Tagliatelle and focaccia carb-fest

You may know that I’m an avid runner, but my flimsy arms rarely get a work out. I think I’ve found just the solution. Yesterday, I unwrapped my brand new, Italian pasta maker. It’s a real beauty, and I spent the bulk of the evening working whole-wheat dough until my arms were sore.

I made homemade tagliatelle with a beef stroganoff sauce, accented with lots of fresh parsley and homemade creme fraiche. Neither was anything to write home (or on this blog) about, but it was a real thrill to have a dinner made completely from scratch. B did point out that we didn’t slaughter our own cow, but mostly in jest.

After dinner, I also took a stab at making my own focaccia, pictured above. I want to get into making at least some bread at home, since we consume so much of it and it is nice to be able to have a fresh loaf on demand. I used a recipe from Saveur, but I substituted white wheat for all-purpose flour. I also used kalamata olives soaked in red wine vinegar and added chopped rosemary to the recipe by mixing it in with the olive oil used to top the focaccia.

Using white wheat resulted in a denser loaf than I was expecting, though it was still flavorful. I wonder, though, whether I should be using more water with whole wheat, and I’m planning to experiment some more with recipes along those lines. What I’m craving is the fluffy, springy bite of white breads with the extra nutrition wheat provides. I’m certain we’ll get there.

And with this new pasta maker in hand, I think there will be a lot more homemade carbs to come. I’ll eat them guilt free, especially since I get a little bit of a workout making them!

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