April 30, 2010

fresh spinach pasta

(1) using a food processor, mix 2 cups of all purpose flour or a blend of semolina, durum and all purpose flour (I like to use this perfect pasta blend which may be ordered from King Arthur's Baker's Catalogue), 1-2 eggs, 1-2 tablespoons water and half a package or box (about 1 cup) of frozen cut spinach together. Add more water if needed, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture becomes grainy and comes together when pressed (2) roll out the dough or use a pasta machine or attachment to make the fettucine, then hang them out to dry (3) the cooked spinach pasta (4) spinach pasta topped with a basic tomato sauce and Italian sausage.

Green colored food may not appeal to many as in the case of the fresh spinach fettucine pictured above. Although when cooked, spinach pasta becomes a wonderful base for the simplest pasta sauces. I had the option of going meatless for a healthier and lighter pasta but browned Italian sausages were also a welcome addition. Slice and brown the sausages then drain well and just use as a topping for the pasta. The basic sauce was a simple combination of diced canned and fresh tomatoes, lots of minced garlic (a personal preference), Italian seasoning, sliced mushrooms and sliced black olives (optional). Simmer until the sauce gets thicker then add about 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Season with salt & pepper. Making the sauce as uncomplicated as possible will bring out the flavor of the spinach better. I'm sure a creamy white sauce will work just as well so I'm looking forward to trying it next time. Sprinkle the pasta dish with a little grated parmesan just before serving.

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