Saturday, January 17, 2009

Purple Pumpkin Pasta Pillows...

For Presto Pasta Nights!! Whew... I was wondering just how many "P" words I could get away with... hehe. No, don't adjust your monitors - this is really the colour of the pasta dough, courtesy of your friendly, neighbourhood beet!

Since I was playing around with the whole idea of pumpkin goodness, and had some ricotta cheese left over from making a certain (and sadly, maligned) cheesecake for New Year's, I whipped up a creamy, herbed mixture of the two, adding some extra Parmesan just because I could. I had, at the time, fanciful ideas of making low(er) carb ravioli for my dad, who was diagnosed as a pre-diabetic a while back and has to watch what he eats now. Not having the energy to deal with pasta dough after making the filling, though, I stuck it into a freezer bag and (consequently) the freezer - I reasoned that when I needed it all I had to do was thaw it in the bag, snip a corner and, voila! instant piping bag. I hate cleaning my piping bag out, so this was a nice bonus for me.

A couple days later, feeling much refreshed, I set about making the pasta dough. Thinking about the whole carb-angle, I opted to make up a white-flour free, high-protein dough concoction with a blend of soy, chickpea, whole wheat, and semolina flours, with some gluten powder for strength. I added in a touch of salt, some good, fruity olive oil, nixed the eggs and used the beet juice instead of water for no reason other than I had it and it was pretty!

However...

Do not underestimate the power that is gluten. I obviously didn't add enough this time... I almost threw the whole batch of dough into the compost after it failed (repeatedly) to run properly through my machine. Finally, with gratuitous flour dusting and a heavy rolling pin, I beat enough of it into submission to make 100 respectable ravioli. That procedure alone took me 3 hours. I swear to God... it will be a while before I do the pasta thing again, at any rate (the family doesn't like it, apparently). When I do brave the trials of noodle-making again, I am staying far away from the GF kind. Props to everyone out there who can do it and has the patience for it (or the money for Xanthan gum!), but I don't have the energy or time.

On the yay for GF side of life... I've only been GF two days and already I am feeling SO much better. Which, in a way, sucks... I was really hoping not to have to have to cut out the gluteny-ness from my life, but hey - I'll take feeling better over eating bread! I'm still not at 100%, however, so I'm looking into getting a comprehensive allergen panel blood test for anything else that could be the culprit. I actually got that idea
from Karina... thanks for the heads up!

Be sure to take a look at Haalo's site, Cook (Almost) Anything, this Friday for the noodle-age hoedown!

Pumpkin - Filled Purple Pasta
Makes about 100 ravioli, 10 servings
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
1/2 cup soy flour
1 cup chickpea flour
2 tsp vital wheat gluten
1 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup beet juice
1 cup ricotta cheese
2/3 cup pureed pumpkin
2 tbsp fresh-grated Parmesan
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
  1. In a large bowl, combine flours, gluten and salt.
  2. Stir in oil and beet juice with a fork to create a workable dough.
  3. Wrap in cling film and chill 2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, in another bowl, beat ricotta, pumpkin and Parmesan together thoroughly.
  5. Add remaining ingredients and beat well to combine.
  6. Put filling into a Ziploc or piping bag and set into the fridge while rolling the pasta.
  7. On a well-floured surface, roll strips of dough out twice as wide as you want for the ravioli.
  8. Pipe small "dots" of the filling down one side of each strip.
  9. Fold dough over filling and seal around the dots, trimming excess dough away with a sharp knife.
  10. Place completed ravioli onto parchment-lined sheets and repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  11. Freeze sheets of pasta if not cooking immediately or cook in boiling salted water 5-7 minutes.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 235.8
Total Fat: 5.6 g
Cholesterol: 13.3 mg
Sodium: 96.3 mg
Total Carbs: 34.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.3 g
Protein: 13.0 g

2 comments :

Ruth Daniels said...

Great post, thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. Sorry to hear about your GF issues. Hope that will be short lived.

Vegetation said...

I'm sorry but I had a little giggle picturing you brandishing a rolling pin while glaring at a purple pile of non compliant pasta dough!

I'm glad you got it to come together in the end, but sorry your family didn't appreciate your efforts (I hate it when that happens).