How to make fresh spinach pasta

The ‘how to’ I wrote for making fresh pasta did mention spinach pasta, but didn’t really go into the details. I took some pictures when I recently made spinach tagliatelle with white ragù so now I can show step by step how to make fresh home-made spinach pasta from scratch. Spinach pasta can be used for all kinds of pasta such as tagliatelle, lasagne or ravioli.

Ingredients per person: 1 egg, 100 grams (3/4 cup) of semolina flour, 50 grams (2 oz) of fresh spinach.

You can go as high as 100 grams (4 oz) of fresh spinach, but then you will need more than 100 grams (3/4 cup) of flour.

Start by washing the spinach. Put it in a pot with just the water that clings to the leaves, cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat as soon as it starts to boil and cook for 3 minutes.

Drain in a colander and push down on the spinach to squeeze out some of the moisture.

Put the spinach on an old kitchen towel.

Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible.

Put the spinach into the food processor with the egg(s).

Process until smooth. Use a blender (with higher speed) instead of a food processor if you want it to be completely smooth. I don’t mind the ‘rustic’ look, though.

Now add the flour and process with the ‘pulse’ button until you obtain a dough that is only slightly sticky. Don’t add all the flour at once but start with around 80-90%, you can always add more if needed.

Knead the dough with your hands for about 5 minutes until the dough is very smooth and pliable.

Now make pasta as you normally would.

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13 thoughts on “How to make fresh spinach pasta

  1. Interesting–another time you cook your veg first and I don’t! I just purée the fresh spinach into the eggs. I may try cooking it next time, though, as getting the water out lets you use more spinach!

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    1. That’s exactly why Italians cook the spinach first. When not cooked, you’d definitely need a blender at high speed to puree the spinach sufficiently, as the spinach cells have not been weakened by cooking. Something I haven’t tried myself because I only thought of it just now: for additional spinach flavor you could cook the spinach a bit longer (8 mins?) and then catch the green water you squeeze out. Then reduce this spinach water over low heat and add it to the spinach and eggs. Not sure if it would be worth the trouble though.

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      1. I’ve read that you can also steam-cook the spinach, so it doesn’t lose too many nutrients. You can do it with the colander, inside a pot with some boiling water.

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  2. True story. I learnt to make pasta from my mother, whom I would watch as a kid, rolling pin in hand, rolling on the wooden board that attached to the kitchen table. The very first time she came to visit me in the States, she was horrified at the lack of proper long pasta rolling pins. So, on the next trip, she brought me one and was promptly questioned by a Customs officer as to the purpose of the long, wooden stick. Somehow she convinced him it was harmless and it now lives in my pantry. Havne’t been able to convert my mother to using a pasta machine. Grat blog entry.

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    1. Thanks for sharing this story! I´m afraid I´m not good at making pasta using a rolling pin, but that´s perhaps because I lack the patience. My cooking friend from Torino tried to let me cook `come le nonne`, but I can´t say I enjoyed beating egg whites by hand!

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