Monday, April 18, 2011

James Beard's Spinach Pasta

I just made some spinach pasta using my Bloomsdale spinach from our share this past week. It was beautifully green and very tasty. Freshly made pasta is much more flavorful than that dried packaged stuff. I made a brown butter, green garlic and sage topping and added some aged parmesan. Try it!

Green Pasta
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound spinach, wilted and squeezed dry

The easiest way to make this pasta is in a mixer or food processor.
By Electric Mixer:
Fit the paddle into your electric mixer. Put the flour and salt into the bowl and give it a quick whirl to mix them. Add the egg, spinach and oil and turn on the beater. Let it go for half a minute, until you have coarse grains of dough in the bowl, something like the consistency of piecrust before it is gathered into a ball.

Replace the paddle with the dough hook and knead in the bowl for 5 minutes. OR take the dough from the bowl, dust a wooden surface with flour, pat the dough into a ball, and knead for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, you should have a firm, smooth bright green ball of dough. Cover with a cloth and let rest a minimum of 30 minutes before rolling and cutting.

By Food Processor:
Put the metal blade into the food processor. Measure in the flour and salt, and process briefly to blend them. Drop the eggs, oil and spinach through the feeding tube, and let the machine run until the dough begins to form a ball, around 15 seconds should do it. Once you've become familiar with the method, you'll be able to correct the recipe at this point. If the dough seems too sticky, add more flout. If it's too dry (unlikely with the spinach) add a few drops of oil.

Turn out the dough out onto a floured surface. Dust your hands with flour and continue the kneading begun by the food processor. Work for 3-5 minutes, adding more flour as needed, until you have a smooth ball of dough. Set it to rest under a dish towel for a minimum of 30 minutes before rolling and cutting.

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