How many photos am I going to have to shoot to prove that you must try this?
I am such a convert to homemade pasta. Ever since trying it for the first time a month ago – I can’t go back! I have turned into such a pasta snob – I won’t eat out at Italian restaurants anymore, won’t buy the dried bags/boxes of pasta that I always relied on AND….won’t buy what is ‘labeled’ as fresh pasta in the local grocery store.
A pasta zealot.
This week’s experiment was spinach pasta and oh-la-la(!) by far – my favorite. We had tender, thin ribbons of green drizzled with a good quality olive oil – topped by our favorite toppings. Last night, we had it with sautéed shrimp and veggies. Today’s lunch was fresh tomatoes and pearl-sized buffalo mozzarella.
So, so easy….
Three simple ingredients: flour, eggs and spinach. You can use a frozen pack of spinach or about 10 ounces of fresh spinach. I prefer fresh for I always have a half of bag of spinach laying in the refrigerator that I don’t know what to do with.
Simply wash 10 ounces of fresh spinach and place it in a pot with no additional water and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Cook until wilted (about 5 minutes) and drain.
Rinse with cold water and squeeze all the additional moisture out with paper towels.
Chop the spinach finely and incorporate slowly into the flour with the eggs until a sticky dough is formed.
Let dough rest for about 30 minutes for the gluten to do its thing. I use 1 1/2 cups flour to 2 eggs for about 1 lb. of pasta. General rule is to use 1 egg for 3/4 cups of flour – give or take. Once you make the dough a few times, you will get a feel for when the dough is done. Not too sticky. Not too dry. You can always add flour along the way…
Cut your dough ball into six pieces and take each individual piece and roll out. You can use a pasta maker, a Kitchen Aide attachment or the good old-fashioned way with a rolling pin. For tips on the pasta machine method, see my previous post on pasta making.
I take the long rolls of pasta and fold them up several times to cut the pasta into semi-wide strips like linguine. Make sure you coat the dough with plenty of flour to keep the noodles loose and not sticky.
I like to form little nests of pasta on a cookie tray lined with paper towels to dry as opposed to a pasta rack. If your cooking the pasta that night, then just let them rest in the open air until ready to cook. If you are freezing the noodles, let dry for 24 hours until thoroughly dried. Place them in a storage bag or air-tight container and freeze.
Somehow our pasta never makes it to the freezer! To cook, prepare salted water and bring to boil. Place pasta in boiling water and let cook for 2-3 minutes or until it rises to the surface. Fresh pasta doesn’t need much cooking time and you need to keep a careful watch on it so it doesn’t get mushy.
Freshly prepared pasta makes for great lunches as well!