Homemade noodles are a part of tradition in my Italian family, which is originally from southern Italy. I remember eating noodles made by my grandmother as a child. I loved eating them without sauce, but to her that was heresy!
To make spinach pasta noodles, I use this recipe, which includes all-purpose flour. I’ve made pasta with semolina flour, which is the flour listed on the boxes of imported Italian pasta, but it makes the dough kind of gritty and the noodles are harder to make. With all-purpose flour, the dough is softer, easier to handle and I think the flavor and texture are better.
Things You'll Need:
- Large clean, flat work surface (wood is better than stone)
- Pasta machine or rolling pin, cutting board and sharp knife
- Clean kitchen towels
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 8 oz. fresh spinach, well washed (or 5 oz. frozen spinach thawed)
1. Prepare & mix ingredients
Wash the spinach, then cook it with a little salt and a teaspoon of water in
a sauté pan until wilted, about 5 minutes. Then cool. Strain and gently squeeze
to remove all the excess moisture, then chop very fine with a knife.
Pour the flour onto a work surface and make a well in the middle of the mound. Add the eggs and finely chopped spinach in the middle hollow. Use a fork to whisk the eggs and spinach together for a minute and gradually incorporate flour from the inside edge until the eggs aren't runny.
2. Make the dough
You may not need all the flour, so push aside a little from the outside edge until you know you need it later. Use your hands to continue working the flour, eggs and spinach into a smooth dough. If it's still sticky and moist, mix in some of the pushed-aside flour.
When it's all holding together in a mass that's not sticky, move it out of the way, scrape the work surface clean of any hard bits and return the dough to the board.
Knead the dough by pushing with the heel of your hand to spread it away from you, fold it in half, turn and push again. Repeat this until the dough feels very soft and smooth (like baby skin) for about 5-10 minutes.
3. Flatten the dough
If you're using a pasta machine, set it on the largest opening. Cut the
dough into 6 pieces and set aside under a towel. Flatten one with your hand
until it feeds through the smooth thinning rollers. Fold the flattened strip
into thirds and feed it through a second time at the same opening width, then
lay the flattened pasta dough strip aside on a clean towel, covered with
Repeat that process to flatten all the balls of dough through the widest setting. Lay them next to each other on the towel and don't let them touch or they may stick together.
Narrow the roller width by one notch and roll each strip of dough again, just once, no folding. Repeat the sequence, narrowing the rollers one notch at a time until the dough is as thin as you want it.
If you are making a filled pasta, like homemade ravioli, the dough needs to stay sticky so it makes a good seal when folded over. Flatten one ball of dough from start to the final thickness and fill it before going on to the next ball of dough.
4. Make noodles
Before slicing them into noodles on the cutter side of the pasta machine let
them dry for about 15 minutes so they don't stick together after they're cut;
they should be pliable, but not brittle. Cut to the desired width and allow
them to dry thoroughly for storage or use immediately.
To cook, bring a generous amount of boiling, salted water to a rolling boil. Drop the noodles in, return to a boil and cook for just a minute or two. Fresh, homemade spinach pasta noodles cook much more quickly than their dried counterparts. Taste for desired doneness.
Fresh homemade spinach lasagna noodles do not need to be pre-boiled, just layer them in the lasagna pan as if they were cooked noodles.
Get more tips on making homemade pasta noodles:
- Homemade Noodles
Focusing on homemade noodles, pasta, sauce and other food pleasures.
tallchic from South Florida on September 14, 2010:
Never thought about making homemade pasta with spinach in it. Don't know why as I love spinach. Thanks for the hub! I'll have to try this.
Tracy on September 14, 2010:
I love home made pasta! Seeing this post makes me want to get out my pasta machine and make some- maybe this weekend....