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I’ve been slowly transitioning into working more at home lately, and I have to tell you- IT IS AMAZING. The only outside-of-the-house work I’ve been doing is my occasional shifts at the cooking school, and the rest of my income is made up of bits and bobs, some freelance jobs and a few contract positions. I sit down at about 7:30 every morning with my little list (and yes, chocolate plans) and throughout the day I systematically work through said list until it’s dark out and the dog needs to be walked, again. I keep everything organized with an expansive collection of calendars, and most of the time (when the pregnancy fatigue doesn’t overtake my brain) I’m feeling pretty damn good by the end of the day. I dearly miss coworker gossip, but for the most part, being in charge of all the things house worthy is pretty sweet.
And yes, I know what you’re thinking; “Ha! Time to throw a baby up in your shiz, girl.” Just let me have my moment, okay?
The only part where I don’t feel in control of my day is when it comes to lunch. I usually want something quick, and healthy, and something that will stave off the inevitable “It’s been a half an hour so FEED ME AGAIN” part of being a preggo that makes eats like a hungry whale.
Lately, it’s fresh pasta that’s been stepping in and saving the afternoon. I recently roped a visiting brother-in-law into helping me knead enough pasta dough to feed an army (ok, an army of, like six, but an army nonetheless), and then I rolled the pasta dough into paper-thin sheets and cut it into long strips of tagliatelle. The tagliatelle was spun into individual nests, frozen on a baking tray, and transferred to a freezer bag. It’s the ultimate in quick, frozen food, I’m telling you.
It’s such a perfect on-the-go meal. Fresh pasta boils up in a snap, much faster than dried pasta, and when paired with a big scoop of fresh ricotta, a squeeze of lemon and a handful of pre-toasted nuts, I can go from starving and hangry, to full and walking the dog (for the billionth time that day) within 15 minutes. And the whole meal costs less than 2 dollars. It can’t get any better than that.
Fresh Tagliatelle with Ricotta, Lemon and Hazelnuts
Fresh Tagliatelle Pasta
- 3 cups white flour
- 6 eggs yolks
- ¼ cup tap water
- large pinch of salt
- ½ cup whole raw hazelnuts
- In a large bowl or on a clean, dry countertop, sift together the flour and salt and make a well in the center. Separate the yolks from the eggs, discarding the whites or saving them for another use (they last for up to one week in the refrigerator) . Add the yolks to the flour well and gently break them apart using a fork.Slowly mix the yolks into the flour, adding the water slowly, until the dough is shaggy looking. Remove from the bowl if necessary, and begin to knead.
- Knead the dough well, turning it one-quarter clockwise, folding it in half, and turning it again. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, at least 5 minutes.Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let sit for at least an hour. The dough is ready when an indent made in the dough does not spring back.
- When the dough is ready, divide it into fourths. Generously flour a pasta roller, then slowly roll the dough out. Start rolling the dough on the widest setting, then slowly move to lower, tighter settings until the dough is extremely thin but can still be easily handled. Sprinkle each sheet of pasta with flour before begin a new one.
- Fit the wide set pasta cutter onto the pasta roller, or slice the dough by hand using a knife and a ruler. Wrap the pasta into “nests”, set on a baking sheet, and freeze, if not using immediately. If using immediately, boil in heavily salted water for 2-3 minutes until al dente.
- Fold the hazelnuts between two sheets of thick-ply paper towel, or use a kitchen towel. Carefully crush the nuts with a kitchen mallet.Heat a small, dry saucepan over medium heat and add the nuts. Toast, tossing often, until they have lightly browned. Remove immediately from the heat and set aside.