Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fresh Spinach Pasta (Pasta Verde)

"Verde" means green in Italian/Spanish, and Pasta Verde simply translate as green pasta. And The green here comes from Popeye's favorite vegetable, spinach. :) I don't exactly remember how many times, but I do remember it's more then my fingers plus my toes combined together. I'm talking about the number of times I've made fresh pasta at home. I believe anyone whom had tried it and tasted it before will know why go through the hassle to make it your own. It's different from your grocery bought, packaged fresh noodles. Making it at home is the real deal, it's doesn't get fresher then that, trust me. And the tender noodles tossed in your favorite sauce or gravy will just make your meal a more delightful one, guaranteed.
What you see above is the usual pasta that I cooked for my family, Sweet Italian Sausage Pasta. But instead of the dried pasta from a box, I made fresh spinach pasta this time. Got the recipe from one of my old favorite cookbook : Saveur Cooks Authentic Italian. You might think making fresh pasta sounds kind of hard, but I can tell you it is not, and all you need is just 3 simple ingredients. Curious? Look on to see how I did it:

Ingredients for Fresh Spinach Pasta: (enough for 4 adults)
1 package fresh spinach, using leaves only, wash and rinse dry.
320g all purpose flour (plus more for dusting and shaping)
3 large eggs

Method:

  • In a large saute pan, heat it up 1 tbsp of water, add in the spinach leaves and saute for a couple minutes. It will slowly wilt down. Remove from pan and let cool. Squeeze out the excess liquid and blend it up with one of the egg.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add in the flour, the other 2 eggs and the spinach mixture in. Mix well until it comes together. Place it on a lightly floured work surface and knead it to form a soft dough.
  • Cover the dough in a moist towel and let rest for 10 minutes before shaping it. If you have a pasta maker, it'll be a good time to bring it out and set it up right now. Else a lightly floured work surface and a trusty rolling pin will do too.
  • Divide the dough into 8 smaller equal portions. Take a portion, lightly dust it with flour and let it pass through the pasta roller at the highest number, meaning thickest.
  • Gradually decrease the number knob to 1 or 2 depending the kind of pasta you want to make and let the pasta roll through a couple times on each number. It will come out into a nice smooth sheet of pasta.
  • Carefully placed the pasta sheets on a lightly floured baking tray and cover with moist towel. Repeat with the rest of the pasta dough portions till all has been rolled out.
  • At this point, get ready a pot of boiling water going at medium high heat. Then change the pasta maker setting so that it will turn the roller on for cutting it into the shape you want. This time I am making linguine. If you do not have the pasta maker, just use a pizza cutter or a knife to slice the sheets into thin strips.
  • Boil the pasta in the water for a few minutes, I would say 3 to 4 minutes since fresh pasta cooks really fast. Scoop it out and toss it in your favorite pasta sauce.

The pasta is really smooth and delicious. If you are not really a fan of spinach, you can simply omit the vegetables and make plain egg pasta. Reduce the flour to 300g instead. But I am always try to find ways to incorporate more greens into my kids menu, so this is one of the most effective "camouflage" method, lol! Of course the kids knew about the vegetables been made into the pasta, but they didn't taste it, so it's all good. ;P

I had even used these fresh spinach pasta sheets to make lasagna too. Dreamy shot isn't it, lol! ;) Again, I felt that it's a much better choose over the box version. But of course, the box pasta always comes in handy when you are on the run. ;) Enough said, I do hope you all will try making fresh pasta at home, it's truly a gourmet meal you can share with you love ones. But do note that you should get your sauces ready first before making the fresh pasta. Once the pasta is made, you just have to toss the noodles in your favorite sauce, simple as that. Enjoy everyone...and oh of course Happy Teacher's Day to All Great Teachers out there. ;)



25 comments:

Esther said...

Wow, you make me hungry even though it's about time to go to sleep. The pasta looks so good that I feel like buying a pasta machine even though I'm not good at cooking. :) Delicious!

Kitchen Corner said...

Oh wow! Bee, I made homemade pasta yesterday too! We've some kind of similarity of mood hur! Your spinach pasta make the dish much colorful and healthier. I should try out with spinach next round too!

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

I have always wanted to buy this machine, but when I read the instructions on the packaging not to wash with water, I held back.
How to clean without water?

What about your machine? Can clean with water?

BTW, your pasta looks fabulous. I've only seen ppl using the spinach juice, but wah, you're using the whole leaves in. Thumbs up!!! "b d"

Angie's Recipes said...

How I miss the homemade pasta! And spinach has always been a favourite of mine. Thanks for the detailed instructions.

Anncoo said...

I've this machine too! Only made Ban Mian, will definitely try this..looks so delicious!

jelena said...

I have made pasta but have not used other ingredients in it. Beautifully done!Like a pro!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

When I see lovely dishes like these, I always tell myself that I will have to take out my pasta maker and make pasta again. I have only used it twice,I think - but fresh pasta tastes so much better!

ReeseKitchen said...

Nice pasta..:) Remember you did once said you'll like to make for us when you are still at Riana Green? But we just haven't got that luck to try your homemade pasta afterall...heehee..;p Means I got to do it myself..haha!
Btw, can I use the rolling mee machine for this pasta? I have one very old fashion one, which my mum used to make "min fen gou"..;p

Meldylocks and Her Three Bears said...

I always salute ppl who loves to make easily bought stuff from scratch...you are one of them!

