Monday, June 14, 2010

Pasta Making Obsession

Ever since I got my pasta maker attachment for my Kitchen Aide I have been making pasta kind of nonstop....I think I enjoy making it more than actually eating it. The freezer was getting full/is kind of broken so I finally cooked some for dinner. If you are not a teacher with tons of time to waste in the kitchen, you can use store bought ravioli or tortellini with the balsamic brown butter(cheese or squash would be best).

Kale Tortellini in Balsamic Brown Butter

Makes 4 servings

To Make the Tortellini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
½ cup pecorino, grated
Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until it becomes browned and slightly caramelized, about fifteen minutes. Add the kale along with about a few tablespoons of water to help it braise. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue to cook until kale is very tender, about 20 minutes. Check on the kale periodically as it braises and add more water if it begins to get too dry.
Let the kale cool and add to a food processor, along with the grated cheese. Taste and add seasoning as you see fit.
Meanwhile, make the pasta dough; add all of the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on a low speed for several minutes, or until a ball forms. Switch the attachment to a kneading hook. Knead on low speed for about 10 minutes (this is important because it helps the gluten form.) Pour the contents of the bowl out onto large sheet of plastic wrap and knead by hand several times to make it into a ball. Wrap in the plastic and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
After the dough has rested, cut it into quarters. Working with one quarter at a time, flatten it and shape it into a kind of rectangle shape. Using a pasta maker attachment on a kitchen aide mixer, feed the dough through on the largest setting. Continue to feed it through, reducing the setting by one each time. You can use the filling to make either tortellini or ravioli. The ravioli are pretty simple and to shape the tortellini, I recommend looking up a demo on youtube. It’s hard to describe but easy to understand once you’ve seen the process.

To Make the Balsamic Brown Butter
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts
½ cup grated parmesan

Boil the tortellini in salted water until tender, about 3-4 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. After the foam subsides, continue to cook until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly. Add balsamic (be careful- it might splatter a bit) along with the seasoning. Add the tortellini to the pan and coat with the brown butter. Stir in the parmesan and serve with the hazelnuts sprinkled over the top.

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