salt to the boiling water, then add a few pieces of the pasta. Cook, just until wilted, about 1 minute.
2.remove the pasta very carefully with a spatula and immerse immediately in the bowl of cold water. when cool enough to handle, remove the pasta from the cold water and place in a single layer on a kitchen towel to drain. repeat with the remaining pieces of pasta.
3.Using a piping bag and a large palin tube, add a line fo flling down one long side of each rectangle. alternatively, use carefully placed spoonfuls. Roll the pasta around the filling, keeping the cylinder as even as possible. Put the cylinders seam-side down in a well-buttered baking dish and coat with the sauce of your choice. fresh tomato sauce is a classic with canneloni, so too is bechamel sauce. sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and bake at 400ºF for 20 – 30 minutes.

Potato Gnocchi
1.cook 1 ½ lbs potatoes, in their skins, in boiling salted water fro 20 minutes or until tender. Drain, leave until cool enough to handle but still warm, then peel off their skins.
2.mash the potatoes in a large bowl, then add 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, salt and freshly gorund pepper to taste. mix with a spatula, combining the ingredients evenly to make a dough.
3.Turn the dough onto the work surface and knead with your hands until smooth. Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece into a long sausage shape, about 1 inch in diameter.
4.Cut the lengths of dough crosswise into small pieces. Shape the pieces into oval by rolling them between your fingers. If the dough feels moist and sticky, lightly flour your fingers, but take care not to use too much flour or the gnocchi will become heavy. Mark the shapes iwth a forx, if you like.
5.Working in batches, drop the gnocchi into a pan of boiling unsalted water and cook them until they rise to the surface, 1 – 3 minutes. Cok for a further 20 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon. Serve hot, with melted butter and parmesan.

canederli: from Trentino, are large gnocchi, each containing a prune
gnocchi di riso: a speciality of Reggio Emilia, are made from cooked rice mixed with egs and bread crumbs.
gnocchi di zucca, from Lombardy, are made wtih cooked pumpkin
gnocchi verde, from Emilia-Romagna, are made with spinach, ricotta, paremsan and eggs, added to potato

cooking short pasta
1.bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add salt and 1 TBSP olive oil.
2.Add the pasta all at once, bring the water back to the boil, then start timing.
3.cook, uncovered, at a rolling boil until the pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally.
4.drain the pasta thoroughly in a colander, shaking it vigorously to release all the water. return it to the pan and reheat with 1 – 2 TBSP of butter or olive oil. Or turn it into a warmed serving bowl and toss with sauce.

cooking long pasta
1.bring a large pan of water to the boil. add salt an doil as for short pasta, then take a handful of pasta and dip one end in the water. as the pasta softens, coil until submerged. cook unitl al dente.
2.drain the pasta thoroughly. rinse out the pan then return to the heat and add 1 – 2 TBSP butter or olive oil. Return the cooked pasta to the pan and toss over a high heat until the pasta is glistening.

Cooking Times
fresh pasta, 1 – 3 minutes
fresh stuffed pasta, 3 – 7 minutes
dried pasta noodles, 8 – 15 minutes
dried pasta shapes, 10 – 12 minutes


27 February 2007

Ethiopian Hot Sauce


1 tsp cardamom seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/3 tsp allspice berries
1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 cloves
1/4 of a nutmeg

1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 TB fresh ginger, peeled & chopped
1 C water

14 dried hot red chiles, seeds and stems removed
1 TB cayenne pepper
2 TB paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon, freshly ground

3 TB dry red wine
3 TB vegetable oil

1. toast the cardamom, cumin, coriander, allspice, peppercorns, fenugreek, cloves and nutmeg in a hot skillet, shaking constantly, until the spices gain aroma and start to pop, not more than a coupla minutes.
2. grind the spices to form a fine powder.
3. lend onions, garlic, ginger, and 1/2 C. of water in a blender/processor/mill and puree until smooth.
4. add roasted spice powder, chiles, cayenne, paprika, and cinnamon.
5. continue to blend, and slowly add the remaining water with the wine and oil. blend until smooth.
6. heat the sauce at a simmer for 15 minutes, or until it has reached desired consistency.

will keep for 2 months under refrigeration. Place the sauce in a sanitised jar and cover with a thin layer of oil before refrigerating.

