Thursday, August 09, 2012

Oat pasta - all ears

In my quest to avoid buying packaged foods, a few things have happened recently:

- A 50lb bag of oats is now in my living room (thanks, Lori!)

- a half-block of real, firm tofu was just cooked into a stir-fry with broccoli and peppers:

- lots of farmer's market fruits and veggies have appeared around the house (not to mention several jars of tomato sauce in the freezer!)

The fruits disappear fast. The veggies mostly require preparation. And we're out of pasta??!

Of the pasta shapes I've made so far, included are fettuccine, pappardelle, ravioli, garganelli, capellini, and farfalle, not to mention ramen noodles and dumplings (here's a great pasta glossary for shapes). I don't have an extruder, but Little One loves smaller pastas.

In the meantime, my friend Janice posted a beautiful campanelle dish that is as pretty as it must be delicious. I'm drooling. She also gave me some zucchini, which I'd been craving.

Put that all together and we have a lovely vegetable oat orecchiete! I modified this recipe as follows:

2 cups oat flour (pulse rolled oats in blender, then measure - or sub 1/2 cup rice or other flour)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
water as needed
1 tsp ground flax (optional)

Soak flax in 2 tbsp water if using for 5 min.
Mix flour and salt. Make a well and add oil, flax, and then water, a little at a time. I needed almost a whole cup to get nice and soft (since there are no eggs). Let sit after it comes together (oats absorb water!), then add more as needed. Make several balls, then knead each separately. Knead really really really well, about 5 minutes (this is longer than you think). I used my pasta machine to start off some of the kneading. Cover with a wet cloth and let dough rest.

Once the dough is nice and soft, roll out the dough thinly (1/8 inch) or use a pasta extruder/roller to make pasta or noodle shapes.

OR, to make orecchiette, make small snakes about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide and cut into about 1/2 inch pieces (kids can do this with a butter knife). Push your thumb through the center of the piece to make a little upside-down hat. Leave them to dry on a floured surface about 15 min, then cook until al dente (ours took about 5 min). To freeze, dry 30 minutes, then gently place in a closed container and freeze.

This was very crumbly kneading at first, and after cooking, goopy on the outside although al dente (Little One adored it that way but DH not as much) - I'd recommend substituting 1/2 cup rice flour (gluten free) or semolina to help it bind a bit better.You can also make a double batch and save half for another meal later! Do not plan on making this in the half-hour before dinner as I did :)

The sauce: zucchini sauteed in olive oil, basil, oregano, salt, and tomato sauce. Orecchiette means "little ear" so we are imagining that they are tiny ears for invisible people.

1 comment:

Janice said...

Love it, Rani!!! I don't know if I'm so brave to attempt making pasta, but I am definitely inspired =) Looks delicious!