July: Fresh Pasta: World Kitchen Italy

Thank you so much to everyone that participated in our last World Kitchen event.  It was a very new experience for me (Amanda) and I had a great time chatting with everyone.  Laura is gone on an extended vacation and so the next event will be hosted by me!  I’ve chosen something that I have grown up making – fresh pasta.  What’s going to make this month unique is that I’m leaving a lot of the details up to you.  You decide whether to make traditional or colored/flavored pasta.  You also will be able to decide which sauce you want to use.  I encourage you to link up any of your favorite sauces or any posts from your own blogs of sauce or pasta recipes.

I’m really excited to see what kinds of combinations everyone comes up with.

Get ready because we’ll be live-tweeting and cooking on Sunday July 24th starting at 12pm Central.

Mario Batali’s Fresh Pasta (original)


  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 extra-large eggs


Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the eggs. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (do not worry if it looks messy). The dough will come together in a shaggy mass when about half of the flour is incorporated.

Start kneading the dough with both hands, primarily using the palms of your hands. Add more flour, in 1/2-cup increments, if the dough is too sticky. Once the dough is a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up any left over dry bits. Lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 3 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes, remembering to dust your board with flour when necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll and form as desired.

Note: Do not skip the kneading or resting portion of this recipe, they are essential for a light pasta.

Variations on Fresh Pasta from About Italian Food (original)

Green Pasta

This is the most classic color, and gives rise topasta paglia e fieno (straw and hay) — a combination of green and yellow tagliatelle, which is often served with cream sauces or salsa ai funghi (mushroom sauce). Green pasta is also an excellent alternative if you’re making lasagna or ravioli. To make it you’ll need:

  • 7/8 pound (400 g, or 3 1/3 cups) flour
  • 8 ounces (220 g) raw spinach
  • 3 eggs
  • A pinch of salt

Wash the spinach well, shred it coarsely, and heat it in a pot with just the water that sticks to the leaves. Add a pinch of salt and stir it until it is completely wilted (5 minutes), then let it cool and squeeze it well to remove all the moisture you can. Blend the spinach and combine it with the other ingredients when you make the dough. As variations, you can also use wild greens, or nettles (use gloves when you pick and wash them).

Red Pasta

The proportions are similar to those for green pasta:

  • 7/8 pound (400 g, or 3 1/3 cups) flour
  • 9 ounces (250 g) carrots
  • 3 eggs
  • A tablespoon of tomato paste
  • A pinch of salt

Peel the carrots, dice them, and simmer them until soft in lightly salted water. Drain them well, blend them, add the tomato paste to the mixture, and heating it pot, stirring constantly, until it has become quite firm. Combine the mixture with the other ingredients when you make the dough. If you want the pasta really red you can dispense with the carrots and simply cook down a tube of tomato paste, though in this case the resulting pasta will be rather acidic and will require something along the lines of a cream sauce to balance it.

Brown Pasta

This is a comparatively new addition to the pasta cornucopia, and is made with powdered baking (unsweetened) chocolate:

  • 7/8 pound (400 g, or 3 1/3 cups) flour
  • 3 ounces (80 g) powdered baking chocolate
  • 4 eggs
  • A pinch of salt

Combine all the ingredients, and make pasta as you normally would. Contrary to what you might expect, it’s not sweet because baking chocolate. It will work quite nicely with rich game-based pasta sauces.

Cheese Pasta

In terms of color this really isn’t that different from regular, but it is a pleasant change of pace:

  • 1/2 pound (225 g, or 1 4/5 cups) flour
  • 1/2 pound (200 g) grated Parmigiano
  • 3 eggs

You shouldn’t need salt, due to the salt content of the Parmigiano. Combine the ingredients and proceed as normal, seasoning the finished pasta with unsalted butter and sage or a light tomato sauce. One warning: because of the cheese, this pasta doesn’t keep well.

Orange Pasta

Not carrot this time, but squash: Pick one with orange flesh (pumpkin will also work)

  • 7/8 pound (400 g, or 3 1/3 cups) flour
  • 7/8 pound (400 g) squash
  • 2 eggs
  • A pinch of salt

Peel and dice the squash, discarding seeds and strings, and boil the pieces in lightly salted water for about a half hour. Drain the pieces well, blend them, and should the paste be too liquid, heat it again, stirring briskly, until it has thickened. Use the paste to make the pasta.

Speckled Pasta

These are a surprising delight, and since the strengths of herbs vary from time to time, will never be quite the same from batch to batch.

