You’re joining me midway through what my wife is referring to as “Fit February.” For her, it’s an effort to increase personal health by eating right, exercising more, and forgoing alcohol in order to save calories and money. For me, it’s an exercise in solidarity. Happy wife, happy life!
To be fair, we have been eating relatively healthy for a little while now. My wife bought me a copy of the Thug Kitchen cookbook, which is a vegan text that approaches food in a simple but hilariously vulgar way. Honestly, I’m fully aware of the fact that I would not have been nearly as receptive to receiving a vegan cookbook as a gift if it didn’t include ingredient measurements like “a shitload” or tell readers to “taste that fucker and adjust spices whatever fucking way you like it.” Finally, people who talk about food the same fucking way I like to.
But the other night, as I planned out meals for the week, I realized that I had to take a night or two off from the vegan stuff. It’s not that I don’t want to “Eat like I give a fuck.” Actually, I think that I do cook and eat like that. It’s just that I also give a fuck about things besides tofu, cauliflower and chickpeas.
Plus I hadn’t made fresh pasta in a while.
I love fresh pasta.
So I pulled out the pasta maker and started poking around for potential ingredients.
Sure, I found some spinach, but I’ve made green noodles in the past. That’s my go-to dough recipe.
I didn’t have any fresh tomatoes, and though i was tempted to use canned, I wasn’t confident that it would turn out as intended. I then remembered that I had picked up a handful of fresh red peppers on my last Safeway trip. BOOM. Done. roasted peppers and garlic, because – let’s face it – garlic makes stuff taste delicious.
So I prepped for roasting… but let’s cover ingredients first:
- 2 red peppers – roasted and skins removed
- 4 cloves of garlic – roasted and peeled
- 3 cups whole wheat flour (King Arthur is the easiest to work with for pasta dough)
- 1 cup white flour (plus a whole bunch more for kneading and rolling
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup warm water
- olive oil
- pinch of salt and pepper
Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Slice the tops off half a clove of garlic (about 4 cloves) and place it in a pocket of tinfoil. pour about a teaspoon of olive oil over the exposed cloves, and wrap the tinfoil tightly around the oil-coated garlic. Rub the slices of pepper with olive oil (this will take 1-2 tbsps) inside and out, and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Place the garlic and pepper slices (skin side down) on the cookie sheet, and roast for 15 minutes. Flip the peppers (to skin side up) and continue roasting for another 15 minutes, until the skins are charred and loose. After the full half hour, remove the pepper slices to a medium bowl, and cover them tightly with plastic wrap for 15 minutes. The steam will loosen the skins and make them super easy to peel, which you should do, because that’s the next step.
Discard the skins and place the flesh of the peppers, a dash (maybe a tsp) of olive oil, and the roasted cloves of garlic (popped from their skins), and a pinch of salt and pepper, in the food processor, and blend it all down until it’s nice and smooth. Technically you should then allow the mixture to cool, but I didn’t, and it turned out fine.
Slowly mix the pepper-sludge into the flour and eggs, adding water by the tablespoon as necessary. I use a Cuisinart with a dough-hook for this whole process, but you can mix it by hand if you want/ need to.
Roll out the dough (again, I use the Cuisinart with the pasta-roller attachment) to your desired thickness, and cut it into your desired shape. Now that I’m thinking about it, this would make for a wonderful ravioli dough as well given the savory hints of garlic and bell pepper in the final product.
Fresh pasta only takes two or three minutes to cook, so watch it closely.
I usually cook half and dry the other half to enjoy later.
I served this pasta with bird balls and my meat sauce, and of course a little parmesan and a pinch of fresh basil and parsley.
Cheers, and enjoy!