Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pasta For Passover?

A little simplistic background...Passover is the Jewish holiday where (over dinner, which is called a Seder), we relive the exodus of the Jews from Egypt. Charleton Heston starred in the epic film version - The Ten Commandments. Heston played Moses AND the voice of God (which I did not know until just now).

NOTE: Passover won't begin until March 29th, but every Jewish housewife is already starting to plan her menus and buy up all the Passover goodies she can find.

There is one key ingredient that we eat throughout the eight days of Passover and it symbolizes the hasty escape and wandering through the Sinai desert for 40 years. We do not eat bread, or any leavened baked goods. That, my friends, means no flour. Instead, we eat lots of matzo (photo at the top of the post - think crackers) - sheets of it - great for a snack with butter and jam, or fried - I'll have to write the recipe for ours, which is basically a cross between scrambled eggs and French toast, sounds weird but tastes awesome... farfel - large crumbs, in soups as you would crumbled crackers and traditional stuffings,
like this Farfel Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Black Currant Sauce,

And matzo meal, which is ground matzo, because no Jewish feast would be complete without chicken soup with matzo balls.
or Velvet Squash & Carrot Soup with Curried Matzo Balls...
All that to say, if you're a bread addict, you'll still be fine.

Fine and dandy but what about pasta? It's been a very long time since I've found kosher for Passover pasta and, being such a pasta person, I've always tried to find dishes that feel and taste like pasta, even if there isn't a noodle in sight.

Last year I made Sweet Potato & Mushroom Lasagna

and the year before that was the Spinach Lasagna (made with matzo).
This year, I've already done some experimenting and was delighted when I saw a recipe for Eggplant Rollups on the cover of Bon Appetit that really looks like cannelloni. (I know, not the best picture, but we were in a hurry to eat it, not to mention the fact that I left my camera at home. This was taken with an iPhone.) The dish was awesome! So Jewish or not, Passover or not, this should definitely be on your table soon.

In fact, I'm sending it to Kirsten, From Kirsten's Kitchen to Yours, for this week's Presto Pasta Night Roundup, because it is my favorite pasta free pasta.

And, naturally....guess what I found yesterday at the one grocery store in Halifax that actually has a supply of Passover foods.... not one but two kinds of kosher for Passover pasta.


Cara said...

Hey Ruth! Happy almost-Passover. I have always seen "Passover pasta" in my supermarkets but I have to wonder, what really makes them kosher for Passover, other than some rabbi says so?! I mean, matzoh contains flour too - it's just that a rabbi has certified the process, right?! Anyway I am working a Passover series that I'll run the week prior to the holiday. Most of my dishes are more along the lines of regular, any-time-of-year recipes I like that just happen to work for Passover too. Hope you check it out!

Ruth Daniels said...

Thanks for dropping by. As for Passover pasta, given that I'm a sucker for pasta...I'll just go with rabbi certified.

I will definitely check out your pasta dishes in a couple of weeks.

Sorina said...

Very Very visually appealing…great presentation

Goody said...

I have a recipe from a million years ago for Passover "noodles" that can also be used to make blintzes. We have to make everything from scratch because we live in the middle of nowehere. I can order a few essentials by post, but it gets expensive to buy and ship mixes. Anyway, here's a new one to try.

3 eggs
1 1/3 cups water
6 tablespoons. potato starch
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp. oil

Mix eggs, potato starch, water, salt and oil until very thick like cream. Heat the pan with a few drops of oil. Place 2 tablespoons of batter in pan and spread evenly. When the batter looks dry, turn and cook the other side. Remove to a plate and either make into blintzes, or wait and cut cooled dough into noodles. You can then use them in soup.

Ruth Daniels said...

Great idea Goody. I used to make chicken crepes for Passover and completely forgot about them. I never thought to turn them into noodles.


katiez said...

Try these egg noodles http://thyme2.typepad.com/thyme_for_cooking_/2009/04/egg-linguini-with-warm-avocado-sauce-sordid-secrets-of-solitary-suppers-revealed.html
I use 2 tsp flour for 3 eggs but I'm guessing you could substiture the Matzo crumbs - or leave it out. They really stand up to a sauce well.

Ruth Daniels said...

Wonderful! Thanks Katie. And since there's only a small amount of flour, we could substitute cake meal...very finely ground matzo...to do the trick.

Joanne said...

I may not be Jewish but I will definitely have to try this eggplant dish. It looks so good!

Ruth Daniels said...

When it comes to food...I'm a citizen of the world ;-)

Thanks for dropping by...and the dish is delicious.

smilinggreenmom said...

Your lasagna is making me hungry! Looks great :) I wanted to share with you too that there is an awesome pasta that I tried made of Kamut Khorasan Wheat! Have you ever tried it? It's an ancient organic grain and our family really likes it!

Pastor Pat said...

Hi! I don't live in Halifax, but am coming tomorrow, and wanted to buy some matzoh, matzoh meal, and so on. Where can I buy these things? Thanks.


Ruth Daniels said...

You can find Passover products at the SuperStore on Quinpool and the Sobeys on Queen Street in the South End. I'm not sure if they've received their supply yet. You might want to try calling first.