  • 7/8 pound (400 g, or 3 1/3 cups) flour
  • 1/4 cup or to taste finely minced fresh herbs, for example sage, parsley, rosemary, thyme, or whatever else suits your fancy
  • 4 eggs
  • A pinch of salt

The exact volume of herbs will vary depending upon the herbs you chose and their potency. In any case, wash them well, pat them dry, strip the leaves from the stems, and mince the leaves. Combine the ingredients and make the pasta. The best sauce here will be unsalted butter, and a light dusting of grated Parmigiano.

Black Pasta

These are slightly unsettling the first time one sees them, but are perfect with creamy fish-based sauces.

  • 7/8 pound (400 g, or 3 1/3 cups) flour
  • 4 teaspoons squid ink (fresh will be best, from your fishmonger, but it is also available, in packets, in well-stocked delicatessens)
  • 4 eggs
  • A pinch of salt

Combine the ingredients and make the pasta as usual.

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Posted by on June 25, 2011 in Europe


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May/June Recipe: Coloradito (Dark Reddish) Oaxacan Mole

I am so grateful to have found this recipe already typed up for me at Food and Wine (seriously, I chose the recipe after reading all my Mexican cookbooks, looking for a good mole to try, and phew! there it was online, all typed up).  In her cookbook, Martinez emphasizes that in Oaxaca, moles are sauces that you can play with however you like.  You can serve it thick, as a sauce, on the protein of your choice or in enchiladas, or you can thin it out and turn it into more of a stew (use a good stock, not water).  Sides or vegetables you might pair it with could include bread, potatoes, rice, green beans, tomatoes, corn and really anything that sounds good to you.  For those of you avoiding pork, I suggest schmaltz or vegetable oil.  If you have any questions about other substitutions, tweet with the World Kitchen hashtag (#worldkitchen) or leave a comment here and we will try come up with an answer.  You already know the most important thing is to get adventurous in your own kitchen and make it something you will want to eat.  We will be live tweeting the making of this mole on Sunday, June 5th.  We hope you can join us!!!!

Coloradito (Reddish Mole)
Contributed by Zarela Martinez

4 ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
4 guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
Boiling water
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
One 2-inch piece canela (true Ceylon cinnamon; available in Mexican groceries)
5 whole cloves, or 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
5 whole black peppercorns
1/4 cup lard (preferably homemade), or vegetable oil
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 medium-size ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/3 small ripe plantain, about a 4-inch chunk, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 bunch fresh thyme, (about 2 dozen sprigs)
6 sprigs fresh Mediterranean oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1/4 cup dark raisins
3/4 cup blanched almonds
6 to 8 cups homemade chicken or pork stock, with the cooked meat shredded and reserved
1 1/2 ounces Mexican chocolate, coarsely grated or finely chopped
1 thick slice day-old challah or brioche, crushed to fine crumbs
1 teaspoon salt

Zarela Martinez leaves in the veins of the chiles— the hottest part—but you can cut them away if you want to tone down the heat. Rinse the chiles under cold running water and shake off the excess moisture, but do not dry them. Heat a griddle or cast-iron skillet over moderately-high heat until a drop of water sizzles on contact. Place the chiles, a few at a time, on the griddle and let them heat, turning occasionally with tongs, just until the water evaporates and the chiles are fragrant. Allow between 30 to 45 seconds for the anchos, slightly less for the guajillos, which are very thin-skinned. The chiles should just become dry, hot and aromatic; do not allow them to start really roasting or they will have a terrible scorched flavor. Remove from the griddle as they are done. Place in a bowl and cover generously with boiling water. Let soak for at least 20 minutes, then drain.

In a small heavy skillet, cook the sesame seeds over moderate heat, stirring constantly, just until you see them starting to turn golden. Scrape the seeds out into a small bowl and set aside.

Grind the canela, cloves and peppercorns together in an electric coffee grinder or spice mill or in a mortar. In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the lard over moderate heat until rippling. Add the ground spices and cook, stirring, just until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, plantain, thyme, oregano, raisins, almonds and sesame seeds. Cook, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Put half of the mixture in a blender with 1 cup of the chicken stock and half the drained chiles. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes on high. Repeat with the remaining sauce mixture, another 1 cup of chicken stock, and the remaining chiles.

In a large Dutch oven or deep skillet, heat the remaining lard over moderately-high heat until rippling. Add the sauce, stirring well to prevent splattering. Stir in the remaining stock, a little at a time. Cover and cook, for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until the chiles lose their raw edge. Stir in the bread crumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce is lightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the chocolate and cook, stirring constantly, until it is well dissolved. Add the salt and the shredded meat. Cover partially and cook, stirring occasionally, just until heated through, 7 to 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add another pinch or two of salt if desired.