Herbal Soup Stock

26 February 2007

Light, complex Vegan soup-stew-sauce base

*all measurements are highly variable, depending on the size of your hand*

1 small handful flat-leaf parsley
greens from 2 leeks, cleaned
1 tiny handful of tarragon
1 tiny handful of fennel leaves
1 small piece of kombu (bull kelp)
3 laurel (bay) leaves
7 kaffir lime leaves

13 – 14 Cups of water

1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp curry leaves
1 tsp lemon rind
1 TB oolong tea leaves
1 tsp hibiscus flowers

1. bring water with all the ingredients to a boil and simmer for 1/2 hour.
2. strain broth from vegetables, squeezing out as much liquid as possible.

Persian Jewel Rice

25 February 2007

if there’s a food of the Gods…

2 C white basmati rice
1 onion, peeled & sliced thinly
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground saffron in 2TB hot water or milk
1 C finely slivered seville orange peel
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
1/4 C honey
1/4 C vegetable oil
1 C apples, peeled, diced & tossed with seville orange juice (or lime)*
1/2 C dates*
2 TB plain yogurt
1 tsp advieh

2 TB slivered almonds
2 TB slivered pistachios
Rose petals
Pomegranate seeds

* alternative suggestions:
barberries & raisins
lentils & dates
green beans & tomatoes
cabbage & cumin
noodles & dates
dill & fava beans
fresh herbs
celery & mint
butternut squash

1. wash & cook the rice, – boil for 5 minutes & drain excess water.
2. place orange peel, carrot strips, honey in 1 1/2 C water and boil for 10 minutes. Drain reserving the liquid.
3. Heat 1 T B oil over medium heat, and fry the onion until soft. Add dried fruit and stir-fry for 1 minute and remove from heat.
4. Whisk together 4 TB oil 1/4 C water, 2 spatulas of rice, yogurt and 1 TB saffron water and spread the mixture over the bottom of the well-oiled pan.
5. Layer the dish: 2 spatulas of rice, 1/2 tsp advieh, 1 spatula of orange-carrot mixture, heaping layers atop each other in a mound at the centre. Finish with another 1/2 tsp of advieh.
6. Cover & cook for 10 minutes over medium heat.
7. mix 1 C cold water with 4TB oil and reserved orange-carrot liquid. Pour it over the rice with the remaining saffron water. Pour it over the rice, place a dishtowel over the pot & then lid. Reduce heat to low cook 50 minutes.
8. remove from heat, let sit 5 minutes.
9. mound rice alternating with dried fruit.


24 February 2007

Healthy Soup for Winter

“At least if you’ve got borscht, you’ve still got your health.”
– Schlemil the Wiser Guy.
“You can never make the same soup twice.”
– the Great Ladler

an earlier borscht recipe


Soup Stock

10 Cups of Water or what-have-you
accumulated vegetable trimmings, comes to a total of 2 – 3 cups of:
garlic, shallots, dill, thyme, parsley, onion, celery*

additional seasonings
3 bay leaves
1/4 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander (cilantro) seeds

1/4 C olive oil
13 shallots, thinly sliced
1 head of garlic, peeled, separated, and thinly sliced
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 head of red cabbage, chopped
4 beets*, roots sliced or diced, greens shredded
2 turnips*, sliced or diced
2 carrots*, sliced
1 garnet yam, cubed
1 TB apple cider vinegar

Serve with
fresh dill
black bread
sour cream

1. Bring the water to a boil, add the vegetables and seeds, and simmer on low heat for 1/2 to 1 hour.

2. meanwhile, heat the olive oil over low-medium, add the shallots, spreading them evenly and slow-fry them for 15 – 20 minutes, or until just starting to brown, stirring occasionally.

3. add the garlic and fry for another 5 minutes.

4. add paprika, salt and all the vegetables. Sprinkle with apple cider vinegar and stir, mixing well and coating all the vegetables with the reduced oil, shallots and garlic.

5. Pour broth onto vegetable mixture through a sieve, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

6. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Add beet greens and leave on low heat for 1 hour or so.

*these vegetables were harvested from a garden, the tops were removed, and replanted. The supposition is that if one eats a soup of vegetables that continue to live and grow, it will envigour the spirit.

+all of the vegetables were grown organically and harvested locally.

