Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

If you read my previous post, you know that our plans to make homemade pasta and fresh basil pesto for Christmas didn't work out. Well, I found some nice, fresh basil at New Seasons Market on New Year's Eve, and Dave's cold had finally passed, so we decided to do the pasta dinner that evening. As you may know, I'm not supposed to be eating gluten, so we decided to take a stab at pasta made with brown rice flour. We followed a recipe from a gluten-free cookbook I have. It sounded simple enough and the author made it seem like it would turn out as good as regular pasta and just as easily, if not more so. But for us, it did not.

At first the dough didn't come together at all and we weren't sure what to do. The cookbook said what to do if the dough was too sticky, but not the opposite. We opted to add olive oil since our regular wheat pasta recipe includes olive oil. That seemed to do the trick, though the texture was still a little different than what we were used to. Putting it through the pasta machine, we couldn't get it anywhere near thin enough and the edges were cracking terribly. We made one handful of thick noodles and frustrated, gave up. My husband got out the wheat flour and made the traditional pasta dough easily, as if he did it everyday rather than just once or twice per year. With the help of the pasta machine, he and the kids rolled out beautiful, thin sheets of pasta, then cut them into wide noodles.

Meanwhile, I decided to boil the thick rice pasta noodles and give them a try. And really, they weren't that far off  a little heavy and doughy, but I think with practice and some experimentation, we might be able to get it right eventually.

So anyway, the traditional wheat flour pasta turned out so great that yes, I indulged. It certainly wasn't my first time to cheat on the gluten-free diet. Just that week I'd eaten Chinese take-out, including dumplings. But that night I went all out delicious fresh pasta, fantastic, crusty sourdough bread (I bought it at New Seasons, knowing I might very well be eating it myself that night) along with wonderful basil pesto. I thoroughly enjoyed every bite and don't regret it a bit. I also have a no-brainer resolution for the new year: strict gluten-free. We'll see if I can stick to it.

Happy 2012 to all! Eat well and love every bite of the year!

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