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SPINACH PASTA
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MAKING FRESH PASTA WITH SPINACH (GREEN PASTA)

Preparation - Medium
Serves 4

Making pasta with spinach is much the same as basic pasta - you want to make sure that the spinach is as well drained, as dry as possible. Even so, you will probably have to add more flour to compensate for the additional moisture in the spinach.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 of a 10-ounce package of frozen chopped spinach, or use equivalent of fresh spinach
  • a bit of olive oil or water if mixture is too dry or stiff
  • Some semolina to keep the pasta separated once it has been cut
OO Cutting board, food processor (optional), pasta machine (optional - see last paragraph).

BY HAND:

COOK the spinach according to package directions, drain well, and cool. Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as you can, then squeeze again. Chop the spinach finely. If you make a ball of the spinach at this point, it will be about the size of a large egg.


SPINACH

PUT the flour on your working surface or in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour large enough to hold the eggs and the spinach. Add the eggs, then the spinach (in bits). With a fork, mix the egg and spinach mixture, then slowly gather the flour into the egg with a fork. If the pasta is too sticky to work with, add flour, one T (tablespoon) at a time, but make sure that you are mixing well after each addition. If the pasta is too stiff or dry, you can add a T or water or olive oil.

Go to TO FINISH, below.


WITH A PROCESSOR

COOK the spinach according to package directions, drain well, and cool. Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as you can, then squeeze again. Chop the spinach finely. If you make a ball of the spinach at this point, it will be about the size of a large egg.

Put the flour and spinach into the processor, pulse until they are well mixed.

ADD the eggs.

PULSE until the mixture forms a soft ball - all of the 'pasta' should be in the ball, not stuck on the sides or in clumps on the bottom of the processor - if you don't have a single ball, add flour slowly, a T at time, until pasta ball forms.


TO FINISH

KNEAD the dough by hand for 8 to 10 minutes. Add additional flour as needed, 1 T at a time.


ROLL out the pasta with a rolling pin in a round sheet as thin as you can, or divide it into balls about the size of a ping-pong ball and run it through decreasing settings on your pasta machine, folding it over to maintain the width, until you are at the next to last or last (thinnest) setting.


ROLLING

LET the sheets dry for about half an hour - it should be dry to the touch but still flexible. If it sticks to your pasta machine, it is not dry enough.


DRYING

CUT to desired width. You really need three hands for this - one to hold the pasta sheet, one to feed the pasta into the machine, and one to turn the handle...


CUTTING

IF a 'pass' doesn't work, re-form the pasta into a ball and roll it out in a sheet again.
Once you have cut your pasta, a bit of semolina helps to keep the pasta separated until you are ready to cook it. You can also store the pasta loosely packed in an open ziploc bag in the refrigerator for one or two days.

NO PASTA MACHINE?

Cooks worldwide roll out pasta by hand - on a large surface (marble counter is best), with a large rolling pin, roll out pasta as thin as you can manage (think fettucine). It should be a large circle almost 2 feet across. Allow to dry for approximately 1/2 hour. Roll the circle into a cylinder, and cut the pasta with a sharp knife to the width you want.


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