Oli held a pasta 101 class for me the other night. It gave me a chance to use my pasta machine for the first time. Here we share his technique for making this fresh tri-color delight.
Face it. Pasta’s best when it’s fresh. It’s an easy process and the end result, topped with some fresh pesto, tomato sauce or just drizzled with some extra virgin olive oil and a grating of cheese. . . well, what more can I say? Buon appetito!
2 cups all purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
Green Pasta Red Pasta
2 cups all purpose flour 2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs 2 large eggs
4 ounces fresh spinach 4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon salt
Preparing spinach for spinach pasta.
1. Fill a medium size soup pot about 3/4 full with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and toss in spinach. Let boil for 30 seconds. (Blanch the spinach.)
2. Using a strainer remove spinach and drop leaves into cold water for a few minutes to stop the cooking and preserve the beautiful, deep green color.
3. Reserve one cup of the spinach water and drain the rest.
4. Put water and spinach in bowl of a food processor and process about 30 seconds.
5. Press spinach through a sieve to remove liquid. Discard liquid and set spinach aside until you are ready to make the pasta.
We’ll show you how to make plain pasta, spinach pasta and tomato pasta. The dough is made the same way in a food processor or by hand.
We’ll give you the how to’s for rolling out the dough the traditional way as well as for running it through a pasta machine.
Making pasta the traditional way
1. Put flour on a clean, dry work surface. Make a well in the center. Break eggs into center of well. Add salt. Depending on type of pasta you are making, add processed spinach or tomato to the well.
2. Using your fingers gradually pull flour into the eggs. Keep incorporating flour until you have made a dough.
3. Add flour or drops of water if necessary. Kneed dough until smooth.
4. Place dough in plastic food bag and refrigerate for one hour.
1. Place dough on a well floured work surface.
2. Using a rolling pin roll out dough as thin as you can. Flour dough as necessary to avoid sticking.
3. If you are making spaghetti or tagliatelle roll the dough and use a sharp knife to cut the pasta into ribbons.
4. Put pasta in a plastic food bag and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
Making dough with a food processor
1. Fit bowl of food processor with blade and place flour, egg, salt and spinach or tomato paste into bowl.Process for a minute or so until all ingredients are well mixed and a firm dough is formed.
2. Place dough on a clean work surface and firmly knead with your hands until soft and elastic.
3. Put dough into a plastic food bag and refrigerate for an hour.
Rolling dough with pasta machine
1. You can use this method for any single pasta recipe, however we will show you how to make tri-colored pasta, like the Italian flag above.
2. Lay the loaves of dough side by side so that they are snugly touching each other. Using a rolling pin flatten them so that you iron the three separate loaves into one sheet about 1-inch thick.
3. Now generously flour the work surface as well as the sheet of dough. Continue to roll out to about 1/4-inch thickness.
4. Set pasta roller to thickest setting. Feed the sheet through the pasta machine. Lightly flour dough again. Set machine to next thinner setting and pass dough through again.
5. Continue to flour and pass dough through thinner settings until you have reached desired pasta thickness.
Now you can choose the cut of pasta for your dish: lasagna, tagliatelle, spaghetti…
Set the machine to your desired choice and run the dough through.
If you want to cook it right away, bring plenty of salted water to a boil, blurp in a pour of olive oil, add the pasta and cook for about 2-3 minutes depending on the thickness of the pasta.
If you want to store the pasta, generously flour and place in a plastic food bag. Refrigerate for a few days until ready to use. It can be frozen for a few months.
Or you can put it on a tray and let it dry. Drying time is pretty quick. You can then store pasta until ready to use.