Sunday, August 17, 2008

Homemade Pasta, Parm Crusted Chicken and Basil Walnut Pesto

Dinner Saturday night was one of my favorites ever. I made pasta from scratch for the first time ever and it came out great. Of course having never done it, I was nervous and had a box on standby. My stepdaughter was a great help too. She ran the crank on the pasta machine and helped me separate the pieces. Fresh pasta is amazing. Paired with the pesto and chicken, it was a meal not to be forgotten. I must also note, the chicken was sooo easy and soooo good, I don't know why I never made it before.


3-1/2 cups all purpose or bread flour
4 eggs

Combine the flour and the eggs in a food processor with the regular blade. Process until it forms a ball, adding flour if it's too sticky, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Remove and wrap the dough in plastic wrap coated with cooking spray and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Removed the dough from the fridge and divide it into fours. Roll the sections through a pasta maker, starting on 7. I ran it twice through on 7 then once or twice more on 5, then finally twice through on 3. Then run it through the fettucini attachment (or spaghetti, whatever you like!) Separate the pieces and lay them out to dry on a floured surface. Note: my pasta cooked up to be a bit thicker than I wanted so I would run it through on 2 next time.

To cook, place them in salted boiling water for 4-5 minutes. Watch carefully as homemade pasta cooks quicker than dried pasta. We cooked our after they dried for about 45 minutes.

Basil Walnut Pesto

From Cooking Light

2 (1/2-ounce) slices white bread
1/2 cup fat-free milk
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese (I used parmesan cheese)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled

Trim crusts from bread. Place bread in a shallow dish; pour milk over bread. Let stand 5 minutes. Place bread mixture in a food processor; add basil and next 6 ingredients (basil through garlic). Set aside without processing. Add 2 ladles of reserved cooking liquid from the pasta to basil mixture in food processor, and process until smooth. Add the pesto to pasta; toss well to coat.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken (Rachael Ray)

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
Salt & pepper

Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breast. Put the parm cheese in a flat plate. Then firmly press both sides of each chicken breast into the cheese, making sure they are coated. Heat olive oil in a pan and place the chicken in it once it is hot. Cook on each side for 7 minutes and DO NOT TOUCH THEM until the 7 minutes are up. The cheese is melting and forming the crust.

Here's another picture... just in case you missed it in all it's glory.

1 comment:

~Amber~ said...

This looks delicious.