Homemade Pizza and Pesto Pasta

Last week my husband and I spent a wonderful evening celebrating our wedding anniversary! I decided to utilize the new skills that I learned at Central Market’s “Italian Fresh Pasta” class, and make some Pasta with Pesto and homemade pizza. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the wonderful Kitchen Aid attachments that I used in the class, so my trusty hands and rolling pin were the tools I had to work with.

Since I already made the pasta dough in class there were just a few steps I had to take before the pasta was ready for the pot.

**Side Note: You can use these same techniques with store bought frozen dough.

  • Take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit until it reaches room temperature
  • Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or until slightly soft
  • Cut the dough into fourths and roll out the pieces until sheet thin
  • Cut each large piece in half to make it easier to work with
  • Using a pizza cutter, cut the pasta sheets into thin strips, the size of Fettuccine

Once I finished cutting the pasta it was time to finish my pizza! I have to say everything turned out wonderful. We topped off the meal with a delicious Caesar Salad and a bottle of Pinot Noir. Give these recipes a try…they are delish! Pasta Fresca

Egg Pasta – Recipe adapted from “Pasta”, Williams-Sonoma Kitchen Library

Makes about 1 pound (480 g) fresh egg pasta; serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups (300 g) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus extra for spinkling
  • 3 large eggs

Hand Method

Heap the 2 1/4 cups flour on a pastry board (or your granite counter top). Make a well in the center and break the eggs into it. Using a fork lightly beat the eggs. With a circular movement, gradually incorporate the flour from the walls of the well. Continue until all of it is incorporated. Using the palm of your hand, knead the dough as you would bread dough, pushing it against the board and turning it constantly, until it is smooth, elastic and not too soft, about 5 mintues.

Food Processor Method

Combine the flour and eggs in the work bowl fitted with the metal blade. Pulse briefly a few times to combine the ingredients. Then process using long pulses only until the dough forms a ball around the blade, about 1 minute. Turn the dough out onto a pastry board and knead with the palm of your hand as described above.



Classic Pesto

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, August 2004

Makes about 1 cup.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves (from about 3 large bunches)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated pecorin sardo or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

Combine first 4 ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend until paste forms, stopping often to push down basil. Add both cheeses and salt; blend until smooth. Transfer to small bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Top with 1.2 inch olive oil and chill.)


Mushroom & Onion Pizza

Preheat oven, with pizza stone, to 500 degrees

Dough

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tblsp olive oil
  • 3/4 C warm water
  • 1 envelope Active Dry yeast
  • Cooking Spray

Depending on what kind of yeast you are using mix the water and yeast together and set aside for 5 minutes.  If using instant yeast, you can skip this step.

Pulse flour, sugar, & salt together in food processor.  Add water mixture and olive oil.  Pulse until it forms a ball.  Knead together for a few minutes.  OR put everything in the Kitchen Aid with dough hook…mix at low until it forms a ball.  Knead for 4 minutes, let rest for 5 minutes, then knead for 5 more minutes.  Lightly grease a medium sized bowl with cooking spray and place dough in bowl, cover to coat, then cover bowl and let rise until doubled in volume…about 1 hour.


When spreading dough….lightly flour counter.  Place dough on counter and using fingertips flatten and then stretch the dough on the outside of disc.  Do this gently, trying to refrain from stretching from the middle so to not over-stretch the center, making it too thin.

Toppings

*I did not measure the exact portions of my toppings – have fun with them, but remember – less is more!

  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce (I used Ragu)
  • 8 oz bag of shredded mozzarella
  • 4 oz  cremini mushrooms, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch basil, chiffonade
  • 12 pepperonis

Lightly flour your pizza peel and place the pizza dough on top. Working VERY quickly spread the pizza sauce onto the crust, sprinkle with the cheese, and scatter the toppings on top!

Bake at 500 degrees for 7-10 minutes, until the way you like it.


Grizzly Bear: My husband turned me on to this band just this year. This summer we saw them live at the Granada Theatre and needless to say they were incredible! I decided to post two videos tonight. The first one, Two Weeks, was the first single I heard from them. The second video is from the New Moon soundtrack, Slow Life. The music and their harmonies make this band truly unique. Thanks babe for the music tip!! 😉

Slow Life – Twilight: New Moon


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