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Super Mario Bros.: Luigi Edition

February 21, 2012

I like to think I have a healthy sense of myself. I know I don’t look cute when I wake up; I never assume that you will find my communistic food sharing (read: eating your food) endearing; and I know that my thick eyebrows are only attractive until they bear a resemblance to those of a certain Ms. Kahlo.

But… I like to think that I give good gifts. And if you have received a “meh” present from me, I do not mean that I always give good gifts… But I do a lot of the time. And what is the secret to good gift-giving you ask?  Creeper-like stalking of your closest friends.  And I am nothing if not a creeper. I will archive your gchats, bookmark the links you send, and order presents a stalker-like three to six months prior to your birthday. My roommate’s birthday present has been sitting in my closet for a week; she’s a Memorial Day baby. (No peeking, Cole.)

What can I say, I get excited. It happens.

Now, on the other side of this exchange, I have received many a good (if not great) gift in my day. But this week, I finally got my first “I’m-so-excited-open-the-present-I-got-you-now” present.

Pasta Lightning... It's like Grease Lightning, but sexier

Look at that baby gleam.

This baby was a present for Valentine’s. Which I received on Saturday. (He was that excited.) And it was found for me with a stalker-like attention to my love of appliances and pasta making. Or maybe with just an attention to my blog. (See here and here.)

What can I say, he knows the path to my heart:

Sleek appliances + Carbs= Love.

So, readers, meet Luigi the pasta maker. Luigi, my readers. The five of you should get along nicely. (1. I name most of my appliances. 2. I always preferred Luigi to Mario. Less cocky, more substance. Much more my style.)

In honor of Luigi, we made spinach pasta. (He was the green one. Get it? Good.)

You start by blanching some spinach. I’m a bit of cooking novice, so I had to look up blanching. You get to benefit from my ignorance. Blanching is a manner of wilting the spinach. You boil some water, throw the spinach on top, give it a second or two, and pull it out. This would be a great time to have one of those fancy french-fry-net-thing-ys.  I had a fork. It took a little bit longer.

Then you dry them off.

And keep drying them off. Looks a bit like a Rothko, right?

Ok, fine, we can go with “Blueberry, No. 2.”

Then, and this is a secret I learned since my last pasta post, you use the food processor.  If you mix the egg and the floor in the food processor, it simplifies the pasta dough process remarkably.  Downside: you don’t get to make an egg bowl on your counter. Let’s just say, it’s easy, but I’m not sold.

Nonetheless, a food processor is pretty necessary for the spinach style.  Just add spinach, eggs, a bit of salt, olive oil, and floor in a food processor until it forms a ball. (Below is almost a ball. I added a bit more flour after this and mixed a bit more.)

Then just like the other pasta, you let the dough sit for a half hour. Then comes the fun part.

Start by rolling it out a bit. You want a large oval, something you can feed into the machine.

Then you run it through part 1 to roll it pasta thin. (This is the part where my triceps threw a party.)

Kind of Luigi hair, right?

Then you feed it through part 2.  I think that pasta should always be fettuccine, so I went that way.

Pasta noodles are as fun as it gets.

Then you dry it over night and you end with a beaut:

Plant or Pasta? You decide.

Spinach Pasta Dough (From Emeril)

Ingredients:

5 ounces fresh spinach, blanched and squeezed dry
1 pound all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
6 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt and blanched spinach. Process to mix well. With the machine running, add the eggs, egg yolks, and olive oil through the feed tube, and process until it resembles wet cornmeal, about 2 minutes.

Take a handful of dough at a time and form into a firm ball. Repeat with the remaining dough. Roll out each dough ball into desired shape in a pasta machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until just al dente, about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and serve with desired sauce.

Enjoy!

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