Planet of the Scapes: Homemade Linguine

pasta6A lot of us eat pre-made food because we think it’s easier and faster. But pasta is pretty fast and the flavour is like the difference between in season and out of season fruit. The texture is better than pre-dried. In 40 minutes you can have a whole other world of pasta. The same noodle can be made into a quick pinch noodle or dried and kept for later. Cook beware: If you need to interrupt the flow, take your pasta down. When we hung the pasta to dry, we realized we made more pasta than we could eat. We woke in the night to a commotion. As the pasta dried, it cracked off from the hangers and made a pinging rain that had the cat running back and forth across the kitchen, half wanting to catch the “strange moths” and half scared and dodging this strange hard rain.

Vegan Linguine Dough

(Makes 4 large servings)

Dry ingredients:
2 3/4 cup pasta flour*
1/3 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp sea salt

Wet ingredients:
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup water (more as needed, depending on general humidity)
pasta1Method:
Hand: Combine dry ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Create a well in the centre, add the wet ingredients. Mix well with a spoon or your hands. Knead the dough until it forms into a ball.

If you don’t like to touch dough:
Machine: Put all the dry ingredients in the food processor. Drizzle in the oil, then water, as you pulse until it forms a ball.

Knead for 10 minutes. Let the ball rest, covered, for 15-20 minutes. Roll it into a tube and cut it into six pieces.

pasta3

Roll each out to 1/8″ or 1/16″ thick. The more even the pasta, the more uniformly it will cook. To get really precise, you can use two 1/8” thick slats of board, and roll the pasta out between them with the pin. Flour generously. Roll the length up and slice at the width you want.

You can get racks for hanging the pasta or drape it from something convenient like a wide-mouthed bowl or clothes hangers if you want. Let the pasta rest 10-15 minutes.

Add the noodles to salted boiling water for a few minutes (up to 10 or 12) or until they float.

pasta*Extra note: You can get flour made specifically for pasta at any Nicastro’s.

Reasoning for the Seasoning: Turmeric gives it colour and adds a boost of anti-inflammatory. You can substitute table salt or sodium chloride for no salt. Its purpose is to perk up the flavour. You could use leftover spinach or beet cooking water instead of plain water to make colored pasta.
You can serve tomato sauce over it or a white sauce; cook down some herbs and mushrooms or make a pesto. The problem with pesto is often that pine nuts and walnuts are expensive and cheese causes many people allergies. There are ways around everything. In early spring you can substitute dandelion greens for the sage and basil as well. That’s another good solution to weeding, provided you haven’t used pesticides on your ground before.

pasta4Vegan Pesto:
1/2 cup packed sage leaves
drizzle of olive oil
handful toasted hazelnuts
a few leaves of basil
sprinkle nutritional yeast to taste

Drop it all into a food processor and chop. Add a little more oil to blend, if you’re feeling like a richer sauce, or add water if you’re calorie conscious. You weren’t calorie conscious until I said the word, were you?
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Pearl Pirie is an Ottawa writer with two poetry collections and a third coming out in 2015. She blogs and photographs area events. Since April 2006, Pearl Pirie has been running Eaten Up, www.pagehalffull.com/eatenup/, an Ottawa-based vegan/vegetarian cooking, meals and restaurant review blog.  www.pearlpirie.com