Fresh spinach pasta dough on a sheet pan

Fresh Spinach Pasta Dough – The Clever Carrot

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Just wait until you try this fresh homemade spinach pasta dough- only 4 ingredients! Use it to make spaghetti, pappardelle noodles, lasagne sheets, and more!

Fresh spinach pasta dough on a sheet pan

In my Beginner’s Guide, you learned how to make fresh homemade pasta. In this post, we’ll explore an easy variation. Made with tender baby spinach, eggs and olive oil, my fresh spinach pasta dough comes together quickly by hand, in a food processor or Kitchen Aid stand mixer (and it can be made in advance). While the gorgeous, green color is undeniably stunning, the meditative process of rolling and cutting the dough is a feast for the eyes and senses!

Now, before we get started: let’s talk about taste. Fresh spinach pasta tastes absolutely nothing like store-bought spinach pasta, the dry kind, that comes in a box. Two completely different things. Remember that. The latter pasta smells really strong (sniff the box next time) and the taste is questionable (does it even pass for spinach?). Fresh spinach pasta is so light and subtle, you’d hardly know it was spinach pasta at all.

On that note, please do not drown this pasta in sauce. Be nice. Pair with my Easy Butter and Sage Pasta Sauce or this authentic Ragù Bolognese to compliment. Both pasta sauce options are classic.

You Will Need: Ingredients & Equipment

Fresh Baby Spinach

Homemade Pasta Tips:

  • Want bright green pasta? Use fresh spinach. When blanched and cooled properly, the color remains bright and vibrant. Frozen (thawed) spinach can also be used, but the color is usually darker. Save the blanching water to cook your pasta.
  • Hand-chop the spinach. This is my preferred method. When the spinach is chopped into small pieces, it creates a “speckled” colored dough which looks rustic and homemade. It’s pretty. In comparison, using a blender to puree the spinach (as per some other recipes) creates a solid green color. Both methods work.
  • Use Tipo 00 flour. This soft, fine-milled flour yields light and tender pasta every time. All purpose flour can be subbed in a pinch.
  • Make it head. This spinach pasta dough can be made ahead and refrigerated until ready to roll out. Alternatively, roll and cut the pasta dough when you have time. Store at room temperature, covered, until ready to cook (this is what I do). More storage details later on in the post.

How To Make Spinach Pasta Dough

Before You Begin: Blanch the spinach in boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and run under cold water to halt the cooking process (doing so will keep the color bright green). Squeeze dry in a paper towel. Chop into very small pieces.

  • How to make pasta the traditional way, by hand: In a small bowl, beat the whole egg, egg yolk, and olive oil together. Add the chopped spinach. Set aside.
  • Mound the flour onto a board (or bowl). Make a well in the center; add the spinach mixture. Using a fork, mix everything together, gradually incorporating the flour as you go. Finish by hand to form a cohesive dough- it will be very dry at first. This is normal. You can add a few drops of olive oil to moisten the texture, if needed. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes before kneading.
  • Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes. Do this by pushing the dough forward with the heel of your hand while rocking it back and forth (watch this video). The goal is a soft, malleable dough with a talcum powder-like finish.
  • Shape into a ball, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. The next step is to roll and cut the dough.

TIP: Don’t want to mix by hand?: As an alternative method, spinach pasta dough can be made in the food processor (30-60 seconds) or stand mixer (8 minutes) instead. See recipe for specific instructions.

How to Roll Pasta Dough

  • Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces; flatten one into a thin 6-8-inch oval disc (re-wrap the remaining pieces so they don’t dry out).
  • To Roll the Dough into Sheets: If using a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, send the dough through the roller attachment at the lowest/widest setting. This is “#1.” Now, send it through again.
  • Continue to roll through settings #2-4 (2x on each setting) for spaghetti, fettuccini and pappardelle pasta. For ravioli, the dough needs to be thinner- go up to #5 or #6.
  • When finished, fold the pasta sheet in half, place onto a semolina dusted tray, and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Roll the remaining 3 pieces of dough.

TIP: If using a hand-crank pasta machine, instead of a Kitchen Aid stand mixer with the attachments, refer to their specific instructions for rolling the dough. The numbered settings are different, but the rolling process outlined above is the same.

Fresh spinach pasta dough cut into spaghetti

How To Cut Pasta

  • First allow the pasta sheets to semi-dry. You’ll get a slightly firmer texture, rather than soft and doughy pasta strands. Not everyone does this, but I do. Drape the pasta sheets over the back of a chair or on a rod for about 5-15 minutes, depending on temperature. Touch them occasionally; you don’t want them to dry out completely.
  • To Cut the Pasta: Divide a pasta sheet in half. Run it through your pasta cutter of choice- I used the spaghetti attachment. This is the best part!
  • When finished, dust the pasta noodles liberally with semolina flour to prevent sticking- don’t skimp here. Coil the pasta around your hand to create a nest or arrange the strands loosely on a tray.

