I've had the hankering to make a flavored pasta for a while. I've made sesame flavored noodles and really awesome peanut flavored noodles before, but I wanted to make a more traditional, Italian variety. Like spinach or something. I had a jar of roasted red bell peppers in the pantry, so I figured I'd give it a try.
I found a recipe that was pretty vague, but it was a good starting point as I've made a lot of homemade pasta in the past. I figured I'd be able to pull it off.
Turns out it worked great and I was honestly kind of surprised how well they turned out.
Homemade Roasted Red Bell Pepper Flavored Pasta
12 oz jar of roasted red bell peppers
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour (plus ~1 additional cup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Chicken breasts (optional)
You can roast and peel your own peppers, and I'm sure it would be better but this worked really well for me so I don't know that the extra effort is necessary.
Just drain the peppers and make sure there aren't any seeds in there.
A blender will work best for this but a food processor will work too, I imagine.
I just got a stick blender, so I used it. My daughter got to help too.
Add your spices, 1/4 teaspoon of each. You can really use anything you want at this point. I just like basil and thyme together.
Add your 1/2 teaspoon salt and teaspoon of olive oil.
Drop in the eggs.
Process the eggs until just incorporated, try not to over-blend them.
I had just over 1.5 cups of liquid for my pasta.
I began with 400 grams of flour (about 2 ¾ cups).
I also used my stand mixer for this because I had my son strapped to me this whole time. Kneading pasta dough with an infant on you is nearly impossible.
Add the flour to your work bowl.
Pour in the liquid.
Get excited at how awesome it smells.
Start mixing. Slowly.
Mix until everything is incorporated.
Mine was WAY too sticky.
I switched to the hook and added 1/4 to half cup of flour at a time.
Mix mix mix.
Still too sticky. Have patience.
Finally looks good. I think I used around 3/4 cup of additional flour (on top of the 400 g I starteed with) but I'm sure it'll vary for person to person. Some eggs are larger than others, flour is different, etc. Just be patient and let the flour absorb between adding doses.
Time to knead.
I let this go in the mixer for 10 minutes, repositioning the dough as it traveled in the mixing bowl.
When it's finished, it'll be smooth and stretchy.
Turn out on to a floured surface and cover for 20 minutes to rest.
This was the exact amount of time my son slept.
When you're ready to roll the dough, cut it in half.
This makes almost exactly two pounds of dough. One pound is enough for two people and a toddler.
Store the other half in a ziplock bag for another meal later. You can freeze it too.
Ok, so this dough isn't exactly like other pasta doughs I've made. It seemed more fluffy. Like it was just thicker overall.
Just roll it out as thin as you can. It's definitely more fragile than regular dough too. Be as careful as you can and flour it a lot.
I got it as thin as I could.
Fold it over on itself. Make sure you flour the crap out of it. It'll stick to itself VERY easily.
Flour and fold again.
Flour and fold again.
Please excuse the blurriness of the pictures. My son made it very difficult to hold still for some of these.
|Proof you can make pasta with a a 3 month old on you.|
Cut the pasta into workable pieces (remove your child for this part).
Cut into strips.
Unfurl the pasta and lay it on a sheet pan to dry a bit.
I decided at the last minute to make some chicken for the pasta.
Very simple here. Just salt and pepper on some de-thawed breasts from the freezer.
Go ahead and get a pot of water on the boil for the pasta.
Cook in a pan until done.
|Simple and delicious.|
Slice after you let is rest a bit.
Meanwhile, get your oil and butter in a large pan.
Add your onions and season with some salt and pepper.
Cook the onions about 10 minutes over medium heat until they start to brown around the edges.
Toss the pasta in the water. Make sure it's salted.
Add the garlic to the onions and drop the heat to low.
Once your pasta is done (took me about 5 minutes)...
Scoop the noodles into the waiting pan.
Give everything a good stir. You may want to add a half ladle of pasta water to loosen things up. It helps make a nice sauce.
Finally, serve the chicken over top if you choose to. I really thought it didn't even need the addition, but the protein is nice.
Overall, the noodles were awesome. The red pepper flavor actually came out very well. I was surprised at how well it worked as a dish. The onions and garlic paired really well and complimented the sweetness of the pasta.
Sure, it was a little bit more work than making regular pasta, and it sure is more work than just buying some flavored pasta, but we had a lot of fun making the meal as a family so I think that the extra effort is worth it.
Either way, it was a super tasty meal and I'd have been happy to pay for this in a restaurant.