One thing I've gotten interested in lately is pasta. Not the kind you buy in a package from the supermarket, but the fresh kind where you make your own dough and roll it out into the shape you want. The thought of being able to make my own and put any flavours into it I want, make any shape I want, and make ravioli or tortellini and put my own fillings in makes my mind spin out of control with ideas!
The problem was, rolling out the dough with a rolling pin just sounds like a cruel version of hell, and I looked at buying a pasta rolling machine but brand new they're about $60, which was too much for me to spend on something I'd never tried!
Luckily, I regularly check the buy and sell ads on The New Hanoian, and a few weeks ago a guy was selling his pasta roller for only 250,000 dong (about $12)! I immediately called and after an hour or so of irritating my motorbike driver by not being able to find the place, the machine was mine!
So, finally, on a day when I had some time (which seems to be getting less and less frequent now), I made my first pasta dough, keeping it to a basic plain egg noodle for my first try.
After about 10 minutes of kneading, it looked nice and smooth and elasticky so I put it in a bowl and let it rest for half an hour or so.
A long time ago, when I used to go to Boston Pizza at home a lot, they had a Louisiana Fettucine that I loved. It's essentially pasta with spicy chicken in a cream sauce, and when they took it off the menu I almost cried. After many years lamenting the loss of it, I took it upon myself to figure out a recipe and make it myself!
I start with a chicken breast that I rub very thoroughly with cajun seasoning, then wrap tightly in cling film and poach in a pot of boiling water.
The tricky part is knowing when it's done, because you can't tell until you cut it open! It usually takes about 10 minutes or so I think.
I then cut this into chunks and throw it into a pot of basic cream sauce that I've made, seasoned with a bit of chicken stock.
In the meantime, I tried rolling out my pasta for the first time. I quickly discovered that a third arm would be a very useful thing to have when doing this, but for my first try I was pretty proud of my pasta!