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Once you go fresh

Once you go fresh, it’s hard to go back to boxed pasta. Making your own pasta takes some time, but I do believe it is worth every crank on the pasta machine. It’s always easier to grab the box of pasta, however, every once in a blue moon I’ll take the time to crank it with tender loving care.

The main difference of fresh pasta and boxed pasta is the ingredients. Fresh Pasta contains eggs and flour, whereas Boxed Pasta is water and flour. Another difference is of course the texture. Fresh pasta is more delicate than boxed pasta. I find boxed pasta a bit firmer.

Making the pasta is quite simple. It just requires a bit of love and attention.

Ingredients:

300g all-purpose flour (or a mix of semolina and flour)

3 large eggs

Directions:

Place the flour on a pastry board.

Make a well in the centre and crack the eggs. Be sure that the well is deep enough or you’ll have eggs spilling out.

Beat the eggs with a fork until it is nice and smooth.

Now it’s time to get a bit messy. Have your hair tied back and roll up those sleeves. Using the tips of your fingers, start working the eggs with the flour. Gradually incorporating until it is combined.

Knead the dough with some love, and some attention till it is one large smooth lump. Kneading is essential as this will help develop the gluten in the dough. You want the gluten to develop so that it’ll produce a springy and al dente texture.

Knead. Remember stretch with heel of hand, fold, and rotated, repeat.

Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes. Divide the dough into 3 pieces.

Roll out a piece of the dough on a lightly floured surface. Dust with flour.

Feed through on the widest setting of the pasta machine. (Usually setting #7). Fold it in half and feed again. Repeat for 3 more times.

Set the machine to the next narrowest setting. Run the dough through, without folding first. On the next few times, make sure to fold the dough.

Keep running the dough through the machine until you get to the setting thickness you desire.

When you get to the thickness you desire, cut the pasta the way you prefer. May it be angel hair, fettuccine, or ravioli

Using a rack, hang the dough to dry until leathery. This will take about 15 to 20 minutes.

It’s ready! Use it right away, or cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for up to 1 hour or refrigerate in airtight container for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 2 months

Previously posted. My updated recipe

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Keep me posted with your experiences in the kitchen!

xo Niki

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The Perfect Summer Flavour: Mango Salsa

It’s that time of the year again.. When the “King of Fruits” start to ripen and hit the our fruit stands. I love mangoes. They are rich, fragrant and deliciously sweet.

Last week I decided to buy a box of mangoes from Whole Foods. At only $15 a case.. I had to. Because of the sweet flavor, mangoes are great for Fresh Mango Pudding, Mango Mousse, Mango Juice, Mango Ice Cream… to name a few. Mangoes can also be used in savoury dishes. The exotic flavour can liven up the taste in a dish.

I decided to make a mango salsa because of its’ simplicity and its’ delicious flavour. It’s a perfect addition with seafood and poultry dishes. Give it a try!

Ingredients
1 mango, diced
1 tbsp red onion
1 bird’s eye chili (de-seeded and diced) Or use a jalapeno
1 tbsp lime juice
a handful of cilantro, slightly chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Mix all the ingredients together. Cover and set in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Serve this with fish, scallops, prawns, duck, chicken or even use it as a dip.

Below is the mango salsa served with duck breast. Curious how to make the duck breast? Follow the link!
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I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Keep me posted with your experiences in the kitchen!

xo Niki

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Savoury Blueberry Sauce for Meat

As promised… the savoury blueberry sauce I made for my duck breast. This sauce will work well on duck, pork, chicken, buffalo, venison, lamb and even beef. Practically every cut of meat! It’s really simple. After you cook your meat of choice and while it is resting, prepare the sauce.

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Ingredients
1 shallot, peeled and minced
1/2 cup Fresh Blueberries (frozen is good too, but I love using fresh ingredients when available)
1/4 cup red wine
1 tbsp blueberry jam (don’t got jam? 1 tbsp sugar can add the sweetness needed)
1 sprig of fresh thyme

Directions
Using the same pan as the one used to cook the meat (or not… your choice), add the shallots (oil if needed).

Make sure to season with some salt and black pepper.

Cook the shallots until translucent and soft. This should take less than 5 minutes.

Next
.. add the blueberries, cook for about 2 minutes.

Then….Stir in the red wine and deglaze the pan of its’ yummy juices.

Next… add the blueberry jam and thyme. Cook until the jam has melted into the sauce and the sauce reduces slightly. Season to taste. Then remove the thyme and….Serve with your meat!!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. Keep me posted with your experiences in the kitchen!

xo Niki

 

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