Friday, October 21, 2011

Titania Pasta Maker

I have been putting off getting a pasta maker for years. The ones that I have found were big, bulky and expensive. And pasta is cheap, so why bother?

Well, I tried homemade noodles a couple of months ago. I have pledged to reduce my purchases of corporate products and non-corporate pasta is expensive! -- but tastes SO GOOD!! So instead of paying $6 for a bag of egg noodles, I just made them myself. My family declared that only homemade noodles would suffice from that day on.

Which is great except for the fact that they are really time consuming when you are cutting all the pasta into strips with a knife.

So a couple of weeks ago, I was in a store looking for a smaller stock pot for canning just a few jars at a time, and instead found a compact pasta maker for $35. It impressed me enough that I bought it without even researching it first. It ended up being probably the most perfect pasta maker I could have gotten.

It is Titania from Imperia. The reviews I eventually read indicated that it was an authentic Italian pasta maker - the one that an Italian household would most likely be using.The pasta is easy to make. It is just flour, eggs, a little salt, and oil. I don't even measure. The consistency should be like bread dough when it is all mixed and kneaded thoroughly.
Now a lot of the reviews complained that the maker took more than two hands to operate. I was able to work the machine without clamping it to anything and while holding the video camera under my chin. And all the while I had three dogs dancing around my feet looking for fallen pasta scraps. I think those facts illustrate the actual ease of use of this pasta maker. I did not let the dough rest. I just rolled a ball of the dough in a little flour before trying to roll it through. You do have to start on a wide setting and work your way down to a thinner setting or your dough will shred and it is much harder to get it through the rollers if you skip too many widths.
I used the noodles I made in the video in this vegetable and chicken broth soup. Celery, carrots, kohlrabi, sweet onion, sauteed with olive oil, and seasoned with a little ginger. A couple chicken bouillon cubes, water and the cooked noodles. It was delicious!

And the noodles from start to finish probably took less time to make and cook than it would have taken store-bought dried noodles to cook. With homemade noodles this fast and easy, I don't think it will be hard at all meeting my family's declaration!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Ginger Garlic Wonton Packages

I had some interesting wontons from the local food co-op and knew I had to try to make my own.

Mine were better!

  • 1 head nappa cabbage, shredded
  • 1 bulb garlic, minced or put through a press
  • 2 TBS fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 scallions, chopped - use white and green parts
  • 1/8 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 package wonton wrappers
  • 2 cups peanut oil
I threw the first five ingredients into my electric chopper to get it into a fine slaw.

Spoon into wonton wrappers.

Fold the corners to the middle like an envelope and seal together with water. I found that wetting my hands slightly before handling the wrappers helped a lot.

Fry in peanut oil on medium high heat. You want them to cook quickly but not burn.

Serve on their own as they are really flavorful, or you could serve with sweet pepper dipping sauce.

These were easy and quick to make, and DELICIOUS!!