If you have a lot of extra egg yolks on hand, make some fresh spinach pasta! Pasta making is surprisingly easy and relaxing. Of course, the resulting homemade pasta dinner is absolutely delicious!
Can you believe this is the last post I’m writing for you from our current home? I almost didn’t have a recipe post for you because we’re trying to prepare everything before the movers show up bright and early Monday morning. But, I was planning on making this pasta anyway to use up some extra egg yolks and spinach. So why not share?
I’m pretty sure there are only one or two of you that actually read this blog though. Well, and the spammers who like to post spammy links. Too bad I moderate the comments so only real ones get through. Godmother – 1 Spammers – 0
Anyway, I’d just like to say I never ever pictured myself as the type of person who would make fresh pasta. Store-bought hacks like this tortellini recipe are way more my style for the day-to-day.
I am most definitely not the type of person who would make it regularly enough to have the general recipe memorized and feel confident enough to just make up variations.
So if you’re reading this post thinking “this is not me”, think again.
It’s actually much simpler than you’d think and it always makes me imagine I’m someone’s nonna making food for the family in a rustic kitchen in the Italian countryside. It all feels very romantic.
Making fresh pasta also sounds extremely impressive and lets you do things like convincing your significant other to put together the sauce and help with dishes. I’m just putting that out there.
How to make fresh spinach pasta
This pasta recipe is just a slight variation on Thomas Keller’s 7-yolk pasta recipe. I like it because it’s easy to remember, versatile, and turns out every time! So far, I’ve used it to make noodles like you see here, and ravioli.
The green color and spinach flavor comes from fresh spinach pulsed in the food processor until it’s basically a paste. I tried chopping it finely enough by hand for this recipe, but it didn’t turn out quite right. So definitely use the food processor, or the blender if you don’t have a food processor.
The best way to make the pasta is by hand. The dough is stiff, and slowly incorporating the flour by hand until properly mixed will give you the most tender pasta.
To make the pasta, clean your counter, you’ll want to give yourself room to work. BUT, if you don’t have a smooth countertop to work on, use a baking sheet. That way, you have a food-safe surface on which to work, and it’s easy to clean in the sink.
Make a pile of flour and create a large well in the center. Make sure the well is large enough, about cereal bowl-size.
Start swirling the wet ingredients with your fingers in circle. It can be a messy job, so use food-safe gloves if you’d like. As you stir, you’ll naturally start to incorporate more and more flour. By the time the walls of your pasta well have disappeared, there’s no loose wet ingredients to spill all over the place.
Once you have a nice, smooth dough, wrap it to rest. Then roll, slice and cook! Did you know you can even freeze fresh pasta? Freeze it just after cooking and bake from frozen.
A few recipe notes…
Before I leave you with the recipe, I just want to share a few notes. If you enjoy this project and want to work on your own variations, hopefully these will help!
First, I’ve made this recipe with up to half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour. I tried once with all whole wheat flour and it wasn’t particularly popular. But the half and half mixture worked really nicely and added a little extra fiber!
Otherwise, regular all-purpose flour will do. I know there’s special pasta flour out there, which can work. But we don’t always have it, and with the other ingredients being pantry staples, fresh spinach pasta is a great recipe to use what you have.
How should I serve fresh spinach pasta?
You can dress it as you wish. If you make it in a noodle shape, top it with your favorite sauce. Or you can sauté it with a bit of garlic and olive oil and top with a salty cheese.
I hope you love this recipe, darlings!
- 1 3/4 cups (8 ounces) all-purpose flour (see notes)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach (see notes)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Place the spinach and garlic in a food processor and pulse until very fine. Scrape the sides of the food processor as needed while mixing. You might need to add 1-1.5 tablespoons of olive oil to help break down the spinach. Set aside.
- Measure out your flour and make a well in the center for your egg yolks. Sprinkle the salt on top.
- Using your fingertips, begin to swirl the egg yolks, slowly incorporating the flour. Be careful not to let the egg yolks spill out of their well. As you swirl and the mixture starts to thicken, add the spinach paste. Keep stirring until you have a shaggy, kind of flaky mass of dough.
- Set the dough aside while you give your work surface a quick wipe and fresh dusting of flour.
- This part requires a little upper body muscle! Knead the dough by forming it into a ball, flattening it, rotating the dough, folding, and flattening again. Do this for about 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth (see notes).
- Lightly coat the dough with olive oil and wrap it in plastic wrap. Let rest for 1 hour.
- Roll out the dough using a pasta roller or a rolling pin.
- Cut your dough ball in half, then in half again, and roll one of the sections until it's the proper pasta thinness.
- Liberally flour the cutting board and your rolling pin to prevent sticking. Roll the pasta dough in one direction only, like rolling pie dough.
- Cut the pasta to your desired shape.
- You may either freeze your fresh pasta here or use it immediately by filling a large stockpot with water.
- Bring the water to a boil, add salt. Cook the pasta for 7-10 minutes or until you've reached desired "done-ness". The exact time depends on the shape and thickness of your pasta.
- Finish or top as you'd like, and enjoy!
- Use a food processor or blender to chop the spinach very fine. For the best final texture in the pasta, you almost want this to be a paste.
- To check if your dough is ready, pull your finger across the surface of the dough. If the displaced dough tries to snap back into place, you're done!
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KitchenAid KSMPRA Pasta Roller & cutter attachment set, Pack of 1, Silver
Pasta Maker Machine, Homemade Stainless Steel Manual Roller Pasta Maker With Adjustable Thickness Settings Sturdy Noodles Cutter with Clamp for Spaghetti, Fettuccini, Lasagna or Dumpling Skins
Euro Ceramica Zanzibar Collection Pasta Bowls, Set of 4, Spanish Floral Design, Multicolor Blue
p.s. – If you’re looking for a way to use all those egg whites, might I suggest macarons?