Late Winter Pasta: Homemade Noodles with Crispy Canned Artichokes and Lemon Parsley Pesto

Remember when I shared with you my late summer pasta, homemade noodles with tomatoes + pesto? Today I bring to you my (very) late winter version – homemade noodles with crispy canned artichokes and homemade lemon parsley pesto.

I’ve kept up with the homemade noodle habit. Not for every time we’ve had pasta (not even close) but I’ve done it several times over the past few months and I’m feeling more and more comfortable with the process. I wanted to create a wintertime pasta with homemade noodles to share with you. The idea for the dish came from a craving I’m having for simplicity – I wanted to use few, simple ingredients that would come together to create a powerhouse of flavor. And that is just what came to be.

This pasta is bright, it’s fresh. Taking a bite of this pasta is like taking a bite of sunshine. And who doesn’t love sunshine?

But in case you want a more specific description of what this tastes like (you know, in case you don’t know what sunshine tastes like) it is lemony. And parsley-y. Neither of those ingredients are cooked in this dish so their flavors are strong and bold. If you aren’t the biggest fan of those strong flavors, this pasta may not be for you. But if you are (like me), get ready to be in love. The bold flavors are complemented by the artichokes, that are baked in the oven with just a bit of olive oil and salt, until tender and crispy.

I want to mention that I have tried two different noodle recipes since my first noodle post. While I loved that recipe, I felt the need to try other things. One time, I followed the directions for the noodles exactly as you see in that first post, except that I replaced one cup of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. I wasn’t happy with the outcome. The noodles were edible, but extremely tough. It wasn’t the most pleasant of eating experiences and I wouldn’t do just that again. The second recipe I tried resulted in the noodles that you see pictured today. I followed the ingredients and directions from Garden Betty, as you see here (for the fresh homemade egg pasta). I must admit that I did have some trouble with the dough. It was very stiff and a bit difficult to work with and I actually had quite the tough time kneading it and rolling it out. I was regretful of my decision to try it out, that is, until I tasted the noodles. While I did have a difficult time rolling out the dough, once it was rolled, cut, cooked and in this dish, I must say that the noodles not only tasted great, their texture was amazing. The end result was worth the difficult time and I would definitely try this noodle recipe again, hoping that the challenge I had with the dough was just a one time fluke. For this dish, feel free to use the noodle recipe I describe in the recipe below (form Garden Betty), the recipe from this post, or even non-homemade noodles (it would still be great!). With homemade noodles, for me, this is definitely a weekend, take-your-time dish. With non-homemade noodles this could quickly and easily be a meal made during the week.

When I developed and photographed this recipe, we were still in the dead of winter. It was a yearning for spring. Now, it’s clear that spring really is just around the bend. This is still a winter pasta – not much fresh produce here – but it is bright and fresh, just like good ol’ springtime. Come to us soon, spring.

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Late Winter Pasta: Homemade Noodles with Crispy Canned Artichokes and Lemon Parsley Pesto
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Ingredients
2 cans whole artichokes
Parmesan cheese, for topping
For the noodles
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading, rolling and dusting
3 eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the parsley pesto
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, rinsed and dried
Juice of 1 lemon
2 large garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
Preheat oven to 400*. Drain and thoroughly rinse the canned artichokes. Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise, and lay cut side down on paper towels to dry. You want the artichokes to dry as much as possible before going into the oven. Let the artichokes continue to dry, changing the paper towels once, as you prepare the noodles.
For the noodles, I followed the method from gardenbetty.com, linked in the post above. I will describe what I did, but before making the noodles, I recommend studying the original post at gardenbetty.com.
In a large mixing bowl, measure two cups of all-purpose flour. Make a well in the center of the flour, crack three eggs and measure two tablespoons of olive oil into the well. Gently whisk the eggs and olive oil, incorporating a little flour into the well at a time, and continue whisking until the dough starts to come together. Dump the rough dough and any remaining flour in the bowl onto a clean, lightly floured surface and begin kneading the dough. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until dough is no longer sticky and the surface is smooth. Cover the dough with a towel and let rest on the counter for 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, arrange the artichokes, cut side up on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, or until browned and slightly crispy. When the artichokes are done roasting, turn the oven off, but keep them in the oven until you are ready to add them to the finished pasta.
To make the parsley pesto, in a food processor, combine the parsley, lemon juice, garlic cloves, olive oil, salt and pepper. Process for about 30 seconds, or until smooth. Set aside.
Before you roll out the noodles, put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
To roll out the noodles, cut the dough into quarters. On a well floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll out one segment of the dough at a time, as thin as you can get it. Mine took a lot of work but eventually got very thin. Once rolled out, sprinkle each side of the dough with flour. Fold the dough once in half and using a sharp knife, cut thin strips, to form the noodles. Once cut, unfold the noodles, gather together and sprinkle with flour to prevent sticking. Bunch the noodles, set aside and continue with the other segments of dough.
Once all noodles are cut, place the noodles in the salted, boiling water. After the noodles are added and the water returns to a boil, boil for 3-5 minutes, or until noodles are soft and tender. Taste one after three minutes to check if it is done. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your noodle.
When noodles are done cooking, drain well and set aside. Return the pot to the stove and add the parsley pesto followed by the noodles, then toss well to combine. Add the artichokes and toss once again.
Serve pasta and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Enjoy!
Notes
The amount of noodles made provided us with about 4 meals. We each had a serving for dinner and then lunch the next day.
This would also be great with non-homemade noodles. Simply follow the instructions for roasting the artichokes and making the parsley pesto. Cook the packaged noodles according to the instructions on the box, then toss everything together.
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/

