23 November 2006

Home Making


Before I got serious in cooking/baking and was basically just pottering around the kitchen haphazardly in the hopes of creating something beautiful and miraculously tasty as well, I never thought that certain foods were possible to make from scratch, at home.

Puff pastry is one of them, though it's more because I tried it before and my croissant dreams turned into a gloppy mess of oily dough. I don't think I have to elaborate on what became of my 'croissant' even though it was tasty. Plenty of oil combined with soothing carbs, plus a not so discriminate palate, made for a very sinful and happy snack.

Then of course there was ice-cream that in my mind was the product of many little elves working till late at night to tunes from Disney, in some all white factory just to produce those little pints of heaven. That was until S introduced me to her home-made ice cream.

Now, there's pasta. After my failure at making ravioli for my girlfriends (yes daffy, what were you thinking making ravioli for the first time for a party?!), I was determined never to attempt home-made pasta again. It seemed impossible. My dough was thick, and it all stuck to the baking paper, making it impossible to peel off and cook without having the filling of chestnuts and charsiew spill out all over the place. I was so ashamed I wanted to drill a hole in my floor and jump through it into my neighbours' house to cry.

But I had read about so many other floggers who have attempted home-made pasta and succeeded. So why couldn't I? Could the secret be in their flour? Their eggs? Their hands? Or their PASTA MACHINE?? Determined, I trooped down to Sia Huat to get one. Guess what, the one I saw was SGD$2000 and they ran out of manual hand-cranking pasta machines. But then off to Lau Choy Seng, their slightly shabby looking neighbour and purchased a decent looking all steel beauty at a far lower price.

Last weekend, I used it and after a little muddling around, managed to churn out some decent looking raviolis, fettucine and vermicelli. For lunch today with my mum, I just sauteed onions and garlic, added a can of peeled tomatoes (chopped up), soaked porcini mushrooms, sugar and salt, to create a flavourful tomato based sauce. Served with the home-made pasta and garnished with fresh torn basil, it made for a fantastic lunch.

My only gripe is how the home-made, dried then frozen pasta, when boiled remains in clumps in certain parts. Or was I not supposed to freeze it? *gasp*



9 comments:

Christine said...

Hi there, just wanted to leave a note to say I really like your website! It could be that I'm a Singaporean student in the UK too so the food you cook is just the right combination of SE Asian and Western cuisine that I like, and it all looks really yummy! Good work! :)

S said...

Freeze the dough without rolling/cutting it. Only roll and cut when you want to use it. And make sure that you lay the pasta out in a single layer as far as possible :)

Anonymous said...

Christine>Hiya! Thank you for the note, and I'm glad you're enjoying some of the ideas from the blog =) Do leave a note to let me know now and then how you're doing or if you think any recipe needs tweaking =)

S>Thank you! That makes more sense, I will have to let the dough defrost before rolling yeah?

nonchann said...

looks really interesting!! so how much did you get your pasta making machine for? Is it a manual hand cranking one?

Anonymous said...

N>Yes it is a manual hand cranking one and it's really not very expensive. It is SGD$63. =)

S said...

yes, defrost in the fridge.

BTW which recipe did you use? I've been going through Jamie Oliver's first book quite closely due to a, uhm, certain project I'm working on which has a deadline that is closing in on me. His beetroot pasta recipe is calling out to me. I think it has something to do with the florid colour of it all...

Anonymous said...

I had actually followed a recipe that A put up on his blog, by a Paul Bertolli (?, I forget his name) - 280g+2 eggs+1 tbspn cold water. But I had to add a ton more water to make it even pliable somehow. I think I saw beetroot pasta made in Delicious Days before. Now you're tempting me!

Anonymous said...

daffy! wala again on friday?and i like the look of that pasta!

Anonymous said...

Who is this? Lionel? Jen? Rox? Which one of my wala wala kakis are you? =) And no, I can't make this Friday, I've got a dinner to attend =)