From The Food & Life of Oaxaca
Macmillan 1997

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Posted by on April 27, 2011 in North America


April Recipe: Spanish Paella

From Grady Health Blog

**UPDATE:  Special thanks to My Spice Sage (@myspicesage) who will be providing a saffron giveaway to four #worldkitchen participants!  Make sure you join us for your chance to get some fabulous Spanish Saffron!**

The recipe we have chosen for April is Spanish Paella.  On Sunday April 17th, join us live at 1pm EDT on Twitter as we cook and prepare our paella (those of us who finish “early’, i.e., on the east coast, will do our best to keep checking twitter into the evening).  We have decided on this base recipe, however you can change it based on your dietary needs and likes.  Afterwards, blog about your experience and dish (include pictures please!) so that everyone can see how it turned out!   If you plan to participate please leave your name and Twitter handle in the comments and use the hashtag #worldkitchen on Sunday.

From Epicurious:


  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 tablespoons dry red wine
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 8 chicken legs
  • 1 1/2 pound Spanish chorizo or linguiça sausage,* casings removed
  • 4 large onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 pound tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 8 ounces 1/4-inch-thick ham slices, cut into 2 x 1/4-inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons diced salt pork
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausages
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned broth
  • 3 cups bottled clam juice
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • 4 cups short-grain rice
  • 1 1/2 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails intact
  • 16 littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 16 mussels, scrubbed and debearded
  • 1 pound 1-inch-thick halibut or sea bass fillets or shark steaks, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 8-ounce frozen uncooked lobster tails (optional), thawed and split lengthwise
  • Vegetable oil
  • 3 large yellow bell peppers, quartered
  • 3 large red bell peppers, quartered
  • 3 large green bell peppers, quartered
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen peas, thawed
  • Limes, quartered
  • Lemon, quartered
  • *Spanish chorizo, a fresh, garlic-flavored pork link sausage that is milder than Mexican chorizo, is available at Spanish markets. Linguiça, a similar Portuguese sausage, is available at Spanish and Latin American markets.


Combine oregano, thyme and parsley in small bowl. Transfer half of chopped herbs to processor. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine, peppercorns, coriander, 3 minced garlic cloves, cayenne, salt and vinegar. Blend until coarse paste forms. Place chicken on large plate. Rub all but 2 tablespoons paste mixture over chicken. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Divide 1/4 cup olive oil between 2 large Dutch ovens or heavy large deep skillets over medium heat. Divide chorizo, onions, tomatoes, ham, salt pork, remaining chopped herbs and remaining 5 minced garlic cloves between Dutch ovens. Cook until onions are soft but not brown, crumbling sausage with fork and stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Transfer chorizo mixture to large bowl. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate remaining 2 tablespoons herb paste, chicken legs and chorizo mixture separately.)

Divide remaining 1/4 cup olive oil between Dutch ovens. Add half of chicken and Italian sausages to each Dutch oven and cook until brown and partially cooked, turning frequently, about 8 minutes for sausages and 12 minutes for chicken. Transfer to plate. Return half of chorizo mixture to each Dutch oven.

Meanwhile, bring stock and clam juice to simmer in heavy medium saucepan. Add saffron and mix well.

Add half of rice to each Dutch oven. Cook over high heat until opaque, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Divide remaining herb paste and remaining 7 tablespoons wine between Dutch ovens. Bring to simmer, scraping up any bits. Stir half of stock mixture into each Dutch oven. Divide shrimp, clams, mussels, fish and bay leaves between Dutch ovens. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice is very tender, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Discard any clams or mussels that do not open.

Meanwhile, prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush grill and lobster with vegetable oil. Place lobsters on grill shell side down. Add chicken and grill until lobster and chicken are cooked through, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes. Transfer to large plate. Tent with foil to keep warm. Add Italian sausage and bell peppers to grill and cook until sausage is cooked through and pepper are brown in spots, turning frequently, about 10 minutes. Transfer sausages and peppers to another plate. Cut sausages into 2-inch pieces. Cut bell peppers into 1/2-inch-wide strips.

Divide chicken, lobster, sausage, peppers and peas between Dutch ovens. Cover, remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes. Rearrange shellfish and peppers decoratively atop rice. Serve with lime and lemon wedges.

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Posted by on March 10, 2011 in Europe


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