Today I am going back to basics! Sometimes we just try to use all store bought ingredients so we can save time on making a meal, but we often forget that it can be so much more delicious and just as easy to make those store bought ingredients yourself.
I was inspired last night by going to meet some friends at Mr. Chow in Beverly Hills. Mr. Chow’s is one of the most famous restaurants in LA! Anyone whose anyone goes there, well accept for me. LOL! Out of my 6 years of living in Los Angeles, never have I been to the celebrity hot spot. Now my life is finally complete. Mr. Chow’s definitely lived up to its hype when I tasted the hand-made, velvety thin Chinese noodles.
So needless to say it got me thinking. Why don’t I make my own pasta more often? Its pretty easy, not very time consuming and it is taste stands out as the center of any dish. I’m going to give you a little bit of culinary school basics. With this very basic pasta recipe, I have included a béchamel sauce, also known as “white sauce” which is one of the “mother sauces” of French cuisine, and is used in many recipes in French and Italian cuisine. With combining the two recipes of pasta and sauce, your result is simple yet complex in flavor and will impress anyone who you serve it to!
Basic Pasta Dough
3 1/2 c. flour
Beat eggs. Add flour and salt and knead for 15 minutes. If you do not have a pasta machine, then roll out dough flat. Take the dough and roll it up like a jellyroll. Slice thin and unwrap it. It will make long strips of pasta. OR you can use a pasta maker from a kitchen aid mixer to roll out dough faster.
Boil water with a heavy pinch of salt. Add pasta for about 5 minutes until cooked through. (fresh pasta takes a shorter amount of time to cook than pre-made pasta)
Basic Béchamel Sauce
5 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.