I made a new recipe last night and I just have to share it with you! As I mentioned in my Knit ‘n Fit post, one of the benefits of the challenge is sharing healthy recipes. The leader of the group posted a link for 100 Times Vegetables Were the Most Delicious Thing on the Table. It’s a compilation of 100 vegetable recipes. I think I bookmarked 50 of them – they all looked delicious!
As I was in charge of dinner last night (a rarity lately), I was inspired by a recipe I found: Spring Greens Asparagus and Ricotta Pasta (no longer available), to try something similar. The local vegetable stand didn’t have any asparagus or fresh peas on hand. Everything is late this year and fresh produce is finally starting to come into season. The picture of that recipe showed green pasta and I was inspired to make something similar using spinach!
The original recipe called for a full 10-oz package of frozen spinach but we only had half that amount. The resulting pasta was plenty green.
The first step is to squeeze the thawed spinach to get as much water out as possible. The less water in the spinach, the less flour you need and the better the finished product. Then you pulse the spinach in a food processor to chop it up.
Next you add the flour and pulse that to mix with the spinach. We use far too much white processed flour in our house. I’m slowly trying to change that. I would have preferred to use all white whole wheat (aka pastry flour) but we didn’t have enough so I used a cup of the wheat and a cup of all-purpose flour. Next time I’d like to try with 100% wheat flour.
Even though this recipe wasn’t as healthy as it could have been, I thought the nutritional totals looked rather good – better than standard “white” pasta.
Next comes the eggs and oil. You add those while pulsing the food processor. That to me was a bit tricky – I felt like I could have used three hands. Or maybe I should have just set the bowl down between pulses!
After a 30-minute chill in the refrigerator, it’s time to roll out the dough.
You can do this by hand, but I have found it is so much easier to get a consistent product with a pasta machine. This was my Christmas present a couple of years ago. I haven’t used it as much as I’ve wanted – but then again I’m not the chief cook and bottle washer anymore.
These pasta machines aren’t that expensive – only $30 or so. Well worth it in my opinion to make fresh pasta with ingredients you can pronounce!
My pasta ends up coming out jagged and uneven, but you know something? Once it’s cooked, nobody cares!
This was the part Little Chick really enjoyed helping me with. I let her turn the crank on the machine and watched the pasta magically appear!
Papa loved these noodles. Grandma – I’m not sure if she didn’t like them (and didn’t want to tell me) or if she filled up on everything else. Have I mentioned that Little Chick is three? Per usual she refused to try them even though I kept reminding her she helped me make them. The rule we have is that she has to try at least one bite. Usually we have this conversation afterwards:
LC: “Mmm… dat’s good.”
Me: “Do you want some more?”
LC: “No tank you”.
Sure enough that’s what she said. But then I was able to get her to eat another. And then we pretended she was a bird and she ate a couple of more. That made me happy.
Dinner prep was running late so I had only rolled, cut and cooked enough of the dough to feed us for the one meal – but I still had 3/4 of the dough left. After supper I convinced Little Chick to help me crank the pasta machine again to make up the rest. What happened then made me very happy!
LC: “Mama? I want some more pasta.”
She abandoned the pasta-making enterprise, but to see her running around outside with a bowl of cooked spinach pasta? Priceless.
I portioned the rest of the pasta out into approximately 2.5 oz sections and we threw them into the dehydrator for a couple of hours. We’ll cook the rest up for another dinner in a couple of weeks.
The rest of our dinner consisted of our version of Chicken Cordon Bleu – meaning we use whatever cheese we have on hand, whether Swiss or something else. Last night it was Havarti (yum!) We also had cubed cantaloupe. I forgot to take a picture of our full dinner – but these were the leftovers I’m going to have for lunch today!
Spinach Pasta Dough
- 5 oz frozen spinach thawed (half of a 10 oz pkg)
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- Squeeze the spinach as dry as possible using your hands.
- In a food processor, pulse the spinach, scraping the sides down. Add the flour and pulse until mixed.
- In a separate bowl, combine and mix the eggs and oil. While the food processor is running, add the eggs and oil. Pulse until the dough starts to come together.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth. Wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Run the dough through a pasta machine or roll and cut by hand.
- Cook in boiling water for 3-4 minutes or until done.
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