Mayan Astro-numberology

24 February 2007

Synchonicity, Serendipity, Resonance and Cycles

from How to Practice Mayan Astrology by Bruce Scofield and Barry C. Orr


“In many ancient cosmological systems, the four directions typically for the cornerstones of the known universe, and they plan an important role in religious ritual as well. The link to astrology has to do with the fact that the sun’s daily and annual motion defines the four directions.”

“In Mesoamerican astrology, each of the twenty day signs is linked with one of the four directions in a consistent order: first day – east; second day – north; third day – west; fourth day – south.”

Ch 1 – The Sun and the Daysigns

“”…the Maya had the term kin as a reference to the sun, the day, and to time itself.”

Ch 2 – The Moon and the Trecena

[n.b. trecena = Spanish for the 13-day period]

“In one day the moon’s position relative to the background stars moves as far as the sun’s in thirteen days. It takes the moon twenty-seven to twenty-eight days to pass through the 360 degrees of the zodiac. At that rate, it covers about thirteen degrees of the zodiac in one day.”

“Ancient codices and inscriptions indicated that each of the twenty thirteen-day periods had a specific meaning that was generated by the named solar day (the day-sign) that began the period.”

Ch 3 – The Lords of Night

“A constantly repeating cycle of nine deities was recorded on many Mayan inscriptions and in nearly all the astrological codices. They are commonly called the Lords of Night, or in Mayan Bolon ti ku, which translates as “nine of them.” These ruling deities were gods of the underworld…”

[n.b. see The Nine Lords of Xibalba from Part 2, Chapter 1 of the Popol Vuh. The Nine Lords of Night are commonly designated as G-1 through G-9]

“August 11, 3114 BC, the first day of the Long Count.”

“…G-9 occurs on all tun endings, a tun being a 360-day period that is evenly divided by the number 9. The 260-day count is not evenly divided by 9; in fact, a full nine cycles of the tzolkin must run before the same Lord of Night comes up on the last day.”

9 x 260 = 2,340 Days
2,340 = 20 x 117 Days ~ synodic cycle of Mercury
117 = 9 x 13 Days
2,340 = 13 x 180 Days = 9 x 20

“…these mathematical correlations show how complex the inner workings of Mayan astro-numerology can be, and also how central the role of nine is…”

“The calendar round of fifty-two years or seventy-three tzolkin amounts to 18, 980 days.”

“This cycle of nine fifty-two-year rounds, or 468-years, is the basis of the nine ‘hells’ that supposedly began in 1519, the year Cortes arrived in Mexico…”

Ch 4 – The Years and the Year Bearers

“In ancient Mesoamerica, each solar year was given a name and was thought to have its own distinct qualities”

“Most Mayan calendars named each year for the day sign on which it began.”

“In one 365-day solar year, the twenty day-signs cycle eighteen times, with five days left over. This rotation mens that every year is named for a sign five places ahead of the previous year’s sign in the twenty-day count, and only four sings are utilized in this rotation. After four years, the first of the four signs again falls on the day that begins the new year (4 x 5 = 20). These four signs are called yearbearers…”

“Today’s Quiche Maya..use… – Caban (East), Ik (Noorth), Manik (West), and Eb (South).”

“…because the year was a quarter-day loner than 365 days, the first day of the new year gradually moved ahead of the seasons. One custom in ancient Mesoamerica was to establish the year’s beginning around a solstice or equinox and then make a full twenty day adjustment, like a leap year, every eighty-three years.”

“It appears that the Maya delineated a four-year cycle”

“…every four years, Earth, Venus, and the Sun align in similar ways on the same day of the year.”

Ch 5 – The Planet Venus

“next to the sun, Venus was the most important astronomical body to the mayan and other Mesoamerican cultures.”

“…Venus in this tradition is male.”

“[a link has been made between the deity associated with Venus, Kukulkan], and the notion of civilization itself, addressing both society’s creation as well s as destruction.”

“…Mesoamerican astrologers divided the synodic cycle of Venus into four primary parts: inferior conjunction, morning star, superior conjunction, and evening star. They began Venus’s 584-day cycle with a brief inferior conjunction, specifically with the first appearance of Venus after this invisible event”

“The inferior conjunction is quite brief… The Dresden Codex is labels this phase as North.”