How to Store Homemade Pasta

If you’re not cooking the pasta right away: cover well-floured pasta strands with plastic wrap (use semolina flour to prevent sticking). Leave at room temperature if cooking within 1-2 hours. Alternatively, refrigerate until ready to cook, up to 12 hrs. It’s best to cook homemade pasta on the same day it’s made, otherwise it might oxidize, discolor and stick together if chilled past 24 hrs.

Butter and sage pasta sauce in a pan

Pasta Sauce Suggestions? Try these:

More Recipes To Try!

Print

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Fresh homemade spinach pasta

Fresh Spinach Pasta Dough


  • Author:
    Emilie Raffa

  • Prep Time:
    10

  • Total Time:
    10 minutes

  • Yield:
    Serves 4

  • Category:
    Homemade Pasta

  • Method:
    Handcrafted

  • Cuisine:
    Italian

Description

Learn how to make fresh spinach pasta dough from start to finish. Only 4 ingredients! I’ve included 3 different mixing methods for you to choose from: by hand, with a food processor and Kitchen Aid stand mixer.



Instructions

Before You Begin: Wash and trim the spinach thoroughly. Make sure there’s no dirt on the leaves. Remove any large stems. Blanch the spinach in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and run under cold water to halt the cooking process (doing so will keep the color bright green). Squeeze dry in a paper towel. Get all the water out. Chop into very small pieces. Set aside.

Step #1: Make the Dough

The traditional way (by hand):

  1. In a small bowl, beat the egg, egg yolk, and olive oil together. Add the chopped spinach. Set aside.
  2. Mound the flour onto a board (or bowl). Make a well in the center; add the spinach mixture. Using a fork, mix everything together, gradually incorporating the flour as you go. Finish by hand to form a cohesive dough- it will be very dry at first. This is normal. You can add a few drops of olive oil to moisten the texture, if needed. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes before kneading (I use an upturned bowl for this). The dough will be softer and easier to work with.
  3. Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes. Do this by pushing the dough forward with the heel of your hand while rocking the dough back and forth. (watch this video). The goal is a soft, malleable dough with a talcum powder finish. Poke it when you’re done- it should bounce back.
  4. Shape into a ball, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. The next step is to roll and cut the dough.

Food Processor Instructions:

Add the chopped spinach, egg, egg yolk and olive oil to the bowl. Pulse 1 or 2 times just to combine. Add the flour. Run the machine until the dough comes together (if it seems a bit dry, add a few drops of olive oil). Remove the dough to your work surface and let rest for 1 minute. If the dough is a bit sticky after resting, add a sprinkle of flour. Knead by hand for 1-2 minutes (the food processor does most of the kneading for you). Form the dough into a ball, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Stand Mixer Instructions:

Add the chopped spinach, egg, egg yolk and oil to the bowl. Give it a quick mix- I do this with a fork. Add the flour. Mix to combine with the dough hook. Then knead on speed #1 or #2, about 4-5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Step #2: Roll the Dough into Sheets

  1. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces; flatten one into a thin 6-8-inch oval disc (re-wrap the remaining pieces so they don’t dry out).
  2. If using a Kitchen Aid stand mixer, send the dough through the roller attachment at the lowest/widest setting. This is “#1.” Now, send it through again (so, 2x total). Note: if you are using a hand-crank pasta machine, refer to the manufacture’s specific instructions for rolling the dough. The numbered settings might differ but the rolling process is the same.
  3. Continue to roll through settings #2-4 (2x on each setting) for spaghetti, fettuccini and pappardelle. For ravioli, the dough needs to be thinner- go up to #5 or #6.
  4. When finished, fold the pasta sheet in half, place onto a semolina dusted tray, and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Roll the remaining 3 pieces of dough.

Step #3: Cut the Pasta

  • First allow the pasta sheets to semi-dry. You’ll get a slightly firmer texture, rather than soft and doughy pasta strands. Drape the pasta sheets over the back of a chair or on a rod for about 5-15 minutes, depending on temperature.
  • Divide a pasta sheet in half. Run it through your pasta cutter of choice- I used the spaghetti attachment.
  • Dust the pasta noodles liberally with semolina flour to prevent sticking- don’t skimp here. 

How to Store Fresh Pasta: If you’re not cooking the pasta right away, cover well floured spinach pasta, on a tray, with plastic wrap. Leave at room temperature if cooking within 1-2 hours. Alternatively, refrigerate until ready to cook, up to 12 hrs. It’s best to cook homemade pasta on the same day it’s made, otherwise it might oxidize, discolor and stick together if chilled past 24 hrs.


Keywords: homemade pasta, spinach pasta, homemade pasta recipe, fresh spinach, spaghetti, spinach pasta dough, easy

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