This food experiment starts with our “As Seen on TV” Goodwill find. A couple weeks ago we purchased a nearly new pasta machine with all the attachments. It was a whole $2.50. After a few trial runs we finally figured out how to create our own pasta.
Anyway… here’s the recipe:
1. cut an acorn squash in half, drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven at 400 until tender. Around 45 minutes.
While the squash is roasting make your pasta- or cook up your ready made pasta.
When the Squash is done scoop the insides out and puree with a little milk.
Now its on to the sauce. We used two very different cheeses, both from Appleton Creamery. One is an aged raw sheep cheese, and the other a soft cow’s cheese. Shred the sheep cheese which will make about two cups, or three handfuls.
Dice a medium shallot. In a medium sauce pan melt 4 TBSP of butter. Toss in the shallot and cook in the butter for a few minutes. Add about 4 TBSP of flour. Whisk the flour, butter, and shallot. Add the squash puree. Add 3-4 cups of milk, continue whisking. Add the soft cheese and two handfuls of the shredded cheese.
When the cheese has melted mix the cooked or fresh pasta in the cheese, and pour into a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle remaining handful of cheese on the top and bake for 20 minutes at 400.
B has been wanting to experiment with cheese making. He has been doing a lot of research on the internet, reading Mother Earth News and the Lehman’s catalog.
Today we went to the State of Maine Cheese Company in Rockport in hopes of finding rennet and other cheese making supplies. Unfortunately, they had sold out of some of their supplies, and we went home empty handed.
B then found several recipes for Ricotta that didn’t require rennet. He got everything he needed at the Common Market just up the road. Normally, Ricotta is made from the whey of mozzarella, but the recipes B found were not.
Ingredients for Ricotta cheese are a half gallon of milk, a splash of cream, three tablespoons of lemon or three tablespoons of vinegar, and a teaspoon of salt.
Start by juicing the lemon. It has to be real lemon juice, not something from concentrate. Set aside.
Then pour half gallon of whole milk into a large pot. Add a splash of cream if you want. Heat the milk to 200 degrees or until it comes to a simmer.
Then add salt and lemon juice.
Continue to stir and cook for another 1-2 minutes after the curds start forming. Then pour mixture into a colander lined with cheese clothe which is set into a large bowl.
Let the whey drain out. You may need to do a lot of gentle squeezing once its cool enough to touch. The whey has several uses. Use it as a base for soup, feed your animals, etc.