Making homemade pasta from scratch is so much better than store-bought. The addition of pureed spinach turns pasta dough a brilliant green, and gives the pasta a boost of vitamins, as well. This recipe for spinach pasta dough can be made into spaghetti, lasagna or ravioli. Try it with three-cheese ravioli, or with chanterelle, black olives and sun-dried tomato sauce. If you're new to making pasta, read How to Make Homemade Pasta.
- 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 5 eggs
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional flour as needed
- 1 teaspoon salt
Squeeze as much water as possible from the chopped spinach with your hands or by pressing against a colander. In a blender or food processor, combine spinach and eggs, puree until the mixture is dark green and smooth, with few or no visible chunks of spinach showing.
In a bowl, combine the flour and salt, stirring with a fork or a whisk to combine. On a large, lightly floured work surface (like a countertop covered with a silicone pastry mat), pour the flour mixture into a mound. Make a well in the middle.
Pour the spinach-egg mixture into the well and, using a fork, then your clean fingers when the mixture gets too thick, stir the spinach mixture in a circular motion, gradually incorporating more and more flour. As the mixture turns chunky, begin to knead it, incorporating enough flour to make a stiff dough. Knead dough for about 5 minutes, adding more flour until dough is smooth and slightly tacky but not sticky. Set aside, covered with plastic wrap, for about 20 minutes, to let the glutens relax.
Assemble your pasta maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Divide the dough into four to six equal sections with a knife or a dough cutter, and cover all pieces but the one you're working with a clean dishtowel or plastic wrap. Form the piece of dough into a flat rectangle. Beginning with a narrow side of the rectangle, feed it through the pasta maker at the first (widest) setting, then fold it like a business letter and feed it through the pasta rollers again. Repeat the folding and rolling steps several times at the widest setting, before rolling pasta at increasingly smaller settings until it reaches the desired thinness (note: this dough can be stickier and more fragile than regular flour-based pasta dough, so you might not want to roll it as thin as you normally roll pasta.).
Use the sheets of pasta as-is for lasagna, form into ravioli, or cut into noodles. Cook finished pasta in boiling, salted water, for about 3 minutes, or until al dente.