homemade fettucini with basil pesto

Encouraged by my mushroom pasta victory last weekend,  I decided that I just had to make pasta again when Jordan’s sister Liz and her boyfriend Kyle came to visit. While the boys napped, Liz and I dove into some serious fettucini-making. I rolled and cut the pasta and Liz meticulously separated each strand and found places to dry it in our tinsy kitchen. It was a smooth and successful operation.

We tossed the fresh pasta with a basil pesto that Jordan made earlier in the week and little mozzarella balls. It was light, fresh and satisfying.  Now, after two homemade pasta adventures, I fully appreciate the premium that you pay for fresh pasta at the grocery store. Fresh pasta is a lot of work!

Homemade Fettucini with Basil Pesto
1 lb fresh pasta
1 cup fresh mozzarella, we used bocconcini
1/4 cup basil pesto
salt, pepper, chili flake

For the pasta
I used the same egg pasta recipe that I used last weekend for the mushroom pasta because it was easy (albeit time intensive) and turned out well.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 t salt
3 egg yolks
3 eggs
1 T olive oil
1 T water

Mix the flour and salt together.  In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, olive oil and water. On a work surface, pour out the flour mixture and make a well in the center. Pour the eggs into the well. With a fork, stir the eggs in a circular motion slowly bringing more flour into the eggs. Once the flour has soaked up the eggs and it is not in danger of running all over or when you accidentally break through the well and egg is rushing towards the edge of your counter, use a bench scraper to mix the flour and eggs together. It will be crumbly. Knead the dough into a ball using a squeezing motion. Once it has combined, wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 45 minutes. While the dough is resting, make the pesto.

Divide the dough into two balls. Dust one with flour and roll it out into a flat pancake. Open your pasta maker to the largest setting and pass the dough through. Double the dough on itself and pass it though again. Continue to pass the dough through at the largest setting, until it is smooth. Cut the kneaded dough into several smaller pieces. Wrap the pieces you aren’t currently stretching with plastic wrap. Gradually stretch the dough, passing it though progressively thinner settings. Cut the fettuccini using the cutter attachment on your pasta maker or cut into strips with a thin sharp knife. Drape over rolling pins, broom handles and lay into parchment-lined baking sheets until you are ready to cook.

For the pesto
1 bunch basil
1 clove of garlic
2 T untoasted pine nuts
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup plus 2 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
pepper, chili flake

Combine all of the ingredients plus 2 T of olive oil in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Drizzle in the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil with the food processor running. Add more salt and pepper if needed. This pesto is so fresh and delicious and will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top before refrigerating so it keeps its vibrant green color.

Put a pot of salted water to boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes. Drain and toss with the basil pesto and mozzarella.



our csa from eatwell farms

As we described a couple of months ago, Jordan and I joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) group. We’ve been enjoying our boxes of super seasonal and fresh produce and trying new recipes like linguini with leeks and fresh ricotta and strawberry lemonade sorbet. Our farm is Eatwell Farms and I want to share the beautiful produce we just picked up!

This week we received: oregano, navel oranges, lemons, dandelion greens, chard, green garlic, leeks, pink lady apples, carrots, savoy cabbage, and sweet potatoes.

If you are interested in joining a CSA, visit to find one in your area.



homemade sandwich bread

Jordan was on a bread kick for a while, making all kinds of delicious breads from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible. Sadly, his bread baking has declined since he is super busy being an awesome student. I decided to pick up the torch when my friend Andrea recommended a fail-proof sandwich bread recipe that she’s been making for the past few weeks. I like fail-proof, especially when there is hours of rising time on the line.

This recipe is from Farmgirl Fare and it details the process and potential pitfalls of bread baking really well. I’d recomend you check out her post if you are new to the homemade bread world.

Farmhouse White, a classic sandwich bread by Farmgirl Fare

4 cups all-purpose flour (I used Whole Foods 365 brand)
1 1/2 T instant yeast (I used Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast)
2 T granulated or brown sugar
2 T melted butter
4 cups milk, warmed to 85 degrees
About 6 cups bread flour (I used King Arthur Bread Flour – King Arthur makes quality flours and I recommend them)
1 1/2 T salt

Mix together the all-purpose flour, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle of the mixture  and pour in the warm milk and melted butter. Mix well. Continue to stir vigorously slowing adding the bread flour one cup at a time, until you have added 3  – 4 cups and have a sticky, shaggy dough. Cover with a damp tea towel and let rest for 20 minutes.

Walk your whiny dog who can’t understand why you are putzing around in the kitchen when at this hour you should be walking her to the park.

Add the salt and 1 more cup of the bread flour. Stir as best you can. Add a bit more flour if the dough seems too sticky to knead. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead with floured hands for 8 – 10 minutes. Your arms will get very tired, but you will find an awesome slapping-dough-into-counter-rhythm that will allow you to confidently turn down the assistance of your much stronger boyfriend.

Place the dough in a clean, oiled bowl and dust the top with flour. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 60 – 75 minutes in a warm place. I used the oven with pans of boiling water inside technique developed when I made cinnamon rolls and it worked very well.

Grease 3 loaf pans (I used two glass pans and one metal pan without issue). Turn the dough onto a floured counter. Divide into 3 equal balls and pat into loaf-like shapes. Put the dough in the loaf pans and dust with flour. Cover with a tea towel and let them rise for another 40 – 60 minutes. They are ready to go into the oven when you poke a floured finger into the dough and it springs back just a little.

Preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Bake the loaves for 35 minutes until they are golden brown. Remove the loaves from their pans immediately and allow to cool on a rack for 40 minutes. Store at room temperature in a bag or in the freezer wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

This bread is good. It has a great crumb and a mild taste. It makes great peanut butter sandwiches and awesome grilled cheese sandwiches. It contains just a few normal ingredients, not a ton of weird gums and preservatives like store-bought sandwich breads. Now that I have the classic recipe down, I am excited to try a few variations … maybe adding some whole grain flours or sourdough bread starter.