Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fresh Spinach Pasta (Pasta Verde)

A refresh post from my previous one. Newly updated to bring you a better recipe. Enjoy!

"Verde" means green in Italian/Spanish, and Pasta Verde simply translate as green pasta. And The green here comes from Popeye's favorite vegetable, spinach. :) I don't exactly remember how many times, but I do remember it's more then my fingers plus my toes combined together. I'm talking about the number of times I've made fresh pasta at home. I believe anyone whom had tried it and tasted it before will know why go through the hassle to make it your own. It's different from your grocery bought, packaged fresh noodles. Making it at home is the real deal, it's doesn't get fresher then that, trust me. And the tender noodles tossed in your favorite sauce or gravy will totally knock your socks off, guaranteed.

Here I made a version of Garlic Lemon Cream Sauce tossed with the Pasta Verde. With crab meat and pan seared Salmon steak...a wonderful complete meal. Well your vegetables are already in the pasta haha! :P

Look on to see how I did it:

Ingredients for Fresh Spinach Pasta: (enough for 2-3 adults)
3/4 package fresh spinach, using leaves only, wash and rinse dry.
-after I cooked it, it yields about 80g
180g all purpose flour (plus more for dusting and shaping)
1 large eggs

Lemon Garlic Cream Sauce
3 garlic minced
3 tbsp unsalted butter
juice of 1/2 lemon
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp all purpose flour
300ml milk + 100ml heavy cooking cream
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
2 tsp sugar

1 salmon steak, seasoned with salt and pepper and sauteed till golden brown.

  • In a large saute pan, heat it up 1 tbsp of water, add in the spinach leaves and saute for a couple minutes. It will slowly wilt down. Remove from pan and let cool. Squeeze out the excess liquid and weigh out about 80g of it and set aside
  • In a large mixing bowl, add in the flour, the egg and the spinach. (Note that I doubled my recipe this there are two eggs in the picture) 
  • Mix well until it comes together. Place it on a lightly floured work surface and knead it to form a soft dough. Might be a little sticky, add a little flour and knead till not sticky.
  • Cover the dough in a moist towel and let rest for 10 minutes before shaping it. If you have a pasta maker, it'll be a good time to bring it out and set it up right now. Else a lightly floured work surface and a trusty rolling pin will do too.
  • Divide the dough into 4 smaller equal portions. Take a portion, lightly dust it with flour and let it pass through the pasta roller at the highest number, meaning thickest.
  • Gradually decrease the number knob to 1 or 2 depending the kind of pasta you want to make and let the pasta roll through a couple times on each number. It will come out into a nice smooth sheet of pasta.
  • Carefully placed the pasta sheets on a lightly floured baking tray and cover with moist towel. Repeat with the rest of the pasta dough portions till all has been rolled out.
  • At this point, get ready a pot of boiling water going at medium high heat. Then change the pasta maker setting so that it will turn the roller on for cutting it into the shape you want. This time I am making linguine. If you do not have the pasta maker, just use a pizza cutter or a knife to slice the sheets into thin strips.
  • Meanwhile, heat up a tsp of olive oil and place the minced garlic in. Saute till lightly browned and fragrant. Add in 3 tbsp of butter and cook till just melted.
  • Add in the 1 tbsp of flour and quickly stir in to cook the flour. Once thicken, add in the milk and cream mixture, lemon juice and lower the fire to smallest. 
  • Stirring constantly till the sauce is smooth. Add in the lemon zest, salt, pepper and sugar. Stir well till everything is well combined. Set aside.
  • Boil the pasta in the water for a few minutes, I would say 3 to 4 minutes since fresh pasta cooks really fast. Scoop it out and toss it in the lemon garlic sauce sauce and add the crab meat..

The pasta is really smooth and delicious. If you are not really a fan of spinach, you can simply omit the vegetables and make plain egg pasta. Reduce the flour to 150g instead. But I am always try to find ways to incorporate more greens into my kids menu, so this is one of the most effective "camouflage" method, lol! Of course the kids knew about the vegetables been made into the pasta, but they didn't taste it, so it's all good. ;P 

 Below is an old picture of my previous post which I made the spinach pasta into sheets and using them as lasagna pasta. Cool right! I should do that again soon. :9

Again, I felt that it's a much better choose over the box version. But of course, the box pasta always comes in handy when you are on the run. ;) Enough said, I do hope you all will try making fresh pasta at home, it's truly a gourmet meal you can share with you love ones. But do note that you should get your sauces ready first before making the fresh pasta. Once the pasta is made, you just have to toss the noodles in your favorite sauce, simple as that. Enjoy everyone!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tau Suan (豆爽) -Split Pea Dessert Soup

Tau Suan is probably one of those desserts that I would cook regularly for my family to enjoy over the weekend. It's funny how I would still Google or dig through my cookbooks for this recipe especially I cook it rather often. Guess there's way too many good recipes to register in this brain of mine. :P So blog post it is then! Just a simple short one that I can refer to every time. ;) An essential recipe that every Chinese family should know how to make. ;)

Really no rocket science here. It is probably as easy as boiling red bean and green bean soup. But if you take that extra step of soaking and steaming the split beans, you will definitely be rewarded with a tastier bowl of tau suan. Let's now take a closer look at the recipe and steps involved:

Ingredients for Tau Suan (豆爽) -Split Pea Dessert Soup (Serves 4-5pax)
250g dried split pea
1.8Liters water
180-200g caster sugar
2 - 3 spears of pandan leaves
50g chestnut flour/powder (You can sub with corn flour or sweet potato flour)

  • Place the dried split peas in a large bowl, rinse it once and drain the yellowish water away. Then soak it with more fresh water for a good 2-3 hours.
  • After soaking, drain the water away. Prepare a steaming pot. Place the soaked split beans into a bowl and a knotted pandan leaf. Place the bowl in the steamer and steam for 25-30 minutes till soft.

  • In the meantime, prepare a pot, add in the water, sugar and the other knotted pandan leaf. Bring it to a boil and stir till the sugar dissolves. Off the fire.
  • Mix the chestnut flour with 1/2 cup of water till combined. Add this mixture to the sugar water in the pot.

  •  Stir well till the two mixtures are well combines. On the fire to medium and bring to a gently boil. At this point, add in the steamed split beans.
  •  Again stir well to combine and the soup will slowly thickens up. Taste it to see if you need more sugar or more water to dilute it. And you're done!
 A bowl of tau suan is NEVER complete with out some crunchy fried dough (油条) :9 I actually blogged and posted Ham Chee Peng before! The dough for you tiao and ham chee peng are pretty much the same, so feel free to hop over to my Ham Chee Peng recipe to try it out. ;)

 For this time, I bought some freshly fried you tiao to go with my tau suan  (豆爽). :9 Don't tell me you don't crave for this dessert some times...I've never met a person that dislikes it!

A comforting bowl of tau suan dessert, so much love and yumminess haha! Do try it out...it is really so easy to make too. ;)

Happy cooking!