Roasted summer vegetables

Daily harvests of tomatoes, eggplant, butternut squash, and peppers are piling up in my kitchen. So I’ve been roasting them in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and a liberal dose of minced garlic. (I put parchment paper on a cookies sheet for easy clean up.) After a good roast at about 400 F, some of it goes into freezer bags, some goes directly into our mouths (LOL), and the rest gets used throughout the week in pasta, curries, stews, rice pilafs, pizzas, quesadillas, tacos, omelets, etc.

Recently I made “Russian caviar” or ikra from a combination of roasted veggies. I often buy jars of this at Cao Nguyen grocery, and it’s a bit pricey. Here is a pretty standard NY Times recipe for ikra. Last night I made two pizzas – one with roasted eggplant and tomatoes, another with roasted butternut and onions. For lunch today I made homemade pasta (we’ve also got a surplus of  eggs right now), and topped it with the roasted veggies and an light Alfredo sauce. Here’s my recipe:

Homemade pasta noodles

I have an Atlas pasta roller machine, but you can roll it out with a rolling pin, especially if  you’re young and energetic. This makes enough noodles for two people.

  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • extra flour for “dusting”

Beat the egg and water in a large bowl, then add the flour and salt. (I start with a fork, but then use my hands.) Shape into a ball and knead, adding extra flour bit by bit until the dough feels satiny.  Divide the dough into two balls. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap. At this point you can stop, and resume making the noodles later, or continue on.

Using a pasta machine: Flatten out one ball and feed through the pasta machine, starting at the thickest level and then gradually moving the dial until it reaches noodle density. I always do several passes at the thickest level, folding the dough and re-rolling it until it looks really smooth. Each time you pass it through the rollers you should dust/dredge it with flour so it doesn’t stick or tear in the roller. My Atlas has 6 thickness settings, and for noodles I like setting #4. I’ve had problems with #6 being too delicate, but it might be good for angel hair pasta. I like #5 thickness for lasagna and ravioli. Pass the dough through the noodle cutter, then place into a bowl and dust with flour while you make the second batch.

Rolling by hand: Put down a smooth dishcloth and dust very liberally with flour. Flatten out the dough, sprinkle with flour, and have the strongest/youngest/hungriest person in the house roll the dough as thin as possible with a rolling pin. (Or don’t worry about getting it that thin, and just go with an udon or dumpling-type noodle.) Dust the dough again, then roll up jelly roll fashion, and slice into noodles. Repeat with the other batch of dough.

Cook the noodles in a large amount of salted water. Since these are fresh noodles they don’t take very long to cook, so plan accordingly.

Warm up your roasted vegetables in the microwave. I highly recommend the roasted butternut. It adds a little sweetness that goes well with the Alfredo.

Alfredo sauce

  • Equal parts olive oil and butter (about 1 Tbsp of each)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp chopped basil
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Lightly sauté the garlic in the olive oil and butter. Add the basil and sauté just a wee bit. Right before serving add the heavy cream and heat up until it starts to simmer. DO NOT BOIL.

Toss all together, and grate some Parmesan, Romano, Pecorino, or other hard cheese on top. A grind of pepper is also advised.



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