Pasta Dough Revisited

No pictures. No real recipe. Just a short discussion about making fresh pasta.

We make fresh pasta a lot. At least once a week. Sometimes more. And, we’ve been doing this for years. That’s a lot of pasta. So, we think we know a little bit about making pasta from scratch. Not everything, but something. In particular, we’ve learned the exact amount of water you need to add to flour to make perfectly supple pasta dough. Perfect. Every. Single. Time. Who doesn’t want that?

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Cherry Mostarda

cherry mostarda
Cherry MOstarda with goat cheese
Wow! Cherry Mostarda is really good!

It’s cherry season, and, while we love fresh cherries, we also like to see what we can make from them. Sure, there’s a lot of desserts made with cherries, but what about something savory? Today, we decided that we’d try making some cherry mostarda. Now, we don’t know about you, but we’ve never even tasted this Italian condiment, so we figured we’d scratch up a small batch for testing purposes. Sound interesting? We’ll show you what we did.

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Squash Blossom and Pistachio Tartlets

squash blossom tartlet
squash blossom tartlet
Easier than you might think!

We wracked our brains trying to figure out a use for the squash blossoms we picked up from our CSA. We know they don’t last, so we figured we’d use them that night. We also knew we’d probably get between 8 and 10, so it wasn’t as if we’d have enough for anything large, such as a soup. Then we remembered that we had a small piece of Pâte Brisée sitting in the refrigerator (we’d made a Strawberry Balsamic Pie and had leftover crust), so, if we could use it at the same time, so much the better. By thinking about it on the way home, we had a plan by the time we got there. See if you like it.

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Sometimes It’s a Light Share

weekly CSA share
This week’s share seems smaller than usual, but that’s just how CSAs work.

With the season moving from winter to spring to summer, the produce in our shares changes accordingly. When we’re starting a transition, there are times when our share is smaller than we might like. But, that’s okay with us; we know there are ups and downs in the types, amounts, and quality of produce. That’s the nature of farming, and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Our share:

  • Yellow Taxi tomatoes (4)
  • French Breakfast radishes (1 bunch) — we left the tops for the worms
  • Yellow Crookneck squash (4)
  • Red potatoes (4)
  • Blooming onion (1)
  • Arugula (1 bag)
  • Diva cucumber (1)
  • Squash blossoms (1 bag)

Zucchini Citrus Salad

Zucchini Citrus Salad
Zucchini Citrus Salad
The pistachios with their creamy texture are perfect!

It’s that time of year again. Time to break out the Zucchini Files. Being members of a CSA means we get a lot of what grows well, and nothing grows better than zucchini squash. So, over the years, we’ve searched high and low for recipes which use that prolific vegetable, and presented them to you fellow scratcher. This summer, we’re starting with a recipe of our own invention: Zucchini Citrus Salad. Keep reading, and you might just find a new way to use up a few zucchini squash this summer.

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Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce

oven roasted tomato sauce with pasta
oven roasted tomato sauce with pasta
Best and easiest tomato sauce ever!

We’ve known about this recipe for years, and, all that time, we’ve wanted to make it. So, what stopped us? Simply a lack of ingredients. We just didn’t have all the ingredients; specifically, we were lacking fennel. Normally, when we get fennel, we make up a small batch of Fennel Gratin, which we think is nearly the best way to eat fennel, but, last week when we went through the line at the CSA, we selected a nice large fennel with the idea of making Thomas Keller’s Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce.

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Fennel Oil

tomato soup with fennel oil
tomato soup with fennel oil
These bright-colored herb-infused oils add something extra to ordinary meals!

Yesterday, we mentioned that we had our Primavera Risotto with Fennel Oil, and that the fennel oil was really an optional ingredient. Oils like this are really there for the color and show; they don’t add too much flavor, but, we do make them from time to time, mainly when we have some herb in abundance. So, this past week, when we picked up a huge fennel bulb with fronds attached, we knew fennel oil was going to be in the works.

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