Friday, March 27, 2009

Daring baker Challenged


As you can see from the photo above, I was challenged rather than being a challenger in the March Daring Bakers challenge. The March 2009 challenge is hosted by Mary of Beans and Caviar, Melinda of Melbourne Larder and Enza of Io Da Grande. They have chosen Lasagne of Emilia-Romagna from The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper as the challenge.

I have to be honest, I actually thought that this was more of a challenge for the new Daring Cooks monthly challenge as I think lasagne is more of a cook’s than a baker’s kind of thing. I really enjoy cooking as well as baking, but didn’t really feel like this challenge fitted within the parameters of the daring baker challenges. And that ‘s not just because my lasagne was a no show disaster!

I have never made fresh pasta before. Firstly, because I don’t have a pasta machine and secondly, we don’t eat pasta all that afternoon and I actually really love the dried Italian pastas that you can get without faffing around, making my own. I wondered how I would go making pasta from scratch and then rolling by hand. Not well! The pasta was meant to be spinach pasta. I had a really hard time getting my flour, eggs and spinach to turn into a nice smooth ball of pasta. I added another eggs and keep kneading, but to no avail. It had been a busy weekendand I had had enough, so I gave up in disgust and threw my ball of pasta dough in the bin. What a waste of 3 c flour, 3 eggs and spinach.



I still had beef mince out and had to make something for dinner from it. So, I made my old favourite, nana’s spaghetti and meatballs recipe. My husband and I both love this. It is very unconventional and has a realy sweet and sour type of flavour. Firstly you make your meatballs with your minced beef, abut 1 c rolled oats soaked in ¼ c milk, about ¼ c tomato sauce and salt and pepper. Nana would roll her meatballs in cornflour and then pan fry them. I tend to just put them on trays and fan bake or fan grill them for about 12 minutes.

I made the sauce separately – all you do is mix together a can of condensed tomato soup, a can full of water, 1 tbsp soy suace, ¼ sugar and 3 tbsp vinegar (I use white). Bring to the boil and then add a can of crushed pineapple. I don’t bother draining this. Keep simmering until thickened (you may need to add some corhflour to help the thickening process), serve over the meatballs and spaghetti.

I hope that the other daring bakers were better pasta makers than me. Check it out here.

12 comments:

Engineer Baker said...

Oh sad! Sorry it wasn't a success for you - my pasta dough was a little finicky too, but I luckily have a pasta roller for the KA. Nana's spaghetti and meatballs sound really good though!

The ex-expat said...

The secret to ending up with a nice smooth ball of pasta is to make sure the flour is very, very slowly added to the wet mixture. I use a wide bowl and and a fork to whisk it slowly pushing the flour into the egg mix.

Cakelaw said...

Your nan's spaghetti and meatballs looks great! My dough looked just like yours on the recommended ingredients - the water was the trick to get it to resemble a dough.

Elyse said...

I'm sorry the pasta didn't turn out! Looks like you made the most of it. Your pasta sauce looks fabulous; I love the idea of a sweet/sour type meat sauce!!

pinkstripes said...

Too bad it didn't work out for you. I added an extra egg to my dough and used my KA to knead it.
I rolled it out by hand b/c we don't have a pasta roller.

At least you posted today. I still have to assemble and bake my lasagne. I'll be posting tomorrow.

Bumblebutton said...

Oh that was sad. But now you know what you know--pasta need not be made at home! Hope April's challenge is up your alley!

Lauren said...

I'm sorry that your lasagne didn't work out, next month will be better =D.

TeaLady said...

Sorry yours didn't work for you. I had to add another egg plus a little white for it to finally come together, but it did and I made my very first pasta. Try it again some time.

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Oh no, that's too bad/ I had trouble with the pasta dough recipe and ended up adding almost a cup of water to make it come together. There was no way I could've made a dough out of what I had otherwise!

LittleRed said...

I'll agree the dough was the biggest challenge, and it really wasn't a baking challenge anyway. I needed quite a bit of extra eggs, double the amount suggested in fact, to get it to come together. And in the end, I gave up kneading, cut it in half and put it in the kitchen aid in two batches to finish off kneading, and I didn't monkey around with the rolling either...I put it through the pasta roller. Oh well can't wait to see what next months challenge is! BTW, the meatballs look delicious:)

Morven said...

Sorry to hear about your pasta disasta!

I made your Nana's meatballs and sauce recipe for dinner last night - DELICIOUS! I baked my meatballs as you suggested and I loved how they went a bit "crispedy" on the outside but were still tender.

jane of many trades said...

pasta making is an art, one that i do not specialize in. if i didn't have the pasta machine to roll it out, i doubt i would have participated in this challenge. better luck next time you try to make it!