Sometimes I forget I am nearly seven months pregnant (this is hard to believe if you could see the size of me!). So last night, once my aching feet of the day had worn off, I thought it would be a good idea to make fresh pasta for dinner. By the end of it, there was flour and pasta dough trodden into the floor, a glass of spilt water and a pile of washing up. I was exhausted…but there was also two rather large portions of glorious fresh pasta for a simple, yet very tasty supper.
The pasta roller was a Christmas present which I spent a couple of weeks in the New Year learning how to use. It was also a challenge getting a good dough mix without having eggs as a binder, but I’m now working to a pretty good formula.
Using my recipe, I made a batch of dough, rolled it out, ran it through the tagliatelle attachment and hung the ribbons up. Meanwhile, we steamed a packet of spinach and I made some garlic butter to stir though before serving.
Even though it takes a bit of time, making your own pasta is worth it for special occasions or a treat and you can do it by hand if you don’t have a roller (see my instructions). It tastes really nice and is quite different to the shop-bought variety.
Last night’s recipe made enough pasta for two large portions, plus I left one good handful of ribbons up to dry over night. Tied together, they can be stored away and used another time, or given away as a pretty present.
Homemade Fresh Pasta with Garlic and Spinach
Preparation/cooking time 40 mins
2 cups pasta flour; or 1 cup pasta flour and 1 cup of durum wheat flour
1 cup warm water
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp vegan margarine
2 tbsp pine nuts
1 large packet of spinach, washed
1. Sieve flour into a mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.
2. Add the water and oil very gradually, mixing in from the centre with a wooden spoon, keeping the sides in tact. Allow the flour to fall into the centre to be incorporated.
3. When a ball of dough has formed, gather it together and knead slightly. If the dough is at all sticky, add a bit more flour.
4. Follow my detailed instructions on how to roll and cut your pasta. This involves splitting the dough into four pieces, rolling it out, then passing it through a pasta roller to flatten and cut into ribbons, or alternatively, do this by hand.
5. Hang up your pasta ribbons as you go, on a wooden stand or over the back of a large saucepan.
6. The pasta will cook very quickly in a large pan of salted water. Bring this to the boil first, before dropping in as many of the ribbons in one go as you can, so they cook evenly. Add a little oil to prevent sticking and mix carefully into the water with a fork. Turn down the pan to simmer and allow the pasta to cook for a few minutes.
7. Meanwhile, wilt the spinach in a large saucepan with a little water in the bottom, by putting on a lid and turning up the heat. It should cook very quickly, after which, drain it off and squeeze out any excess water using the back of a large spoon.
8. While the pasta and spinach are cooking, place the margarine in a small saucepan with the garlic and pine nuts and allow it to melt, stirring for a couple of minutes to prevent the garlic sticking. Remove from the heat and set aside.
9. Strain the pasta and return it to the pan, then mix in the garlic, melted margarine and pine nuts.
10. Serve into bowls and top with the spinach and a good sprinkling of ground black pepper.