This is not for everyone.
And yes, it looks a bit like hell, if Hell had peanut butter as a primary ingredient, that is.
It’s also a bit time consuming (remember, I’m unemployed) but I thought it was good. Will said that the components were good, but the two dishes were odd together. In any case, here you go:
1 cup semolina flour
1/2 cup garbanzo flour (dirt cheap at the co-op)
Water so it works (honestly, I never measure the water, I eyeball it. Make the dough damp, but not sticky).
1. Like any pasta dough, make a well in the center. Add water. Kneed into center. Add more water if needed. Kneed. Get dough.
2. Cut dough into smaller pieces. I do this so I have a prayer’s chance in hell of getting even pasta
3. Roll it.
And then eventually you get enough to fill two cutting boards.
I struggled as the dough dried out, and to keep from getting progressively thinner. My first few would be like earth worms and then by the end I’d be giving vermicelli a run for its money. It’s a bit more money these days, since Italy stopped using lira… in any case, thicker = less frustrating.
So you know, you boil water. (Take pot, add water, put on stove, preferably on the burner, turn up heat, add salt, get mesmerized by bubbles, remember that you’re cooking) then add pasta. Boil about five minutes, then drain. Delight at the worms in your sink.
Yes, if that’s not the tastiest thing you’d ever seen. They are thick noodles. And they have a slightly nutty taste, thanks to the garbanzo flour. But really, boiling them should be the last step.
The rest of the meal involves these ingredients (plus marinated tofu):
7 oz maple marinated tofu (see below)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1. To marinate the tofu: 3 tbsp of maple syrup (b grade), salt, and about a cup of water. Dice tofu, add to that. Wait a day. Actually, wait like half a day. Done.
2. Cut the eggplant so it looks like the above.
3. Put a skillet on medium high with a tbsp of oil. Add eggplant. Realize that sauteeing eggplant is futile.
4. Add the marinate juice to the skillet. Turn on high to boil till most of the water boiled away
5. Add cayenne pepper and stir
6. Add tofu. Mash together a bit, completely inadvertantly (it’ll be alright)
7. Cook until maple sugars just carmelize
Sounds gross, right? IT WAS REALLY GOOD.
Peanut Sauce A La Christine
1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy)
1 large fleshy tomato, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped
1 onion, diced
3 tbsp canola oil
1. Add peanut butter and canola oil to saucepan. Heat up, stir till liquidy
2. Add everything else
3. Cover, on medium for about 20 minutes. STIR FREQUENTLY because otherwise the peanut butter will burn
What happens is that the moisture from the onions and tomatoes (which dissolve into this sauce) makes it thinner) and the poblanos give it just enough heat. In the future, I might actually use tomato paste instead of a tomato. I was using what I had.
To assemble the plate, I’d add the sauce over the pasta rather than mixing them together. I ended up with way more sauce than I needed. But after it’s been in the fridge, it starts to taste like a hot peanut butter so I might make sandwiches tomorrow.
Will’s critique was that the pasta and the eggplant mixtures were great – but peanut butter and spicy maple are kind of weird flavors to put together. I disagreed, maybe you’ll like it as I do.