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You know it’s that time again, when you start seeing a zillion recipes cropping up with ingredients like pumpkin, butternut squash and apples.
The Christmas song that quotes “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” should have been written about Fall as far as I’m concerned. After a few months of mind-numbing heat, browning grass and flowers, AND the steering wheel in my car practically searing my hands to blisters every time I get in it, the coolness and beauty of Fall is something I always look forward to.
They are pretty easy to make as well so join me in making these this fall!
First you want to sift all your dry ingredients together. Measure out two cups of flour into a fine mesh sieve, or whatever sifter you happen to have. Add in one tablespoon of baking powder, 1 tablespoon of sugar, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. Sift this all together into a large mixing bowl.
This next step is important for making your biscuits light and flaky.
ICE COLD butter.
Take a stick of frozen butter and using a box grater, grate the butter completely. Then add it right into your dry ingredients. It will be a somewhat crumbly mess. That’s okay.
Now in a separate bowl, add in one cup of pure pumpkin puree. DON’T get the pumpkin pie mix. They look very similar! Add it to ¾ cup of milk. Whisk it all together.
Pour it into the dry ingredients/butter mixture and using a rubber spatula just begin to mix it up. When you’ve gotten as much of the dry ingredients mixed in as possible, turn the whole mess onto a floured countertop or cutting board and begin to work it with your hands. Not too much, but just until it’s all mixed nicely. It doesn’t have to be super smooth (in fact, it shouldn’t be), and can be a little rough.
Pat it into a circle and take your rolling pin and roll it out one way, then turn the rolling pin or dough and give it a roll the other way.
This way your dough keeps the shape of a circle instead of becoming really long because you’re alternating rolling it in different directions. You want it to be just under an inch tall or closer to ¾ inch. Take a 3-inch biscuit cutter and cut as many biscuits as you can with it. (Use a glass if you don’t have a biscuit cutter or even the ring off a mason jar.)
Place the cut biscuits on a baking sheet.
I like to use a Silpat mat on mine but parchment works wonderfully as well. Take your leftover dough and shape it into a ball again and roll it to ¾ inch again. Cut out more biscuits. This recipe makes exactly sixteen biscuits nicely for me.
Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes, then Remove them form the oven and brush them with melted butter.
If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you know I am mildy obsessed with bruschetta of any type. I seriously could make bruschetta and let it be my entire meal. Toast some crostini, spread something hearty and wonderful on it and call it a day.
And this week I went for a spring themed bruschetta. There are so many options that come to mind, I could probably start a blog featuring a different type each day of the year.
One of our grocery stores here has these fresh spring peas on display right now.
But honestly, I think I prefer the frozen peas.
Yes, you heard me correctly. See, peas are a tricky thing..if you don’t use them immediately, they’ll go bad quick. These peas were already losing that bright green vibrant color that I love from the frozen ones.
Just rinse them in some warm water and voila, their happy warm color just keeps shining through.
So I just tossed the peas into a pot of boiling water. Just for a minute. Then I drained them and dumped them right into an ice cold water bath to stop the cooking process. This helps to just keep their brightness.
Did you know that peas are botanically considered a fruit? Yes it’s true, although I can’t wrap my head around that…they’re still a green veggie in my head, confused as my head may be. Peas are high in vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins so yes, they’re good for you too!
Grate up a cup of parmesan cheese.
Add the peas and the cheese right into your food processor bowl.
And take a handful of fresh mint.
I used at least a 1/2 cup of picked leaves, tasted and added a bit more, so I’d say taste and see what you like and you can always add more. Add the mint right into your food processor along with a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
Drizzle in 1/2 cup of olive oil.
Put the lid on and whir it up for about 30 seconds.
You want it to be somewhat chunky like this..and have some texture to it.
Then pour it all in a bowl and squeeze a lemon over top.
Stir it up.
The lemon adds some brightness to the flavor of the peas and the mint.
I suppose I could have just made life easier on myself by adding this into the processing part. I tend to make life difficult on myself sometimes, kind of being a “fly by the seat of your pants” kinda gal though.
Now slice up a loaf of french bread into 1/4 inch slices. Lay it out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle it with olive oil and pop it into a 375º for about 10 minutes, or until the tops are golden bread and crisp, but the insides are still a little soft.
If you have one of those expensive, neat stoves with a grill pan, just toss them on there and flip them after you get them crispy on one side.
And just know that I covet your expensive stove. Yes I do.
Now take your luscious, divinely pureed peas and spread a good portion over top of one of the crostini.
Top it with either some parmesan shavings or some nice tangy goat cheese (my personal preference!).
If you want them warm, pop them back into the oven for about 3-5 minutes.
But right now? It’s 95º here in Oklahoma on a daily basis already. I kind of like them fresh and cool.
