Pasta Party!

Mama and Papa got me an imperia pasta machine a few years ago. With just a few ingredients my imperia creates fresh, fluffy, quick cooking pasta. This pasta machine makes tagliatelle, spaghetti or lasagna sheets, and you can also buy the ravioli attachment. Brent, Alaina, Jared and I had a Friday night in and made this fresh semolina egg pasta topped with Alaina’s secret family recipe meat sauce. Scroll down to the bottom of this post. Be prepared to drool. Looks amazing, right? Although I can’t share her family secret, this pasta will taste awesome with any sauce, or even just some olive oil, parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. Tonight I am making this dough, and attempting a spinach, mushroom and ricotta ravioli with parmesan rosemary oil drizzle. If all goes well, I’ll be posting on that soon!


1 cup whole white wheat flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
A pinch of salt
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Sift together whole white wheat flour, semolina flour, and pinch of salt. On a clean surface, make a mountain out of flour mixture then make a deep well in center. Break the eggs into the well and add olive oil. Whisk eggs very gently with a fork, gradually incorporating flour from the sides . When mixture becomes too thick to mix with a fork, begin kneading with your hands.
2. Knead dough either by hand or with a mixer for 8 to 12 minutes, until it is smooth. Dust dough with semolina to keep dough from becoming sticky. Wrap dough tightly in plastic and let it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
3. Roll out dough with a pasta machine to whatever shape you like. I like the tagliatelle best! You can always use a roller if you don’t have a pasta machine.
4. Bring water with salt to a boil in a large pot. Cook pasta until tender but not mushy, 1 to 8 minutes depending on thickness. Drain and toss with sauce.

Portobello Penne with Caramelized Onion and Goat’s Cheese

Portobello Penne with Caramelized Onion and Goat’s Cheese is an onion lovers dream, calling for three large caramelized onions. I am also a mushroom fanatic, so I like to double batch this recipe, and have extra in the refrigerator for busy weeknights and lunches. If I am feeling extra fancy, I use Ritrovo corn penne pasta and throw in a mixture of wild mushrooms. Portobello Penne is not the most attractive meal in the world, but it tastes pretty good to Brent and I 🙂

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 onions, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 portobello mushrooms, stems removed, caps halved and then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices

10 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
3/4 pound penne
3 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

In a large frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with 1 tablespoons of the oil over moderate heat. Add the onions, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are well browned, about 20 minutes. Remove from the pan.
In the same pan, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add the mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and brown, about 8 minutes. Add the reserved onions, the parsley, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper.
In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until just done, about 13 minutes. Reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta water and drain. Toss the pasta and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water with the mushroom mixture, the goat cheese, and the Parmesan. If the pasta seems dry, add more of the reserved pasta water. Serve with extra Parmesan.