Had some great pasta yesterday that my friend cooked from scratch! Homemade pesto with spaghetti and shrimp. Mmmmm..so good! :D
I’ve always been intrigued by pesto; because of the amount of flavour you get from the 5 main ingredients! (basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan, olive oil). No doubt after eating what Rachella made I wanted to try my hand at it too. And then I had trouble finding fresh basil and pine nuts at the grocery store. But fresh spinach was on sale.
Perhaps it was time to try making fresh pasta instead. Spinach linguine to be precise. However, made the mistake of “healthy-fying” it with whole wheat flour. It almost completely masked the flavour of the spinach so I’d suggest just going with normal all-purpose flour.
Well here goes:
What will you need? (Makes about 1¼ lbs of fresh pasta)
1 fresh bunch of spinach 2¾ cup flour
1 garlic clove, finely chopped ½ tsp salt
½ tbsp olive oil 2 eggs
½ tbsp butter ¼ cup water
salt & freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp olive oil
|mmm fresh spinach!|
Fresh spinach. Wash.
|**To remove garlic peel: Press side of knife on clove, whack/press down firmly to remove peel.|
Sauté in olive oil and butter.
Add spinach, cook until leaves are wilted and stems are tender, about 5-7 min.
Set aside, let cool.
Finely chop the spinach.
(Using a little over ¼ cup)
|And now for the dough!|
In a bowl, mix 2½ cups of flour and salt.
In another bowl, whisk 2 eggs, water, oil and the chopped spinach.
Make a well in the flour mixture. Pour in egg mixture.
Mix until well blended and forms dough.
Sprinkle kneading surface with remaining ½ cup flour.
Turn dough onto surface and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 min)
Cover and let fest for 10 mins.
If you have a pasta machine, use it to roll out the dough (in small batches) to your desired thickness (mine were pretty thin, about 1/16 inch).
Keep dusting flour on the dough as needed.
|Pasta machine on the left. <-- timesaver and super fun to use! :D:D|
Roll dough through linguine width blades.
If you don’t have a pasta machine, worry not!
|Sorry about the photo quality...I cranked it down way too much while editing :S|
|Fresh pasta dusted with flour to prevent sticking!|
Simply use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into flat rectangles.
Dust the top surface with flour. Roll it tightly. Use a knife to cut dough into spirals of pasta (the type depends on the thickness).
Linguine = 1/8-inch
Fettuccine = 1/4-inch
Unroll the dough and voilà! Fresh pasta!
|goopy boiling water post-pasta cooking|
*Cooking fresh pasta is a little different than dried.
- fresh pasta cooks much quicker
- the starches in the flour breakdown quicker as well, aka water getting really jelly-like
- from experience, adding not only salt, but also a bit of oil to the water helps to prevent the strands from sticking and you ending up with a big goop
|Cooking fresh pasta takes only about 2-5 mins, it's really quick!|
TIP: As the pasta boils, add some cold water. It helps with the al dente texture and prevents “goopiness”. ;) trust. That’s part of the secret behind my uncle’s amazing dumplings!
Pasta cooked. Drain.
Now for the sauce. I really kept it simple.
Olive oil, teensy bit of chopped shallots, some hot red pepper flakes.
Mixed some ricotta with a touch of hot water (smoother consistency) and seasoned it with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Unfortunately, the whole wheat was really overpowering the other flavours so I decided to make another, more substantial sauce in 5 mins.
|Sauce #2: mushroom soup w/ broccoli & tuna.|
Mushroom soup. Tuna. Broccoli. Chicken. Boil. Whisk in some mozzarella. Pour over pasta. Done.
All I’m saying is that this was a good experience but next time, plain flour.
2 out of 5 NOMs