Smashed Pea Bruschetta with Mint
Author: Katie of Dishin & Dishes
Recipe type: Appetizer
one 16 oz bag frozen peas (2 cups)
1 c. grated parmesan cheese
¾ c. fresh mint leaves
1 t. salt
½ t. pepper
½ c. olive oil
one lemon, juiced
for garnish – ½ c. shaved parmesan or goat cheese
one loaf french bread
½ cup olive oil
Drop peas into boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Drain and add into ice water bath until cooled. Drain again and put into food processor with remaining ingredients. Turn on food processor and process for about 30 seconds or until peas are smashed but still have some texture. Slice bread into ¼ inch rounds. Place on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bakd at 375º for 10 minutes or until tops are golden but inside is still somewhat soft. Spread pea puree on top of bread and garnish with shaved parmesan cheese or goat cheese.
For warm bruschetta – pop back into oven for 5 minutes
For cold bruschetta – serve as is
Love pea recipes? Join other bloggers participating in Food Network’s Summer Fest by checking out their recipes for peas!
Homemade Pasta. You know the difference when you dine out and taste it. You crave it at home. Who knew the recipe and technique could be so easy? With three ingredients (salt is optional and would make 4) and some good old-fashioned patience, you too can make homemade pasta at home.
Let’s talk equipment. Not necessary, but extremely handy, I recommend using a pasta roller of some sort and if you have a KitchenAid mixer, I’d recommend the pasta roller. It’s going to save you A LOT of time!
Shop around, for I found it at around $70 on the net (but I also saw it for way more!). You can also get the deluxe set with cutters for quite a bit more.
You can also opt to spend quite a bit less and get a hand crank pasta roller like this one for $20. While it won’t be as handy or as fast as the KitchenAid version, it will still cut down on your rolling time.
OR, most of you probably just have this lying around the house…but it’s gonna take a lot of muscle, so I’d enlist someone to help you. If you use this one, well, you’re gonna have some great biceps and triceps. Kudos to you!
You’ll also need a sharp knife, or even better, a pizza cutter or cutting wheel and a fork. That’s it folks, that’s ALL you need along with flour, eggs and olive oil.
I decided I wanted to make Mario Batelli’s recipe for pasta. After all, he is the Italian food King and I’ve always liked a man who can rock a pair of red clogs and a skirt with confidence.
It called for:
*5-6 cups of flour *6 extra-large eggs *1/4 teaspoon of olive oil
I was a bit confused with the range in flour – but quickly found out that you may or may not use it all. I also decided based on other recipes to add in 1 teaspoon of salt, but it’s up to you if you want to!
Mario said to use a cutting board, but I’ve seen this done on countertops and also large flat bowls.
I opted to use five cups of flour, because I didn’t have “extra-large” eggs (just large), and I mounded up a pile of flour, then using my fist, gently worked a well in the middle of it. Make sure the sides are 1 1/2 to 2 inches high. You’re going to pour the eggs in here so you don’t want them running all over!
Crack six eggs into a bowl and beat them up. Then add in a 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil. Mario said 1/4 teaspoon but for some reason, I felt rebellious.
Pour in your eggs and oil.
Then carefully take a fork and start pulling a little flour at a time, whisking it all the way. Be careful not to break your “wall” of flour. Just pull from the inside of the wall of flour.
It will be a bit lumpy and that’s okay. That’s where the rolling will come in later. Keep pulling in flour about 2 tablespoons at a time and mixing with the fork until you get a more solid dough ball. You probably will have a cup of flour or so left over. You don’t need to use it all!
Then, sprinkle some flour on your hands.
Grab your dough ball and start kneading. And PLEASE wear your Tiffany bracelet that your husband bought you in L.A. last year on your anniversary AND your wedding ring to do so…it will take you an hour of scrubbing later with a toothbrush to get them clean.
Fold your ball in half. (Note: See how much flour I have left around the edges?)
The push down with the heel of your hands (I only am pushing with one due to the fact that I can’t take pictures with NO hands).
Fold it again, push with the heel of your hand. If the dough gets sticky, add a little more of your flour to it. You want it to be “mildly” tacky but not super sticky and not too dry.
When you’re done you’ll have a nice ball of dough – a little tacky remember! At this point, I removed the leftover flour from my board into a bowl, but save it! You’ll need some more as you go!
Sprinkle a little of the flour back onto your board, roll your dough in it, and wrap it up tight with some plastic wrap.
Let it set for 30 minutes, where the magic dough fairies will cause the gluten to do sparkling and wonderful things to it (the gluten needs to relax).
Unwrap your dough and cut it into 4 equal pieces.
Cover three of these with a bowl to prevent them from drying out. Then take the fourth one and kind of pull it out into a sort of rectangle. Sprinkle it with flour.
