Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fresh pasta with red wine mushroom sauce

I decided to take on menu planning this week on account of Kristen being really busy with dissertation stuff... Since I'm totally uncreative I just tried to pick an Italian thing, an Indian thing, an asian thing, and something with lentils since lentils are awesome. Italian thing first!

This morning Kris sent me a link to this great blog 30 Bucks a Week about making your own pasta. Apparently something you can do without some sort of pasta rolling machine from SkyMall?? (I was also totally incredulous that two people could eat on one $30 trip to the grocery store a week, but we'll get to that)

I had to add a little water in addition to the 1 egg & .75 cu flour to get it into the right type of ball, but after that their instructions worked pretty perfectly. It took me about forty five minutes (almost a whole This American Life) to roll out and slice all the fettuccines... which was kind of a lot of work but rather entertaining on a Sunday night that would have been otherwise "duller than rolling out a bunch of pasta by hand" as they say.

The red wine mushroom sauce they used sounded really good too (well, at least having an excuse to open the red wine sounded good). I sort of made up my own recipe. To wit:

1 medium onion, chopped
28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, chopped up a bit
1 carton of mushrooms, sliced (I used white, cremini or whatever else would probably be tastier)
~1/2 cup of red wine (cheapo Pepperwood Pinot Noir was great)

Heat up a medium skillet over medium heat. Add a tbsp or two of olive oil, the onions, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook them a bit, maybe 5 minutes, before adding the tomatoes and another pinch of salt. Once most of the liquid from the tomatoes and mushrooms is gone, add the wine and keep cooking until it's sauce!

We topped it with some fresh mozzarella that was left over from something or other, and here is the result:

Yum! It was totally bizarre to me that this actually worked and actually looked and tasted like pasta (really really good pasta), though I can't imagine it would have tasted nearly as good if I hadn't worked so hard for it.

OK, the $30 story real quick since this is already way long: I spent some time looking through that blog this morning, thinking they were crazy since we usually spend twice that for each of multiple trips to the store in a week (I am embarrassed about this). We had almost no food in the house, so I put together a pretty massive grocery list for 5 meals. A few hours later, I'm checking out at Henry's, and by the how-heavy-the-basket-is metric I'm expecting somewhere between $60 and $80... The grand completely unexpected total: $29.67!! Too weird

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