Home made pasta - the whole egg version is usually easy and well received by the family.
I must admit that a bit of time is involved, and we usually make pasta when we don't need to bring lunch boxes - we don't buy lunches a lot, the children usually bring sandwiches, there's not much around hubby's work, and I don't usually prefer to waste time and money on lunch at work, eating alone by myself.
Both hubby and I prefer hot lunches, so normally we cook extra serves of dinner for lunches. I have found it's a lot easier to calculate the right quantity with dry pasta, but when it comes to home made ones, we usually don't have any left overs. I'm not sure if it's because the children go for the seonds or everyone loves to have a bit more...
Anyway, for the pasta we made, we served with Beef Ragu.
It's a good way to use cheaper cuts of the beef ribs, osso bucco or gravy beef, we used a mix match of ribs and osso bucco.
The night before, I prepared the base of the ragu:
1 big potato
1 stalk of celery
bouquet garni - sprigs of parsley, thyme and bay leave
1 small lemon
whole black pepper
1 cup of white wine
Heat up the oil in pan, and brown the meats.
Brown the cut up and cleaned veggies in the pan after cooking the meat, to soak up the flavour.
If I'm not working, I'd do the whole process in a stove top pot, and do it straight away. But, I turned to my trust worthy slow cooker again because I had to go to work. And since I normally start at 7:15-7:20 am at work, preparations were done the night before.
Store the cooked veggie and meat in fridge.
The next morning, place veggies at the bottom of the slow cooker, then meat, add the whole black pepper, lemon and bouquet garni. Add white wine and water to cover the meat, and let the slow cooker do the job until I got home from work and Luke's school, around 4:00pm.
Switch off the slow cooker, but first things first, making pasta, as the dough need to be set, the longer the better.
300g '00' flour (or plain flour when '00' is not available)
1 pinch of salt
3 whole eggs.
I usually make pasta the traditional way, by hand, and set the dough aside wrapped in cling film to set.
Time to drain the stock, discard the veggies and take the meat off the bones. Keep them seperate, the stock and the meat, we normally end up with more stock, that we can use later during the week.
Heat some olive oil in pan, and put in the very soft beef. It doesn't need a lot of browning. Add a can of diced roma tomato, and tomato paste. Dry mixed herbs. (I need a green house if I want fresh herbs all year around!) Season with salt and pepper and add some beef stock. Add a dash of milk to make it creamier, and let it simmer, so the beef can soak up the tomato flavour.
Roll out the pasta, and cook them in lightly salted water. Home made pasta has to be rationed in my family, so I usually ask the children to come around and choose their own "noodles".
By the time the pasta is rolled and cooked, the beef ragu should be ready - seve together with shredded parmesan - my family are happy with simple food cooked with care.