Put your pasta attachment on or use your pasta roller set to the widest setting ( on a KitchenAid that’s 1 not 8). Run it right through. Don’t forget to catch it on the bottom with one hand. Mr. Wonderful fed and I caught. It’s kind of handy to do this with two people.
Take it out and fold it in half lengthwise and run it through again. (Fold the two short ends together).
On your first run, it might have holes or tears in it and look weird. That’s okay! Keep going!
After your first feed at setting 1 you’ll fold your dough each time and run it through a total of 3 times more. If it gets too wide, fold in one edge a bit. The roller will press it right back to normal again.
If it’s too sticky, sprinkle flour on both sides.
After your fourth time (on that setting), change the pasta roller to the next size smaller (setting 2 on the KitchenAid wheel). Run it through the first time just as it is, then three times more after that folding it in half again long ways after each run. Then change your roller setting one size smaller to 3.
Each time the dough will get smoother looking. And by the time you get down to 6 it’s going to be a LOT longer. I left poor Mr. W. alone to handle this while I snapped pictures.
Incidentally, the man is a solid rock on remaining calm while his dorky wife was jumping up and down watching this entire process clapping her hands and hollering how fun and cool her new toy was.
When we got to number 8 and our last set of 4 runs through the machine, we had a HUGE long piece of pasta. I think next time I will only take the setting down to #6 because I like a little more thickness and bite to my pasta. You decide what YOU like after you make yours!
We laid the long piece out on the cutting board and using a pizza cutter, we cut it into one foot sections.
You could use these “as is” for lasagna…I can’t wait to do that! Remember that we still had three more pieces of dough left? Lightly flour these foot sections and put them on some parchment paper while you make the other three.
When we were finished, it was time to cut the sheets into noodles. We had decided on Pappardelle, so we stacked up our sections on top of each other (about 4) and cut them into one inch strips, again with the pizza cutter.
Mario says that if it’s not cut perfect, all the better! For people will know it’s homemade! We agree with Mario! (Remember the red clog thing?!!)
If the pasta is at all sticky, lightly dust it with flour then pile it into “nests” on parchment paper. I did cut up some into fettuccine, just for fun. I rolled up two sheets and cut them with a knife. It was much quicker that way! I popped it into a freezer bag for another time.
And that’s it. We tossed our Pappardelle into a pot of salted boiling water for two minutes (on the printable recipe below I include times for different fresh pastas). Then we sautéed some shrimp and broccoli and mixed it all up with pesto and topped it with some grated Pecorino Romano cheese.
I want to experiment next with some different flours like 00 wheat flour and semolina. I also want to try adding veggies like spinach and beets.
But tonight, we savored our first bite of loveliness from our first try at homemade pasta.
It was a good night.
**Recently added – If you want more “bite” to your pasta, try using 1/2 semolina flour. It takes more to work the gluten, therefore it will be a bit chewier.
Author: Katie of Dishin & Dishes
Recipe type: Main
5 c. flour
6 large eggs
½ t. olive oil
1 t. salt (optional)
On cutting board, countertop or in large flat bowl mound up flour and make a well in center the size of your fist and using your fist.
Crack eggs into separate bowl, add olive oil, and beat up with fork.
Pour into well in middle of flour mound.
Using fork, gently pull out 2 T. of flour and beat into eggs.
Continue doing so until a soft ball of dough forms.
Using your hands knead the ball several times, adding more flour if it’s too sticky. When the right consistency, the ball will be slightly tacky but not sticky.
Cut into four equal parts, cover three with a bowl and shape the fourth into a rough rectangle.
Dust with flour and feed through the widest setting on pasta roller once.
Fold in half lengthwise and run through again, dusting with flour if necessary.
Run through 2 more times folding each time then change setting to the next smallest setting on pasta roller.
Continue down each setting sending the sheet through as is the first time, then folding each time for the next three runs.
When finishes with smallest setting. cut into desired pasta, sprinkle with flour and place on parchment paper while finishing remaining three sections of pasta.
Can be stored in freezer baggies.
Pappardelle: 2 minutes
Vermicelli: 1½ minutes
Ravioli: 12 minutes
Tortellini: 12 minutes
Linguine: 6 minutes
Pescine: 4 minutes
Rigatoni: 6 minutes
Rotini: 5 minutes
Fettuccine: 2 minutes
Allow 4-6 quarts of water per pound.
Bring water and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil. Shake pasta loose (do not cook more than 2 lbs. at a time).
Add pasta to boiling water, stir and begin timing.
So a few weeks back at Whole Foods in Tulsa, I got this really cute pasta. I know, pasta is generally not thought of as “cute”, but I am a sucker for unique pasta in all shapes, sizes and colors. Casarecce pasta, sometimes called “scroll pasta’ is one of those pastas designed brilliantly to hold sauce. That’s what I was looking for. Making it Pasta Carbonara style, this pasta was going to be incredible.
