So, not only did I finalize the menu in January, I already started cooking. Can you believe that? That is almost as crazy as growing my eyebrows out, which I was requested to do as one of "our" family goals for 2013. I'm still trying to figure out exactly how I feel about that request, but none-the-less, I am doing it, and I'm almost through the really awkward part, where I felt like I was drawing my eyebrows on like my grandmother used to do. At any rate, back to food: There are two things that I intend to make before we go on our trip. One of this dishes is a sweet potato - bacon - butter filled pasta that will be served with a sage - cream - prosciutto sauce. I actually can't wait to eat it. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The reason I can make this so early is that the pasta part is freezable, for weeks, and I intend to do just that to make my life easier. The only thing is, there are just a few things in my life that I have said I will never do. Most of them involved child rearing, and I said them before I ever had kids. So I don't count those. But one of them, I have actually said I will never do again, and I've said it twice, which means that evidently I shouldn't count any time I say I will never do anything. This thing, is making home made pasta. It is laborious to say the least. But I do especially laborious things for the Birthday Dinner, so why not? If I had all the right tools, then it probably wouldn't be quite as bad. But since I don't, I usually improvise.
The filling was easy enough, roast some sweet potatoes, fry up some bacon, mix it together with some spices, put in a pasty bag, to pipe it into pasta. Well, technically, I was supposed to put the potatoes through a ricer, which I don't have. So I used the following:
I just mushed it through with another spoon. It probably wasn't a necessary step, I'm sure it had to do with texture. You couldn't even tell once I stirred in the bacon and spices and butter. Here it is in the pastry bag, waiting to be piped into "agnolotti" whatever those are.
Ok, so then comes the part that I hate about making pasta. It's the actual pasta. If I had an extruder, or pasta roller, or any such pasta appliance, it probably wouldn't be terrible. Even if I had such appliance, I'm sure I'd still only do it for special occasions. But this is what I use for my pasta roller:
The thing is, I was supposed to get 48 "agnolotti" out of my half recipe of pasta dough, which is all that I had enough eggs to make anyway. This would give each of us approximately 8 pieces of filled pasta each. My pasta roller is defective, and so I only got it thin enough for us to each have 5 pieces of pasta. Also, I should note, that I get an 'F' on filling agnolotti. Here it is before I sealed it:
And then after I sealed it, the filling came squishing out. I might take a picture of that at a later date. I was too frustrated at that point to photograph anything, and my arms were about to fall off anyway from rolling out the pasta. SO, we're getting ravioli instead. And I'm making more pasta dough, a whole recipe this time, to use up the rest of the fantastic filling which I tasted. That way we can each have 15 pieces of pasta. And I won't have to feel guilty about not doing any push-ups the week we're out of town, because I have never, ever, in my life been so sore in my pectorals as I am after rolling out all this pasta, except for maybe the last time I made pasta, which is probably why I swore I would never do it again. I think that was 5 years ago. And the first time I made it was right after we got married, so almost 10 years ago. So sometime between now and the year 2018 I need to invest in a real pasta roller.