Smoked Gouda Tomato Soup

Here’s a little, simple recipe for you today. For me, easing back into the recipe sharing. For you, an almost effortless dinner idea.

Smoked Gouda tomato soup. Nothing revolutionary here, nothing crazy. Simple, classic tomato soup with a (smoked) twist.  This is just a standard tomato soup recipe, one that I have been making for months, with a handful of smoked Gouda cheese thrown in. All blended up to creamy perfection. A way to liven up tomato soup without too much effort. Not that tomato soup needs much livenin’ – I love the classic – but for something just a little bit different, this is it. I reccomend serving with extra shredded Gouda on top and slices of hearty bread – it’s hard to not enjoy.

If I have to do winter, this is how I want to to do it – hot soup in mugs and cozy evenings in. Cheers!

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Smoked Gouda Tomato Soup
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Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Heaping 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
(2) 28 ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups veggie broth
(1) 8 ounce block smoked Gouda, shredded*
Instructions
Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped onions and carrots. Let cook, stirring several times, for about 10 minutes, or until veggies are just slightly browned and soft.
Add the minced garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and balsamic vinegar and stir. Add the two cans of tomatoes and veggie broth and stir once more. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down, cover the pot and let simmer 20-25 minutes, stirring once or twice to begin to break up the tomatoes. Soup is done simmering when tomatoes are soft and beginning to fall apart.
Add two cups shredded Gouda to the pot and stir. Using an immersion blender (what I did) or regular blender, blend the soup until smooth. If using a regular blender, blend in batches.
Ladle into bowls (or mugs!) and top each with additional shredded Gouda if desired.
Enjoy!
Notes
* I used one 8 ounce block of smoked Gouda and shredded the entire block. I put two cups of the shredded Gouda into the soup and reserved the tiny bit that was left for topping the finished soup.
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/

Lexington

Just a little
light,
that’s all I need,
just
a little sunlight
from you
and I promise
I
will grow.

-Tyler Knott Gregson, via Pinterest

2015. Two posts in two months. And neither a food post. I have four drafts just sitting, waiting for attention, but they just aren’t right. They are not what I want say or show or put out into the world. I keep reminding myself that 2014 was a slow start, too. The inspiration will flow. The sun will shine. Just wait for it.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you a few photos from our recent trip to Kentucky to visit great friends, Amanda and Abe. I’ve been wanting to do this trip for a long time, and the stars finally aligned for Greg and I to make the drive down, for what was my inaugural trip to the Bluegrass state.

We did many amazing things – toured an impressive distillery, stopped by a notable horse racing track, visited a special winery (the very winery where Amanda and Abe got engaged over two years ago!), had many scrumptious eats and drinks, relaxed, talked, and generally just enjoyed spending time with friends. I don’t have much to share visually and I am kind of regretful of that. I have only a few photos from the hike we took + a couple from the winery. {Note to self – when debating whether or not to take your camera, take it}. Winter in the woods of Kentucky doesn’t look much different from winter in the woods of Pennsylvania – gray, brown and truthfully, aesthetically dull + flat. You must hunt for the color, for the beauty. It’s there though, and I did try to capture it on our hike. Also, thank you to Amanda + Abe for being such wonderful hosts – we can’t wait to visit again!

Here’s to inspiration + sunlight. In real life and in blog life. Not rushing, but hoping that they’re just around the bend.

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Deep Creek Getaway

My family + friends went on a little getaway to Deep Creek, Maryland just before Christmas, to celebrate my Dad’s 60th birthday. I didn’t take many photos (kind of wish I had taken more!) but I’ll share with you what I do have. We loved Deep Creek and I, for one, can’t wait to go back. Most of the photos are from a hike we took at Swallow Falls State Park, on a pleasantly warm but still beautifully icy morning.

Also, I intend to do a new year/reflection on 2014 post, like the one I did last year, but I’m still working on it :) . Hopefully I’ll be back with that soon!

Enjoy the photos, and happy new year!

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Apple Crisp

I cried after my last farmers market of the year.

There was a local arts + crafts show occurring after market, and I wanted to wait around for it to start. It would start 30 minutes after we were done cleaning up, which seemed like forever after already being out in the cold Philly air for six hours that day. I sat in the car and cried. And I thought about it. I thought I was crying because of the seemingly long wait to check out arts + crafts (dramatic, much?). But I wasn’t. I was crying because I didn’t want market to end. I didn’t want to get into the car and go home. That would just mean that I’d have to admit that it was over.

