Sunday, May 22, 2011

kale pasta

we put a pasta maker on our wedding registry. It was one of the more expensive things, since our registry was small and primarily composed of small-ticket items. My husband was against the idea, but I'd always wanted to be able to make my own pasta (and we both grew up making noodles by hand, and so we both know from experience how time-consuming that process is!) and he eventually agreed to it. I was totally surprised when some sweet friends of ours bought it for us, and we finally broke it out a couple weekends ago. I'd pulled the dino kale out of the garden that was weak and delicate after our long, cold winter. We blended it up in the food processor, then combined it with the ingredients for egg noodles to make kale pasta.

we kept some of the noodles long (we learned that if you are going to have bits of leaves in your noodles, you should cut WIDE noodles so those little leaves don't cause your very thin noodles to break up and fall apart) and folded some into birds nests. It was so fun to roll pasta together - we are definitely still "beginners" with this thing - and to dry them over chairbacks in the sunlight. I am looking forward to a lot more of this in the summer!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

spring eats

there hasn't been much time for making things lately. At least there's been time for the garden, which we have loaded up with plants that (fingers crossed) could make for a particularly nice yard this year. The table is covered with 5 or 6 tomatoes and 3 pepper plants that can't go out yet, so they're in front of our big picture window in the kitchen, soaking up what sun they can while still protected from the cold. (And it is cold tonight! I could see my breath!)

there have been some spring eats, too. As I've been working to clear out the last of the overwintered vegetables, I found this red mustard never really "filled out"; all of the leaves were like delicate lacey threads. But they didn't taste bad - and as all of the tiny little plants were bolting, I figured, better pull 'em up and make use of them while I could. I peeled all of the leaves off of each of about a half dozen plants and had a beautiful basket of delicate greens, deep burgundy on the top and chartreuse on the reverse. We dressed them with a rhubarb vinagrette and ate them with a friend one night, with some New Zealand lamb sausages and kale rabe. Yes, it's been peas and asparagus pretty much non-stop around here, and I can't wait to go nettle foraging (hopefully this weekend) to finally make nettle ravioli.

but more on pasta in my next post!