Warning – this post is not gluten free!
Today I made spinach pasta from scratch, and served it with an original recipe cream sauce that worked out fantastic. This post has two main parts – making the pasta, and making the cream sauce - yummy!
I cooked half a bag of frozen spinach until it was thawed, and drained and squeezed as much water out of the spinach as I could. I then put it in the food processor w/ 2 cups of flour and turned it on for about 3 min so that the spinach was well incorporated into the flour.
To make pasta, you make a mound out of the flour, and dig a little well in the center. Drop in 3 eggs (I started w/ 2 but realized I needed another), and beat it in the well and gradually while stirring with your fingers, add in flour from the sides until it is all incorporated . If you need more flour, keep adding bit by bit (I probably added another good 1/2 cup of flour during this process). Then you work the dough for about 10 minutes by kneading it and folding it on itself until it becomes an elastic ball of dough.
Cause this was a fairly big bit of dough, I cut it in half and worked with each half at once, keeping the other half in a ziploc bag so it wouldn’t dry out. The next set of directions depends on whether or not you have a pasta machine or not. You can do it by hand too.
With pasta machine: Roll it out on a floured surface until about 1/4″ thick, keeping it long and not wider than can fit in the machine – I ended up cutting the dough in half lengthwise to achieve this. Start rolling through the machine, starting at the widest setting and going one setting at a time towards thinner and thinner pasta. Then you can roll through whatever attachment you want to cut the pasta to the desired width.
Pictures show at setting 1 and setting 5:
By hand: Roll it out on a floured surface, but make sure to start halfway in the dough always rolling away from you. Rotate the dough and roll until it is very thin. Then fold it in an accordion pattern and cut the dough in strips at desired width.
When you are done, separate the strands of pasta and hang them to dry. I did not have a pasta rack, so created my own makeshift rack:
Ok, now for the sauce!!!!
First, you need garlic butter – I make up a bunch of this ahead of time and just keep it in my fridge:
Mince 3 cloves of garlic, and place in a dish with half a stick of butter. Melt the butter/garlic mixture enough to incorporate together, and let cool again in the fridge. Voila – instant garlic butter whenever you need it!
Ok, for the sauce (for about 2 servings):
Ingredients (note all amts are approximate, I do not measure when I make this):
Splash of sherry
2 tbs. garlic butter
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup total of a 50/50 mixture of parmesean and asiago cheese, shredded
1 tsp. flour
Melt garlic butter in a small saucepan, and add sherry. Add milk, and heat slowly over med-low heat, stirring constantly. Once steaming, whisk in flour, and gradually add in cheese, keep stirring until all is incorporated and you get a smooth consistency. Then add some italian herbs.
Toss over cooked pasta, and you are done!