Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Almost Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Marinara

Hey Everyone!

So this year for my birthday my parents surprised me with a beautiful Kitchenaid mixer. I know most "normal" 24 year old girls would have just wanted a Coach purse or a gift certificate to get a massage or something. I guess I'm not normal. For the past couple years, at the top of my "wish list" was the Kitchenaid mixer. It's just such a beautiful machine. A couple years ago Jon finally got me a hand mixer for my birthday. Up until then, I had been doing everything by hand, from beating egg whites to making mashed potatoes. Obnoxious!

I decided since I was so excited about this machine, I would borrow my parent's pasta attachments and make some fresh pasta from scratch. The nicest part of the mixer is you can buy additional attachments. They have meat grinder, pasta maker, ice cream maker... My parents had bought all the attachments for theirs and never used them. They said the pasta didn't come out like it should and the instructions weren't helpful. I included here a YouTube video of a guy who works for Kitchenaid showing how to roll out the pasta and then turn it into ravioli. I made spaghetti for this recipe, but once you get how to form the dough and roll out the pasta sheets, making the spaghetti is simple.

The thing I truly love about making your own pasta is you control the ingredients! If you want organic pasta, you can make it! If you want whole wheat, you can make it! You can throw some spinach in there and then cover it with my marinara sauce and your kids might not even know its good for them.

The first time I made this pasta last week I made it with all purpose flour through the whole recipe. Today's recipe is for an almost whole wheat spaghetti. Jon wouldn't let me do ALL whole wheat flour and he was watching me like a hawk in the kitchen last night. So, I semi-listened to him. He said to do half and half but I did 3/4 wheat and 1/4 all purpose flour. The results were really good and he said next time I can kick it up to all whole wheat. I've actually come to prefer the taste of whole wheat pasta because it has a nutty flavor to it. It stands up to most sauces. I think with regular pasta you really lose the flavor because the sauce becomes the star. Whole wheat is more like a co-star with the marinara. :)

Anyways, enough about my love for whole wheat pasta. On to the recipe...

Almost Whole Wheat Spaghetti

3 cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 eggs + 1 egg white
3 tablespoons water

In bowl of mixer, sift together flours and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together the olive oil, eggs and water. Form a well in the flour mixture and pour half of the egg mixture into it. Beat on low with dough hook until texture appears like one of a pie crust. Incorporate in last batch of egg mixture until dough forms. At this time, I refridgerate the dough for 1 hour wrapped in plastic wrap to make it easier to work with. In the video, he uses the dough immediately.

Follow this video to roll out pasta sheets. Once all pasta is rolled into 5-6 sheets, cut sheets in half if they are too long. **At this time, start boiling your water** Place spaghetti attachment on mixer and cut into long spaghetti. *Tip: keep a bowl under the attachment so they can just drop into the bowl for you.* 

Once water is boiled, season with salt. *I also season with some chicken bouillon for extra flavor, you could also cook in chicken stock.* Drop spaghetti in boiled water and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes to desired tenderness. (Yeah, thats right ONLY 4-5 minutes! Isn't fresh pasta a beautiful thing??)

This recipe makes about 8 servings of pasta. You can reserve some to dry or freeze or just cook all of it. Every serving has 264 calories.

This picture is of my first batch of spaghetti, the standard white pasta. I was too excited to eat the whole wheat that I didn't get a picture, haha.

Next up on the lineup is my Marinara sauce. Now, you're gonna notice I threw a bunch of veggies in there. The beauty of this sauce is you can totally get away with throwing whatever veggies you want in it. After the sauce is cooled a little off the stove, you blend it up to make it a smooth consistency. That means noone will ever know they're getting a really healthy sauce, they just think its delicious. ::evil laugh::

I added some zucchini in this one, but if you don't have zucchini, don't make an extra trip to the store. I just love zucchini and always have it in the house. Another way to get away with adding veggies that noone knows about is to use a hand grater to get them into fine pieces. Thats what I did with the garlic, carrots and zucchini. Its so quick and actually a ton of fun!

The other awesome part of making your own Marinara is that you control the sugar. Adding the carrots bring a natural sweetness to the sauce. So, start with 2 tbsps of sugar and add up to 1/4 cup to taste.

Marinara Sauce

3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced
1/2 onion
1 green pepper, finely diced
1 carrot, grated
2 tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup Romano cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup granulated sugar *start with 2 tbsps, and go up depending on taste*
2 tsp oregano

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sautee garlic, onion, green pepper, zucchini and carrot. After 2-3 minutes, add in diced tomatoes and parsley. Next, add in crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, bay leaves, Parmesan, Romano, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, sugar and oregano. Bring to low boil and then reduce heat and let simmer for about 1 hour. Using blender, puree to smooth consistency.

Recipe yields about 6 cups. Each 1/2 cup serving is 95 calories!

At this time, you can add in some browned beef, meatballs or shredded chicken if you'd like. If you want to keep it simple, you can just serve the spaghetti and marinara and you're only at 359 calories per serving. Not to mention, you have tons of fiber from the whole wheat and lots of nutrients from all the veggies in the sauce.

I hope you guys enjoy the pasta as much as we did. As usual, send me those pictures, comments or questions to cookingwithcait@gmail.com

Love you all!

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