I made that!

Pasta! Pasta!

Posted in Because, like, I'm Italian, sort of, I Like Salt Too by brandi on April 7, 2009

Another Tuesday and here I am making pasta again. It’s spring (and I woke up to rain, sad) and I was just feeling it, you know? I’m more confident of my pasta making after my excellent raviolis, so I’m ready to add flavored pastas to my repertoire. Since right now everything in my backyard is bright green, I was thinking spinach pasta was in order. It’s basically the same as making regular pasta, just with a few more steps at the beginning to get all that spinach flavor (and color) into the dough.

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First I tore all the stems off of my spinach leaves. Then I boiled them for about 45 seconds.  I threw the boiled spinach into an ice bath to cool down.

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Once cooled, started trying to get all of that water out. There are probably many methods for that, but mine consisted of layering the leaves in paper towels and then rolling the stack into a log. And then doing it again with new paper towels. After they seemed dry enough (whatever that is) I pureed them in the food processor.

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The food processor didn’t seem to understand the severity of my need to get minuscule little bits of green (too large chunks will get caught up in the machine, I learned this the hard way, with some failed beet pasta – I’ll tackle that one again someday), so I threw the spinach in with my eggs and pulled out the (little) big guns, the immersion blender. Have I mentioned yet that immersion blenders rock my kitchen world? I can’t believe there was ever a time when I didn’t have one. I think tony gave me this one years and years ago, thanks tony!

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After finally getting a smoother puree, I starting mixing my dough. Typical pasta method: I put the flour in a shallow bowl and made a well in the middle. Then I poured in the egg/spinach mixture and started stirring, slowly incorporating the flour from the sides. I did that until it came together into a mass to dense to stir, and then I started kneading. I kept kneading in more flour until it stopped feeling wet (I never use all the flour). Then I plopped my dough onto a floured surface and kept kneading for about 8 minutes.

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The dough needed to hang out for an hour, to relax all that gluten. The sun was out again (!) so it was just enough time for me to do a quick bike ride up twin peaks (the hill, not the TV show), take in the view, ride back down and start a-rolling!

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I decided to make a fettucine out of my pasta sheets. Since my machine already has a setting for slicing into perfect little strips, it was easy peasy!

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And we’ve got fresh spinach fettucine for our 90210 dinner tonight!

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I probably won’t take any pics of it sauced, but we’re freestyling a lemon chicken artichoke cheesy creamy sauce. With capers, I believe there are some capers in there somewhere. Yes!

But I did take a picture!

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