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La Dolce Vita

November 22nd, 2008

As we make our way south and west to avoid the bitter cold, Johnny and I are stopping at places we wont be seeing for a long time. We have stopped at GSP, at Winchester, VA, and now we are sitting at my parent’s place. Its our familiar last stop before we hit the great unknown again.

While we are here, we have been doing some caving. Our good friend David visited us and we headed over to Camp’s Gulf Cave. We had a great adventure. Either Johnny or myself will post about it as soon as we get the pictures . Hopefully he, Pam and Chaos will join us for some more caving fun before we head off once again. We are surely going to miss them when we leave this side of the country. Its not often that you find good people who are great company and are willing to meet up in various places to do the things you like to do. We really lucked out when we met them. We would have probably left the east coast sooner if our paths had never crossed.

For some reason, when I get to my parent’s place, I turn even more domestic than usual. Tonight, for instance, I decided to make a batch of pasta. It was my first time, and I would have to say it turned out well. While it smelled just like the stuff in the box, it wasn’t quite like it. The best way to describe it would be to say that it was much more hearty – not so much thicker, but more… wholesome. I have to say that I prefer it to the boxed stuff. Not only is it more hearty, it is better tasting and I know exactly what is in it. Which is a major plus for me. I hate turning over a container and seeing 3425437 ingredients in an item that I know should only have 5. Not only that, but now I know that I can make it, too.

Ingredients for homemade pasta.

Next time we are out in the boonies and out of pasta, I will not fret. I will just make some. Ah… self reliance. Its a good feeling. Lately, my staples have been milk, eggs, flour, sugar, and olive oil. More and more I have been finding that those, some meat, a few spices, and veggies are all I need to make just about anything. Quite a far cry from the old days of ordering in for every meal. Life is good. There’s no way I could have found the time to experiment like this when I was working 9-16hrs a day.

So, have I convinced you to make your own pasta? Its incredibly easy, and it only takes 5 ingredients. Water, oil, flour, salt and eggs. Here’s the recipe:

* 1/3 cup water
* 2 1/3 cup all purpose flour (or whole wheat)
* 1 teaspoon of olive oil
* 2 eggs
* 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cutting my homemade pasta.

Mix 2 cups of flour and salt in a large bowl and create a depression in the center. Beat eggs. Add water and oil to eggs. Pour egg mixture into the depression you’ve created in the flour mix. Mix well. Use remaining flour to cover your work surface. Knead dough on the floured area four about 8 minutes. Dough should have elasticity and be smooth. Cover dough and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 quarters. Lightly flour working area and roll each quarter out with a rolling pin into a 12×12″ square (1/16″ thick). Set them aside for 20 minutes. Cut into desired shape.

You can also use this recipe to make egg noodles. Just substitute the 2 eggs with one egg and two yolks. You can freeze the left over egg whites for use at a later date.

If you want to store them, you should allow the pieces to dry for at least 1 hour. Dry them by hanging them or placing them on a rack. After they dry, you can seal them in a Ziploc and put them in to the fridge for a couple of days. You can also freeze them for up to 8 months.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stop thinking about the possibilities. Herb flavored pasta, spinach, raviolis, unique shapes, etc. Heck, with the right packaging and ingredients, it might even make a nice gift.

Tonight, I served it with my “almost from scratch” marinara sauce. Yum yum! Maybe someday I will post that recipe too. Or, maybe my homemade alfredo. Tomorrow, I will be making another batch of beef jerky. I am going to try it a little differently this time. I might also go ahead and make that new twist on pesto sauce that I have been thinking about. Oh, the possibilities!

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3 Responses to “La Dolce Vita”

  1. Eduardo says:

    Thanks for the recipe. Have a great Thanksgiving!!

  2. jenn says:

    Thanks, Ed. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Its always great to hear from you. Its a shame that we wont be down there this year. We miss all (well, many) of our old coworkers. Give us a call sometime.

  3. Abase says:

    I just found your blog and love it. Thanks for sharing the pasta recipe. BTW, love – LOVED – the write up on boon docking and how to stretch everything. This is valuable information for us future full-timers. Thanks for helping me plot my own escape.

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