Category Archives: Pasta

Bear Naked Food homemade fresh pasta

Homemade Fresh Pasta

 

One of the joys of having some free time at home is making homemade pasta. Of course, it takes more time and energy compared to buying dried, ready-made pasta from the stores or supermarket. However, it is a wonderful skill to acquire and adds a special and personal touch to whatever pasta dish you may be making for friends and family.

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Fresh pasta cooks a lot faster than dried pasta and is often described to be much more tender and delicate in flavour. Fresh pasta is more of a tradition of North Italy compared to South Italy, where dried pasta is preferred.

Now, in most recipes, the type of flour recommended for making pasta is 00 flour (double zero). 00 flour produces finer and silkier pasta texture. If you can’t get your hands on this type of flour, the next best option is all-purpose / plain flour. Most Italian families in the south tend to add some semolina flour (ground durum wheat) to the give an additional “bite” to the pasta, and again, this is optional but I definitely prefer adding it to the pasta dough.

I got both flours from Meidi-ya, a local Japanese supermarket.

I got both flours from Meidi-ya, a local Japanese supermarket.

I went all out and followed the traditional way of kneading the dough by hands and I must it took quite a bit of elbow grease to get it together. You could always mix the ingredients in a food processor and transfer the dough to a working surface and give it a final knead for 5 mins.

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Once you have mastered the art of preparing fresh pasta, you can add your own personal and artisanal touch by adding items such as squid ink (for black pasta), dried vegetable powder (for green pasta), dried tomato powder (for red pasta) and dried beetroot powder (for pink pasta). Shapes and sizes can also vary which makes this a very entertaining event for kids as well. Fresh pasta is not difficult to make, it just takes some time, which means it is the perfect product to be made be it alone, or with friends and family.

So make some time to indulge in this easy recipe. And enjoy all the fun and entertainment that comes with it.

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seafood spaghetti al cartoccio

Spaghetti al Cartoccio (Seafood Spaghetti Baked in Paper)

 

Pasta is always good and when paired with seafood, even better. Unless if you are allergic or simply not a fan of crustaceans. All hope is not lost as this tomato based dish is easily customized according to your own preference of ingredients. Right up to the type of pasta.

spaghetti al cartoccio seafood pasta baked in paper

 

The fanfare of this Spaghetti al Cartoccio is in its presentation. That being said, making a good tomato sauce is essential to the success of this dish. Today, I used Alce Nero Organic Pasta Sauce with Basil. For homemade version, check out my Homemade Pomodoro Sauce.

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Cartoccio means paper bag, therefore, the spaghetti is transferred into baking paper or foil, wrapped and baked in the oven for 5 – 10 mins. As the baking process will continue to cook the pasta and seafood, it is advisable to undercook your seafood and pasta (by 2 mins shy) to achieve an al dente texture for the pasta and succulent seafood.

spaghetti al cartoccio seafood pasta baked in paper

 

Your guests will be presented with their own parcel of delight and I can guarantee there will be lots of “Oohs” and “Wows” at the dining table. 

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Bear Naked Food soup pasta with clams

Soup Pasta with Clams

 

Pasta is a storecupboard standby that is affordable, versatile and always a pleasure to eat. Most of us are used to tossing cooked pasta with either tomato sauce, cream sauce, or an oil based sauce.

Bear Naked Food soup pasta with clams

 

Some people go one step further and tumble their pasta and sauce into a casserole dish before topping it with grated cheese and baking in the oven. However it is done, pasta is always a source of comfort and convenience for many people.

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Somehow, pasta seems to pair with Asian cuisine as well. Probably because pasta can be used to substitute noodles, a favourite ingredient for many Asians. This pasta and soup dish is easy, delicious, fast and simple. And for the health conscious, this dish is low in fat as well. Clams and cabbage give the soup a wonderful and natural sweetness.

Fresh clams.

Fresh clams.

 

Ingredients:
800 g fresh clams
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 – 2 small red chilli – dice finely (depending on your heat tolerance level, please adjust accordingly)
300 g pasta (I’m using capellini aka angel hair)
3 – 4 cabbage leaves – slice
Few splashes of white wine
1 litre chicken stock
1 tbsp (15 g) unsalted butter
1 tbsp olive oil / vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste

serves 2 – 3

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Bear Naked Food minced pork noodles tossed with scallion oil

Minced Pork Noodles Tossed with Scallion Oil

 

Simple, unpretentious and comforting. The description of this Minced Pork Noodles Tossed with Scallion Oil is enough to make anyone want to give it a go. In lieu of the previous write up on shallot scallion oil, this noodle dish is the perfect trial run in utilizing that aromatic homemade scallion oil that you have probably just prepared previously.

Bear Naked Food minced pork noodles tossed with scallion oil

 

In life, and in the kitchen, options and variation is crucial in making an environment more ideal and bearable. Therefore this noodle dish is not without its equally amazing variations. Therefore do not stop yourself from using bee hoon (rice vermicelli), mee pok (something that can be described as Chinese fettuccine) or even spaghetti for this (especially if you are living in the west). The same applies for the ingredients needed. Although minced pork is ideal, there is the option of using minced beef or minced chicken as well.

Bear Naked Food minced pork noodles tossed with scallion oil

 

However you want to go about doing this, it is strongly recommended that you prepare more than you actually need for one simple reason. Leftovers. Yes leftovers are nothing to be scorned about. All that ‘effort’ involved in prepping, cooking and cleaning up means that you should maximize the amount of returns that you can get from preparing this. It is literally killing two birds with one stone. You indulge in a great meal, and can be assured that the next time you salivate on slurping up these delicious noodles again, a hot meal is just a microwave’s work away. Now who wouldn’t want that?

 

 

 

 

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Bear Naked Food easy stir fry soy sauce noodles

Easy Stir-fry Soy Sauce Noodles

 

Growing up in a Cantonese household, one of our childhood breakfast items I could still fondly reminisce is this Easy Stir-fry Soy Sauce Noodles. There are no fancy ingredients used in this humble noodle dish, the key ingredient is good ol’ light and dark soy sauce. Since they are the “star” in this dish, it makes sense to use good quality soy sauce.

Bear Naked Food easy stir fry soy sauce noodles

 

For texture, a handful of green onions and bean sprouts are scattered into the noodles at the very last minute. Now, if you are a carnivore and cannot do without meat, go ahead and add in your favorite protein. There is absolutely no judging when it comes to making these noodles.

Bear Naked Food easy stir fry soy sauce noodles

 

I’m using fresh egg noodles but if you can’t get hold of it, feel free to substitute with dry egg noodles, vermicelli or even rice noodles. If there are any leftovers, you’ll be happy to know this noodle dish stores well in the fridge for up to 3 days.

 

Ingredients:
2 bundles (200 g) fresh egg noodles
2 cloves garlic – minced
2 handfuls (approx. 85 g) bean sprouts
2 stalks spring onions – cut into 2-inch sections
Vegetable oil

Sauce:
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp sesame oil

Garnish:
Toasted sesame seeds

The line up.

The line up.

 

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