Stegaliuniverse


Spinach Pasta (Finally!) by stegaliu
February 15, 2009, 11:17 am
Filed under: Cooking

So I know we promised this post a while back, but I hit a hot streak with work in New York and have been up there for most of the last six weeks.  Rough.  But the real problem with this recipe isn’t it’s tardiness, but it’s lack of specificity.  Here’s how it started:

1 – 10oz package frozen chopped spinach

1 tablespoon water

4 large eggs

4 cups all purpose flour

I felt like using fresh spinach, but I only had a 5oz salad portion so I halved the recipe.  I usually hold back on the water until the dough is coming together and I can evaluate whether or not I need it.  So this is what I was working with:

1 – 5oz package fresh baby spinach

2 organic brown eggs

2 cups all purpose flour

I started pulsing and it was immediately apparent that the dough was way, way, way too wet.  So I started throwing in quarter-cups of flour.  At one point I had to rip the dough mass in half because it was growing too big for the food processor.  Although I lost count of how much flour I ultimately put in, let’s assume the recipe ended up looking something like this.

1 – 5oz package fresh baby spinach

2 organic brown eggs

4ish cups all purpose flour

12oz frustration

So the dough finally came together, but I had double the amount I had intended to make on my hands.  Two 16oz discs to be exact.  You know what this means… pasta for lunch and dinner!

You can see how vibrant and green the dough became.  But what to do with it?

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The first batch became fettuccine.

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Fettuccine is my favorite because it looks so remarkable once it’s all covered in flour and laid out on the counter.

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Kir and I had been feeling like something creamy, but we were without cream or anyhting remotely milky.  So we opened up a laptop and asked Internet what to do.  Internet eventually told us that REAL fettuccine alfredo has no cream in it at all.  Apparently a Roman Alfredo is as simple as it is delicious.  Here are the ingredients.

Enough butter

Enough parmesan cheese

Enough salt and pepper

Amazingly easy and quick.  How quick?  Let me tell you something about fresh pasta.  Take that lovely pasta and throw it in a pot of boiling water.  Start a timer

Zero seconds elapsed:

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30-45 seconds elapsed:

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60-90 seconds elapsed:

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And that’s it.  You’re done!  Once all of the pasta floats to the top, it’s as cooked as it’s going to be.

Drain it conventionally.

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And start working on the sauce by melting a lot of butter (start with two tablespoons and eyeball it based on how much pasta you made).

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Melt all of that down and then toss in your pasta.  Give it a stir to ensure that it has a nice, even butter coat before throwing in a cup of so parmesan (fresh is preferable, but we weren’t feeling so fancy on this particular day).

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Toss it all again and then season it with salt and pepper to taste.

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Light dramatically, photograph, and serve.

SMASH CUT TO:

INT. STEGALIU KITCHEN — HOURS LATER — DINNER

What to do with the rest of this spinach pasta dough?  As I weigh my options I begin rolling out the dough…

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Then it hits me.  Just stop.  Stop right there and lay it out on the island.

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If you noticed the rest of the mise en place in this photo, you already know where this is going: lasagna.  The sheets of pasta may be unweildy and difficult to handle, but you treat them like an other fresh pasta.  Boil first…

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…then drain.

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You have to be careful not to tear the pasta, because it has grown considerably in the boil and is very tender.  Lube a baking pan with tomato sauce and start laying out the sheets of pasta.

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Once the bottom is covered, deal out heavy dobs of ricotta, handfuls of sausage, shards of mozzerella, and slices of pepperoni.

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Once you’re satisfied with the stuffing, repeat the last two steps–you know the drill.

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Just keep on stacking it up until you reach the top of the pan and then give it a last coating of sauce and cheese (don’t be like us, set cheese aside for the top).  Bake it to your liking (we did 400 degrees until the edges were carmelized and the center was hot).

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Just be sure to let it cool for a good 10-15 minutes before cutting.  Otherwise your slices will ooze and not look so good on camera.

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Not the best looking dish in the world, but delicious nonetheless.

Congratulations!  You’ve just done away with 2lbs of homemade pasta.  Have a glass of wine and get some rest (let someone else clean the kitchen).

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

yum! that looks yummy, especially the fettucine alfredo. i love that it doesn’t involve cream. i have never made fresh pasta cos my kitchen is too small and i don’t have the roller but one day i will and i will for sure make your spinach version.

-x-

Comment by aarti

Ok, I asked Eliz for some cinnamon/chocolate mousse that Carter made sound so good. So, from your photos, the ? is…do you ship? You have my address!

Comment by Aunt Linda




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