If you can’t find Caseracce pasta, don’t worry, just find something wonderful that has an ability to hold sauce, like shells or any pasta you love. Follow the package directions for your pasta, and enjoy.
Really, cooking is about enjoyment, not fuss, so be free and find what makes you happy.
I’d been wanting to try Pasta Carbonara for awhile now, so this seemed to be the time.
Pasta Carbonara is an old Italian dish that tosses a hot pasta (typically spaghetti) with a sauce made of bacon, beaten eggs, cheese and herbs. I liked the idea of adding just a splash of cream, and I had a brand new herb garden waiting to be plucked for cooking, so I headed on into the unchartered waters and began.
The first ingredient in Pasta Carbonara is bacon.
You can substitute Pancetta, but I went for good ol’ American bacon. I prefer the thicker sliced bacon, but any kind will do ya. Slice it into one-half inch pieces.
And toss it into a skillet over medium heat. I added about one tablespoon of olive oil, just to keep the bacon from sticking to the hot pan.
Stir this up and let it cook for 8-10 minutes until it turns nice and brown. I said brown, not black, so watch it carefully.
While that’s cooking, bring a large pot of water with 2 tablespoons of kosher salt to boil over high heat for your pasta. Any good Italian will tell you the only way to season pasta is to add plenty of salt (to taste like seawater) to your water and I keep a bowl of it on my stovetop for just such an occasion. You can use any pasta you like for this recipe but pick one that will hold sauce well. I used Casarecce, but penne or bowtie pasta would be fun as well. The old fashioned version of this recipe would probably just use plain ol’ spaghetti. Cook whatever pasta you choose (about one pound) according to the package directions and make sure you don’t overcook it!
Once your bacon is nicely browned, remove it to a bowl or plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess grease.
Drain all the bacon grease out of your pan, then chop up one medium onion and cook it for a couple of minutes in the yumminess that is grease and browned bacon bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Cook these until they turn nice and brown and transluscent. Then add five garlic cloves (YES I said five!) into the onions and cook for one minute.
Transfer your onion-garlic mixture into a bowl also.
Now, for the sauce.
Crack 4 whole eggs into a serving bowl. I love my raspberry shallow- but- large pasta bowl. Truly love it. Add in one-half cup of cream. Don’t worry, it’s not much, and once dispersed throughout the sauce, it won’t kill you. Add in a cup of freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese and 1/2 teaspoon of cracked pepper.
You can use Parmesan, but I had a huge block of this stuff and it’s truly one of my favorite cheeses in the world.
Let’s talk about herbs. I am an admitted herb-freak. You could add a few tablespoons of chopped parsley to this, if you want traditional fare, but since I have an abundance of herbs growing right outside my back door, I added parsley, basil and chives. I used approximately 10 basil leaves, 1/2 cup of chopped parsley and 6 chives and chopped them all up together and added them right in.
Whisk all of this together to make a yellow and creamy, herb-flecked sauce.
By now, you should have cooked your pasta to al-dente (cooked, but with a bite) according to the package directions. Drain that gorgous stuff.
And dump it right on top of your sauce in the pasta bowl.
Add on the bacon and onions.
And mix it all up so that the hot pasta “cooks” the egg sauce and makes for a heavenly coating inside the little parchment scrolls.
If you’re feeling particularly naughty, grate on some more Percorino-Romano cheese and sprinkle on some chopped herbs for garnish.
Then spoon it all up into bowls and enjoy it with a hearty and crusty loaf of good bread and a salad.
Surprisingly, not since I made the Mussel dish, Mr. Wonderful gushed to me afterward, “That is by far, the best thing you’ve made lately!”.
And that, my dears, gave me the best stamp of approval I could want.
Cuz he, being the Wonderful that he is, is the guy I like to make happy.
Author: Katie of Dishin & Dishes
Recipe type: Main
1 box Casarecce pasta (or your favorite pasta)
2 T.kosher salt (for the pasta water)
1 pound package thick-sliced bacon, chopped in ½ in. pieces
1 t. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
½ c. heavy cream
1 c. Perorino Roman cheese, grated
½ t. pepper
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
½ c. fresh parsley, chopped
6 fresh chives, chopped
Put on a large pot of water to boil.
Add in 2 T. salt and bring to a boil.
Add in pasta and cook to package directions.
While pasta is cooking, saute bacon over medium heat in olive oil until nicely browned, then remove to plate line with paper towels.
Drain all bacon fat except about a tablepoon and add onions.
Cook over medium heat until browning but transluscent about 5 minutes.
Add in garlic and cook one minute more.
Remove to platter or bowl. In large serving bowl, add eggs, cream, cheese, herbs and pepper. Mix with whisk.
When pasta is done, drain and dump on top of sauce.
Add in bacon and onions.
Toss to coat everything with sauce.
Additional garnish with more grated cheese and herbs, if desired.