While reminiscing with Greg recently, I told him that I’d never forget the very first time I got to work market. It was just over two years ago. I was still at IUP, finishing my bachelor’s and Greg was living in Philly, just beginning his time at Drexel. It was a Saturday, and I was sitting on the bed in his tiny studio apartment. He was sitting at his desk when he turned to me and said, nonchalantly, “We are good to work market tomorrow.” I freaked out. I had always loved farmers markets and for me, it was a dream to work at one. I get to work at one TOMORROW?? And for his family’s farm?! Dream. Come. True. The next day, I geared up with a light green Three Springs tee shirt, traveled to market, and loved every second of it. 

That was September 2012. Then, until May of 2013, I worked market when I was in Philly, visiting Greg on weekends – and yes, that is how I wanted to spend my Sundays visiting. May 2013 – present, I’ve worked market every Sunday that Greg and I have been home in Philly – which has been most.

This past Sunday was the last market that I will have worked as a Philly resident. The last Saturday that I made sure to be in my Queen Street apartment bed early, to be refreshed for market Sunday. The last Sunday morning that I took my breakfast to go, to eat in the car while taking in the Philly skyline on the drive to market. The last Sunday we searched for a parking spot along Pine Street. The last Sunday Greg and I came home with goodies from all of our favorite Headhouse vendors. To be honest, there won’t be many “lasts” in Philly that I am sad about, but all of these, are surely some of them.

Completely bittersweet.

I can honestly say that I’ve looked forward to working Sundays for the past 2 years. I’ve enjoyed every moment working at market for Three Springs Fruit Farm. All of this is thanks to Greg, and his family. Thank you Greg, thank you Three Springs and thank you Ben (Greg’s cousin), for giving me the opportunity to live out a dream. How a farmers market has made me so happy and particularly emotional, I do not know, but it surely has. In this new adventure that Greg and I are embarking on, I can hope that I find something that makes me as happy as market has here. 

Now, this recipe. I’ve had this apple crisp recipe and post sitting in my drafts for months. I couldn’t find the right words to pair with the post. But it’s time to share, and my recent emotions with my last market seem the right fit for a recipe featuring Three Springs apples.

I know that there are a lot of apple crisp recipes out there, and a lot of people are loyal to one, so I’ll tell you just a bit about mine.

Here’s what I love about my crisp recipe. The apples are just lightly sweetened, with no cinnamon – just 1 tablespoon of sugar in all of those apples, for a very natural apple taste. The apple skins are still on – a must for me. There’s no traditional white flour – instead I’m using almond flour which adds a great, nutty flavor (and for gluten free friends, is naturally gluten free). And butter, because sometimes it’s just necessary and it tastes so darn good in this. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

-Almond flour: I know that it is not a staple ingredient for most people, but it is for me and I love always having it on hand. It adds great taste and texture to baked goods. If you don’t keep almond flour on hand, consider it. In addition to today’s recipe, use it in these, these and this, too!

-Apples: Use any variety, don’t be particular. Admittedly, I am particular about many things in life, but which apples I bake with is not one of them. I’ve made this crisp many times and have used a mix of different apples each time – whatever I’ve had on hand. What you use will be good. Also, use local apples when possible!

-Arrowroot starch: This is what I have been using instead of cornstarch. Arrowroot is a natural and more nutritious option. Cornstarch can be substituted if desired, and although I have never made it with cornstarch, I feel fairly confident it would produce a similar end product.

-Penzeys vanilla sugar: I picked this up about a year ago and to be honest, this is the first time I’ve used it. I am in love with it for this recipe though and plan to keep stocked with it just for this. It’s just sugar mixed with vanilla beans (yum!). Plain, white sugar can be substituted, and, if you’re feeling fancy, throw in some vanilla beans with that sugar.

It’s been awhile since I’ve share a dessert recipe with you (or any recipe, for that matter!), and this is one that I feel especially good about. I hope that this crisp is enjoyed in every way by all who try it.

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Apple Crisp
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Ingredients
4-5 large apples, any variety
1 tablespoon Penzeys vanilla sugar (or plain, granulated sugar, see note in post)
1 tablespoon arrowroot starch (or cornstarch, see note in post)
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
6 tablespoons cold butter
Instructions
Preheat oven to 350*.
Rinse, dry and slice apples as thin as you can get them.
In a large, but shallow baking dish, add apples, 1 tablespoon sugar and arrowroot starch. Mix gently to coat all apples.
In a mixing bowl, add oats, almond flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well to combine.
Cut butter into small cubes and add to the dry oat mixture. Using a pastry blender or your fingers (like me!), mix butter into the dry mixture to make the crisp. When done, the mixture will look like coarse crumbs and butter will be fully incorporated.
Evenly distribute crisp mixture on top of the apples in the baking dish. Bake 45 - 60 minutes, or until apples are soft and crisp is slightly browned and crispy.
Enjoy!
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/