“Astronomically, the approximate observalbe length of each phase is as follows: eight days for inferior conjunction…; 263 days as morning star…; 50 days for superior conjunction….; 263 as evening star.”

“The Maya…used periods that were more in phase with the lunar cycle.”

“the authors have chosen…: 8 days… 236 days… 90 days… and 250 days.”

Ch 6 Putting it Together: Individual Mayan Charts

Ch 7 The Burner Days

“The Ancient Maya kept track of a sixty-five-day rhythm.”

“The 260-day astrological calendar was traditionally divided into four sixty-five-day periods with four key day-signs standing at the boundaries of these periods.”

“The four burner dates in the 260-day astrological calendar are…. 4-Oc, 4-men, 4-Ahau, 4-Chicchan.”

“…compare this rhythm to the…semi-cardinal points in the solar calendar year… [as named by the Celts] Lammas, Beltane, Candlemas and Samhain.”

Ch 8 – The Cycle of the Thirteen Katuns

13 katuns = 260 tuns (short count)
1 tun = 360 days

“Any given katun in the cycle was always followed by a katun that was numbered two less.”

11-Ahau, 9-Ahau, 7-Ahau…2-Ahau, 13-Ahau

Ch 9 – Dispelling Myths about the Mayan Calendar

August 11 3114 BC to December 21 2012 = 5, 125.37 years = 1, 872, 000 days

“The interval of time between one of the sun’s intersections with the path of the moon adn its return to the same intersection = 346.62 days.”

346.62 x 3 = 260 x 4 (approximately)

“the synodic cycle of Mars is 780 days = 3 x 260.”

“Twenty synodic cycles of Mercury is equivalent to nine cycles of 260 days, or, 2,340 days.”

“Four synodic cycles of Venus equals nine cycles of 260-days.”

“[The] seven day week, a quarter of the lunar cycle, is actually an astrological remnant of the pre-Christian near East. In that tradition, the day itself and also the planetary hours (divisions of the day) were thought to have an astrological quality. Seven planetary rulerships were believed to cycle during each 24 hour period and the hour that began each day at dawn gave its planetary name to that day.”

Ch 10 – A Mayan Planetary Horoscope

“Using a listing of planetary conjunctions (including the moon’s) with the sun, one can determine the number of days that have elapsed since the previous conjunction of each planet with the sun. The figure can then be divided by the synodic period of each planet. next, the decimal can be multiplied by 260 to arrive at the position of the planet with in the 260-degree Mesoamerican Grid.”

“Example: the synodic cycle of sun and moon is 29.5 days. Suppose an event…occurred five days after the new moon. Dividing 5 by 29.5 gives us 0.169. When this figure is multiplied by 260, the result is 44, or the day-sign within the tzolkin that corresponds to that portion of the synodic cycle. This same process can be done for all the other planets [the synodic periods measured to one decimal place.]”

Appendix – Almanac 1920 – 2020.

The Nine Lords of Xibalba

24 February 2007

Part II Chapter 1 of the Popol Vuh

All of them held a council. Those called Hun-Camé and Vucub-Camé were the supreme judges. All the lords had been assigned their duties. Each one was given his own authority by Hun-Camé and Vucub-Camé.

They were, then, Xiquiripat and Cuchumaquic lords of these names. They were the two who caused the shedding of blood of the men.

Others were called Ahalpuh and Ahalganá, also lords. And their work was to make men swell and make pus gush forth from their legs and stain their faces yellow, what is called Chuganal. Such was the work of Ahalpuh and Ahalganá.

Others were Lord Chamiabac and Lord Chamiaholom, constables of Xibalba whose staffs were of bone. Their work was to make men waste away until they were nothing but skin and bone and they died, and they carried them With their stomach and bones stretched out. This was the work of Chamiabac and Chamiaholom, as they were called.

Others were called Lord Ahalmez and Lord Ahaltocob; their work was to bring disaster upon men, as they were going home, or in front of it, and they would be found wounded, stretched out, face up, on the ground, dead. This was the work of Ahalmez and Ahaltocob, as they were called.

Immediately after them were other lords named Xic and Patán whose work it was to cause men to die on the road, which is called sudden death, making blood to rush to their mouths until they died vomiting blood. The work of each one of these lords was to seize upon them, squeeze their throats and chests, so that the men died on the road, making the blood rush to their throats when they were walking. This was the work of Xic and Patán.