Valentine's Dinner

We don't celebrate Valentine's Day, but it happened that hubby's daughter and boyfriend came over for dinner and we decided to treat them and celebrate on their behalf.

From our Pasta Making class, not only did we learn how to make spaetzle, but also half-moons and ravioli. The dough for the half-moon pasta can also be used to make lasagna noodles, spaghetti, fettucini, and so on.  For our Valentine's Dinner, we decided on pesto linguini with home-made alfredo shrimp sauce!

End result?  Success!  Here it is below:

Pasta Dough:

note - this recipe makes enough dough for 5 meals, serving 4-6 people. If you do not need that much dough, 1/2 or 1/4 the recipe for a single serving.
  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups semolina (if you cannot get this, use 7 1/2 cups flour instead)
  • 12 eggs
  • 150 mL olive oil
  • dry pesto mix (I used a pre-made organic powder blend)
In a mixer, combine flour, semolina, pesto mix and oil.  Add eggs one at a time and mix until it looks kinda like cookie dough.  Remove from bowl and knead until it is smooth and elastic-y. For those accustomed to making bread, the dough feels 'heavier' and more dense, but you are still looking for a smooth, velvety texture, like play-doh.

Wrap dough ball(s) in plastic wrap and let sit in fridge for 2 - 24 hrs.  Dough will keep up to 7 days, but best used right away.

When ready to cook the pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  Keep the water at a boil to sustain movement int he pot.

Using a pasta machine, roll out the dough into thin sheets.  You can use a rolling pin, but *beware* - will cause extensive forearm strain as the dough is quite tough.  Using the cutting tool on the machine, run the dough sheets through to get your pieces (we did linquini).

Blanch fresh pasta, cooking 2-4 minutes depending on your preferred texture.  Remove from water and toss in olive oil or prepared sauce.

Auntie M's Alfredo Shrimp Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup parmasean cheese
  • 3 cups cream (10% or higher)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 bag (30-40) uncooked shrimp
Defrost shrimp and set in a bowl nearby.

In saucepan over medium-low heat, combine butter and flour to make a roux base, stirring with a whisk until there are no lumps.

Add cream and continue stirring until blended.  As bubbles form, reduce heat and let simmer, stirring constantly (don't let it burn!!)

As the sauce thickens, add salt & pepper to taste*.  Let sit for 5-7 minutes.

* For a spicy flare, you can also add ground chili flakes or cayanne pepper *

Stir in shrimp.  The juices from the shrimp should give the sauce a more fluid texture, and will provide body to the flavor.  Cook until shrimp are just turning pink.

Pour over prepared pasta, mix, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve HOT!

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