Saturday, July 5, 2008

Why I'm not very cool

Where do I like to spend a hot Saturday night? In the kitchen, of course.
How ironic that canning or preserving needs to take place during the hottest summer months, when the garden is overflowing with food. This task, while enjoyable, heats my kitchen far beyond lasagna-baking or soup simmering temperatures. It is nearly unbearable.

So today, while making mulberry jam and jalapeño jam (that's two kinds, not mulberry-jalapeño...although that might be good), I took breaks in the kiddie pool in the backyard and sipped ice water.

And then, after heating up the kitchen to unbearable levels, I figured, "Hey, why not make some pasta?" My fellow Eat Local Challenge participants and I have lamented over the lack of very local pasta here in MN. I rely on the Dakota Grower's pasta from North Dakota when I need a quick pasta fix, but there's nothing like homemade pasta.

Tonight I decided to make a tortelloni pasta with 1/2 my dough and some fettuccine with the other half.

The pasta itself is pretty darn local, with flour and water being 99% of the ingredients in this recipe. The filling is as follows:

Herbed Sunflower Seed Pasta Filling

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds, toasted in a dry skillet (MN)
1/4 cup water (MN)
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
10 stems from cremini mushrooms (WI)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. fresh thyme (backyard)

After toasting the sunflower seeds until beginning to brown, add 1/4 cup of water and let them soak for about an hour. Go do some yoga in the meantime. Then whizz around the sunflower seeds, soaking water, and remaining ingredients in a food processor until finely minced, but not quite smooth. Use about 1/2 tsp. per 2" round of pasta dough. This would also be super good as a spread on crackers, inside a tortilla, or just off a spoon.

The sauce for this pasta is a white sauce made with Earth Balance, flour, Org. Valley soymilk (WI), salt, green onions (MN), cremini mushroom caps (WI), parsley (backyard) and blanched snap peas (backyard). I didn't measure anything for this recipe, sorry.

Even though it was 9pm before I got to eat dinner, it was damn good. And the best part is, I have fettuccine in the freezer for another day!


Alice (in Veganland) said...

I'm not very cool either, but who cares! ;-). Your pasta looks completely professional! But I still don't trust my skills enough to try it... The same with preserves!

Holler said...

You have been very busy! You pasta looks good, really good!

I think I need your jalapeno jam recipe as my plants has an excess of fruit on it just now!

I told myself to go do some yoga this morning, but the moment passed. I will have to be more strict with myself!

Anonymous said...

Wow--very impressive! Everything looks beautiful! I cannot imagine standing over a stove or turning on the oven this is so hot (and humid today)! If only I had AC...

Your jams and pasta truly are gorgeous--they look like they were worth heating up the kitchen on a hot MN day :o)


Emily said...

Hi..i´ve been reading your blog for a few weeks´s truly become one of my favorite vegan cooking blogs.

I´m so impressed and think it´s awesome that you are doing the local food thing...and so well!!

Seriously, everything you make looks delicious! I´d love to learn to can things...but alas, in an apartment in the middle of a city with no garden to grow stuff isn´t exactly conducive to overflowing bounty of fruits :)


trina said...

Ooh good idea! I love this pasta filling recipe.