Homemade Spinach Pasta

Hello again!  Every now and then, my husband does something so amazing, so wonderful, so delicious that he needs to be recognized.  This is his post.  I hope you enjoy, and are brave enough to try it!

I woke up this morning with the itch to do something new and having just seen crd!‘s Spinach Fettuccine Alfredo with Scallops I’d been thinking about making pasta.

First, the recipe. I did some research into pasta making (I googled it and watched some YouTube videos) and discovered that bread flour has more gluten than regular flour and thus produces a firmer pasta. and so I settled on this recipe:

  • 5 eggs
  • 3 cups of bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • super finely chopped spinach (as much as you think you want)

I used the stand mixer to mix the eggs and the salt and then used the well method (watch the YouTube video) to combine the wet mix and the flour.   Once all of the ingredients are mixed thoroughly, let the dough sit. If you can let it sit for an hour, do it, otherwise 20 minutes will do (he longer it sits the easier it is to roll out).

After you’ve let it rest cut into quarters and the roll out each quarter, aim for about 1/8 an inch, this will vary based on the wet to dry ratio of your dough. Once you’ve achieved your desired thickness, ensure that the top of your dough is fairly dry and then roll up the dough into a cylinder and then slice the rolls, producing a long fairly thin strand of pasta. I found that short, fast strokes with a very sharp knife yielded the cleanest cut.

Unroll the little pasta wheels and lay the pasta flat.  I separated each layer with a paper towel, I’ve also seen it hung from dowels.

The pasta is immediately ready for cooking but I let the pasta sit in the fridge for about 4 hours and it was just fine. It cooks much faster than dried pasta, in just a couple of minutes.

Finally Chopped Spinach
Finely Chopped Spinach

The Well Method
The Well Method

The well is full of egg and spinach
The well is full of egg and spinach

Giant mess
Giant mess

Resting
Resting

Rolled out
Rolled out

Pasta Wheels
Pasta Wheels

Homemade Pasta
Homemade Pasta

 

Spinach Fettuccine Alfredo with 'Scallops'

He served this pasta with homemade vegan alfredo sauce and tofu “scallops”.  I questioned whether or not he was truly my husband, and not some hippie robot sent here to feed me, but then my mouth was full of the amazing pasta, and I gave up caring.  If he does the dishes though, I’ll know that the robots are in control 🙂

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Hard Apple Cider, Homebrew Style

Here it is, the apple cider homebrew!  This post is provided by my husband, the brewer extraordinaire.  Enjoy!

Little Victims

Making Homebrew is really satisfying, and relatively easy. I took the basic recipe from Instructables, and made some of my own modifications.

A few things before we begin:

  • All of your tools (buckets, carboys, spoons, hoses, funnels & fingers) need to be cleaned and sanitized. There are lots of ways to accomplish this. Bleach is generally pretty effective, but it’s smelly, chemically and generally sucks to deal with. One-Step No-Rinse Sanitizer is the easiest and least smelly.  The guy at our local homebrew shop recommended this and this, these  are environmentally friendlier, and are food grade and seem to work well and are easy to use.
  • During any waiting periods, as well as fermentation I kept the vessel covered and air locked, to keep it as sanitary as possible.
  • I’m publishing this as i’m making the cider, that means i’m not going to taste the cider for at least 6 months, so if it’s a terrible recipe i won’t be able to tell you until then.
  • Before you brew anything you should a) go to your homebrew store and listen to their advice and/or b) do your own research on anything you don’t understand. There are also about a bazillion books on the subject of hombrew and i think about half a million of them are about wine, and in almost every wine book there will be at least one cider recipe.

The Steps:

  1. Press enough apples to get about 5 gallons of pure juice.
  2. Crush and add Campden Tablets
    • 1 tablet per gallon, used to kill certain bacteria and to inhibit the growth of most wild yeast
  3. Let sit for 48 hours. (yes, really two days)
  4. Siphon the cider from it’s original Glass Carboy into another container, like a food-safe brewing bucket, making sure not to disturb the layer of sediment at the bottom, this will hopefully produce clearer cider with less sediment when bottling.
  5. Add Pectic Enzyme
    • This will neutralize the pectins in the cider, and apples have a lot of pectin.
  6. Let it sit for another 24 hours so the Pectic Enzyme can make its magic.
  7. Now it’s time to add your other ingredients.
    • Sugar: I added 7 total cups of sugar: 5 cups of brown and 2 cups of white. Other recipes called for 10 total cups, 5 cups of brown and 5 cups of white.
    • Lemon Juice:  2.5 lemons juiced.  I’m not sure what this will do but citric acid is commonly used to keep cut apples from turning brown so I decided to add it.
    • Yeast Nutrient:  1/2 tsp per gallon
  8. Pitch the yeast.  Every site will tell you to do it differently, some say to start it, some say you don’t need to, some say you need to preserve a small bit of juice initially to use as a yeast starter. I have always simply added the dry yeast right in and gently stirred to make sure it’s not just sitting on the top.
  9. Put your almighty airlock back on the carboy to protect it from bacteria and let it sit for 2 to 4 weeks.
  10. Now you are ready to bottle the cider.  There are many ways to bottle homebrew, I prefer Grolsch Style Bottles because they’re really easy and can be found online or at your local homebrew store.
  11. And now you wait… for about 6 months (I can’t ever wait and always open one at 3 months) they say the longer you wait the better it will be. Some cider makers I know scoff at the idea of opening cider that hasn’t aged at least a year.

5 Gallons of Cider
5 Gallons of Apple Juice

Campden tablets
Campden Tablets

Crushed Campden tablets
Crushed Campden Tablets

The Ever Useful Funnel
The Ever Useful Funnel

The All Mighty Air lock
The Almighty Air Lock

 

100_1245
Pectic Enzyme

100_1243
The Transfer

Yeast Nutrient
Yeast Nutrient

The Juice
The Juicer

Have you ever tried homebrewing?