Posts tagged ‘wine’

Fresh Whole Wheat Linguine with Rainbow Chard and Sweet Onions Recipe

It’s been dumping snow in buckets all day, keeping us mostly cooped up in the house. To relieve our boredom, wifey and I have been cooking up a storm. Last night we made homemade pasta. My parents gave us a Marcato Atlas pasta machine for our wedding. Pasta-making can be a time consuming process. However, it’s well worth the wait. The taste of fresh pasta is incomparable to the dried, cardboard-flavored, box pasta you get at the grocery store. It also makes for a wonderful at-home group activity. It takes a couple hours, and there’s always something to do, but it’s never rushed.

This was my first experiment with whole wheat pasta. The results surpassed even my highest expectations. I’ve made spinach- and tomato-flavored pasta before with marginal success. With the whole wheat, I was worried that something might go awry with the glutens. However, while making the dough, things seemed to go rather easily. (The only difference was that the dough seemed a little dry. I wet my hands and kneaded the dough until the water absorbed. I wasn’t expecting this because white flour seems more absorbant than whole wheat in my experience).

I thought I had gotten off too easily, so when it came time to roll out the pasta, I was nervous. However, the pasta rolled out and cut perfectly fine! In fact, it was probably the easiest batch of pasta I’ve ever made. I haven’t excluded the possibility of beginners luck, but I’ll say this… I doubt we’ll ever make white pasta again. It went so well, that I saved half the dough in the freezer. I have no idea if you can freeze pasta dough and use it later, so I’ll report back sometime later as to how that worked.

A pasta machine is well worth the investment, in my opinion. We’ve already gotten great use out of ours, and it provides a level of precision and accuracy that would be virtually impossible to achieve with rolling and cutting by hand.

Pasta Recipe:
100g flour per person (I used 2/3 white, 1/3 whole wheat)
1 egg per person
1 t olive oil per person
1 pinch salt per person

(4 people = 400g flour + 4 eggs + 1T oil + 1t salt)

Rainbow Chard and Sweet Onions:
2 large onions thinly sliced
2 T butter
1/2c dry white wine
6ish stalks of rainbow or swish chard chopped into 1/2″ strips
1/4c crumbled feta

Pasta Instructions:

Mix the dry ingredients together. Mix in the egg and olive oil, and knead until smooth. (You can do this by hand. It’s extremely messy and way more fun! See an example here). Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for an hour. After an hour, unwrap and run through the past machine in fist-sized segments. It can sometimes be tricky to get the right moisture level in the dough. Too dry and it will crumble on you. Too wet and it won’t cut properly. If you need more detailed instructions on how to do it right, ask me and I can recommend a book or two. Or better yet, come over for dinner and we’ll to it together sometime. After you’ve cut the pasta, drape it over chair backs to let it dry. (If you have cats or dogs, keep a close watch on them during this process!) To cook the pasta, bring a large pot a water to a boil. Fresh pasta cooks much quicker than box pasta. Linguine cooks in about 4 minutes. Angel hair virtually needs only be placed in the water before it’s ready.

Rainbow Chard & Sweet Onions:
Thinly slice the onions. In a large skillet (important: one with a lid), melt the butter. Place the onions in the skillet and mix until coated in butter. Cover tightly and cook on the lowest setting for an hour. (Do this while the pasta dough is resting). Cooking the onion slowly allows the sugars in it to thoroughly break down. We used Vidalia onions, grown only around Vidalia, GA. Vidalia onions are known for being sweet; they have more sugar than an orange. After the onions have sweated for an hour, remove the lid and add the wine. Replace the lid, but leave it slightly tilted. After another 20-30 min., the onions should be brown and well-caramelized. Add the chard and cook another 10-15 minutes until tender.

Toss the onions and chard in with the pasta, crumble the feta over the top, and enjoy!

December 12, 2010 at 9:53 pm Leave a comment

Svařak Recipe

Last night I made my first batch of svařak (Czech mulled wine). It was pretty decent. I checked out several recipes and landed on this one. I used this one because it didn’t call for brandy, which I don’t have. As it turns out, I may try to keep some on hand for the next time I make it. The svařak was good, but you could tell it had a low alcohol content. But from a flavor standpoint, it was spot on. It makes me miss home. Nothing warms you up better after wandering around Old Town Prague for two hours in sub-zero temperature than a steaming cup of svařak.

Svařak (Czech mulled wine):

  • 1-2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 8-10 cloves, crushed
  • 4-6 allspice pods, crushed
  • 4T honey
  • 2 bottles of red wine (I used Merlot, but I think Cabernet might be better)
  • 1c water

Boil the water and steepe the spices for 10-15 minutes. Add a bit more water if it reduces too much. Stir in honey after the spices have had some time to steepe. Add the wine and experiment with the correct amount of brandy. Warm the mixture, but do not boil. Strain while serving.

November 24, 2008 at 10:42 am Leave a comment


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