Aimei said...

Wow I'm so fascinated! You guys own a pasta maker and make your own pasta! Really looks great. Must be very satisfying to make everything from scratch. :) Feel like trying your healthy spinach pasta!

ICook4Fun said...

That is a great looking and healthy pasta. I bought a pasta maker a few years ago but have to to use it yet. As you know it is easy to get fresh pasta here so very lazy to make from scratch :)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks so much Esther! you make my day, lol! Actually the pasta machine is not expensive. I think I only pay like US$15 for it. Well, I am sure you can make it too. :)

Hi Grace,
Really?? You made fresh pasta too? Are you going to blog about it? I bet yours must be super yum. ;)

Hi Wendy,
You know when they say don't wash, they have a very good reason for that. Rust! But I usually use a clean dough (plain dough made from water & flour) to roll through the machine to get out all those crumbs stuck inside. Then I would use a moist towel to wipe it. Make sure it is really dry before storing it again. Hope u will get one too... Pasta making is fun! :)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

@ Angie: glad my post bring back fond memories. ;) hope you will try it out too.

@Ann: Ban mian....yum, sounds good too. My husband use to live ban mien last time... maybe can make it for him again, did u post the recipe on your blog?

@jelena: thanks so much! Hope you will try out his spinach version too. :)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

@Shirley: You said it! I think you understand where I am at since you have made and tasted fresh pasta before. Better not under-utilize the pasta maker, make some soon. ;)

@Reese: hahaha, did I?? Ai ya, there are so so many recipes that I wanted to share with you all but time just ran out on us. *sigh* Sure can! Your mum machine should work just as good. Try it out when u have the chance.

@Meldylocks: hahaha.... I sometimes amaze myself too! Thanks though, lol!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks A-mei! You can see how "obssessed" I can become with baking/cooking sometimes, lol!

Gert, it's different I tell you. I started making pasta way back when I was in California! The store bought ones cannot compare with fresh made pasta, trust me. Since you have the pasta maker, why waste it? Time to get it out and make some delicious pasta already. :)

Cooking Gallery said...

I love homemade pasta...!! I have never tried making spinach pasta, but I like the bright colour! Your lasagna looks especially good...!! Drooling...:)

Chef Bee said...

My daughter loves spinach pasta. I have never tried to make it at home but your recipe gives me inspiration. Thanks.

Plan B

Kitchen Corner said...

Hey Bee,
Other than reading others blog, I've no much strength to blog my cooking :( Will definitely share about it when I able to type it out. Cheers!

Bakertan said...

Hi Bee Bee,

Your pasta is making me yearn for some, yum yum. And Its sweet italian sausage pasta somemore! Love lots of meat in my pasta =]

I am quite a pasta person, but have never tried pasta verde before nor freshly made pasta. I do have one or 2 books with recipes for fresh pasta but have yet to use them.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

@Cooking Gallery: hope you will try out thus pasta verde, it is nutritious and taste just like normal egg pasta. :)

@Grace: Oh dear, hope you feel better and rest more. It's alright, no need to post anything on your tired days, take care of yourself more important. I think instead of cakes/ bread, you should brew some herbal soup to strengthen your body yah. We all know you are always here supporting us even when you are not posting. Thanks!

@Zhou Yuan: Hahaha, I also love lots of sausage meat over my pasta, but try not to let it steal the lime light of my noodles this time.:)) Think you will fall in love with fresh pasta once you've tasted it my friend. So don't hesitate, add that pasta machine to your gadget collection soon. :)

Kitchen Corner said...

Thanks Bee! I love to read others blog instead of writing my own blog that's why you can see I'm quite slow in updating. I must catch up with you once I got some strength. I'm craving for some cakes recently but no energy to make it. I'll give you a call when I able to visit you and make sure you will some homemade cakes for me ok :)

Jess @ Bakericious said...

Bee, you are tempting me again. I have to find a storage place to put this machine 1st :P

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

Bee Bee, how ar? You've just persuaded me and have me added pasta machine to my to-invest list, alongside ice-cream maker! I think I'm gonna go broke ... (Btw, you have an ice-cream maker? I'm seriously thinking about the Cuisinart one because Swee San has been making hers with that monster!)

Yea, I've tried fresh, made-from-scratch, home-made pasta before ... which was made by my American mom and sisters! They don't have the machine. They do have large counter. When the right time comes, I'm gonna get the machine in me going! Thanks, Bee Bee, for the inspiration! =)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Take good care Grace. Hope to see u soon too.

Hi Jess, Actually this pasta machine is not big at all. It's probably the size of 2.5 of a normal tissue box. If u see it selling at a good deal, don't pass it up ok.

@Pei-Lin: Heehee, goody, at least I have accomplished in convincing you! I think I got mine for USD$15, not that expensive. But not too sure how much in Malaysia though. Yeah, I got a Cuisinart ice cream maker from US, got 4 ice cream recipe books too, but some how just did not get to that. :P So many recipes, too little time. Used to make lots of fruit gelato, but nowadays just didn't do it. If you come next time, perhaps we can make some together yeah?

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

Thanks Bee for the reply.
So, you don't wash urs as well huh.
Great, then now I know what to do when I get one.
I used to see this at Carrefour at RM25 plus few years back when I wanted to buy. But I haven't been scouting for this after I saw the "Do not wash with water" sentence on the box.
I'll get one when I feel like making it the next time.