Gifts for a Kitchen MacGyver (A post by Molly)

Last Christmas I asked for a pasta maker and it was by far my favorite gift that Christmas. This wasn’t the first time I asked for cooking equipment as a gift,  for my eighth birthday I begged for a Betty Crocker Bake-n-Fill. I was mostly lured by its over-the-top advertising on Nickelodeon. Still the Bake-n-Fill served me well, for that birthday party we had a cake filled with ice cream and decorated to look like a penguin (I had a penguin themed party that year and I took everyone to see March of the Penguins). So, I have decided to put my pasta maker to good use as well.The first time I made pasta it was less than satisfactory. I used the recipe from the owner’s manual. Due to either the poor quality of the recipe or the inexperience of the chef (let’s not look too much into the second one), the pasta was thick, doughy and generally unappetizing. Since then I’ve learned, and I’ve realized that pasta making is tedious and boring. The only solution to this problem that I can think of is adding color to the pasta making process. The tan-ish yellow seems to make the task endless. So, choosing my favorite color I decided to make spinach pasta. Since my sister and her boyfriend were coming home, I decided it was the perfect dinner to welcome them. And I had the perfect afternoon to kill before they came.
Like a MacGyver of the kitchen, I fashioned together my very own steamer for the spinach, and later on used our “drying rack” which is really just a baking rack turned on its side. Just as I had planned, this time the pasta making process was quick and efficient and done before I had to leave for volleyball. The reactions made the process that much more worth it. My next frontier: Carrot Pasta.

Spinach Pasta

2 1/2 cups flour

5 oz. fresh spinach

Large pinch Salt

3 eggs

1. In a steamer (or a colander with a pot top on placed over a boiling pot of water, see picture) steam spinach until softened 2-5 min.

2. In either paper towels or a clean wash cloth, press the excess juices out of the spinach.

3. Puree spinach in a food processor.

*4. In a mixing bowl add spinach and egg, and mix.

*5. Mix flour and salt into the bowl until the mixture is thick and doughy (you may have to add another egg)

6. Knead dough for a few minutes

7. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and let stand for 1-2 hours

8. Divide into eight pieces and roll each piece through the pasta machine twice for each setting on the machine. This takes a while. Then roll through the pasta cutter.

9. Hang pasta on drying rack, or baking rack on its side

10, Once dry prepare like regular pasta or store in an air tight bag.

*this part of the recipe can be done in a food processor, unfortunately this recipe was too much for our wee food processor

Quick MacGyver, we need to steam that spinach!
Steaming spinach, MacGyver style
If you’re not daring enough to cook MacGyver style, you can use frozen spinach that’s been thawed.
As you can see our wee food processor was too small for the full recipe.
Doesn’t that just look exciting?
Be sure to have a well floured work space.
Even with the spinach brightening things up, this was still a tedious process.
But organization and the vibrant color really quickened the pace.
I served the final product with fresh tomatoes and feta cheese. I’m not going to brag or anything, but there weren’t any leftovers.

I’m adding some videos that will help explain the pasta making process. Hope you enjoy (I should warn you that these videos are unedited)!

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