I had the strangest weekend. My husband went to New Orleans for a bachelor party and my in-laws insisted upon watching my son for one of the nights he was away. I was all set to argue that I probably could handle a single potty-trained, getting-himself-dressed, occasionally listening almost-5 year-old for all of 48 hours but when I opened my mouth the only words that came out were, “Thank you! What a fantastic idea!”
All of a sudden, I was flying completely solo for the first time in half a decade and I had no idea what to do with myself. Would I finally clean the apartment? Would I have a giant party? Would I go away by myself for the night, just because I could? Would I watch two matinees in a row and eat popcorn and Reese’s pieces for dinner? Why had I not been planning for this day my all five years I’d had to think about it; I bet when Jacob was 8 months old and hadn’t slept through the night for any of them, I had a crystal-clear idea of where I’d run if given the chance. (Spoiler: Back to bed. Or Paris! Or both!) But that was then and this was Saturday. So, I went for a haircut. I took a walk. I ducked into tiny bookstores and bought new things for everyone to read. With friends, I went for manicures and pedicures, ordered cava and tapas, and stuffed wedding invitations. I slept in! I got a massage with a gift certificate I received over 3 years ago! I finished the book I was reading and started a new one! I realize this is probably the dullest story ever told, but I honestly couldn’t believe the lap of limitless luxury my life had become. I can’t believe there are people that live like this every single day; I can’t believe I was once one of them. This is probably how having kids turns you into one of those fuddy-duddies you remember your parents being.
And then I decided Jacob and I needed a special dinner, the kind of luxurious cooking that you can usually only pull off on weekends, the kind of handmade food that’s completely relaxing to make. It didn’t hurt that I’d had David Lebovitz’s new book open on the coffee table all weekend, bursting forth with inspiration. This is my favorite Lebovitz book yet, a 125-recipe answer to the question, “How does an expat American pastry chef living in Paris eat at home?” It turns out, maybe not at all surprisingly: amazingly. I hardly knew what to make first. Steak with mustard butter and frites? Chocolate dulce de leche tart? Leeks vinaigrette with (gasp!) bacon? I’d finally settled on his carrot salad, which is one of my favorite recipes of his (plus I have my own little riff I’ve been meaning to tell you about) but as if the book knew better, it kept staying open to the page where he’s making an herbed linguine by hand.
Herb, schmerb; I wanted spinach pasta and I wanted it bad. And so it was. I decided to keep in the slow-living luxe spirit of my 26-hour vacation and go old-school, fingertips, flour-walled egg well, 10 minutes of kneading. Blanched, squeezed and finely chopped spinach is speckled throughout, and it’s the prettiest thing. My mini-me returned when I was in the middle of decking our living room in linguine strands and helped crank more out. We picked up some sliced salami, chopped cucumbers and tomatoes, tossed the cooked linguine with butter and parmesan (al bambino, as they told me in Rome) and had a dinner he declared “very fancy!”
And now we’re all back together with good hair and full bellies and I need you to tell me what you’d do if you had 26 hours to do anything on earth — no limits! I need to plan better for the next time this happens, in a decade or so.
One year ago: Greek Salad with Lemon and Oregano
Two years ago: Vidalia Onion Soup with Wild Rice
Three years ago: Leek Toasts with Blue Cheese
Four years ago: Leek Bread Pudding and Oatmeal Pancakes
Five years ago: Ranch Rugelach
Six years ago: Brownie Roll-Out Cookies and Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad
Seven years ago: Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Fresh Spinach Pasta
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen
Guess what? Making your own pasta is dead simple: all you need is plain flour and eggs, plus a rolling pin and knife. Want to make spinach pasta? Just add 1/4 to 1/3 cup cooked spinach. Want to make herbed pasta as directed by David? Add 1/2 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano or basil. Below is the core recipe. Following that are a ton of notes if you’d like to make things more complicated, be it with specialized flours, more or fewer yolks, food processors, pasta rollers, drying racks or planning ahead. Let’s get started!
Serves 4 generously to 6 petitely; makes about 22 ounces of dough
5 ounces baby spinach leaves
2 3/4 to 3 cups all-purpose flour, preferably unbleached
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
Water (only if absolutely needed)
Additional flour for rolling
Wash spinach but no need to dry. With water droplets still clinging to the leaves, wilt spinach in a hot skillet until completely soft, about 4 minutes. Let cool and wring all the water — seriously, every drop you can get out — out of the spinach in small fistfuls, and then pressing these little bundles out against a fine-mesh strainer. Rest spinach on paper towels to remove even more water, then mince spinach on a cutting board.
Dump spinach, smaller amount of flour and salt on countertop and mix with your fingers, then form into a pile. Make a deep well in the center and add the whole eggs and yolks to it. Use your fingertips to break up the eggs and begin moving your fingers in a circular motion, keeping the eggs within the well (or you’ll have egg lava running everywhere and be in a very bad mood). Each circular movement pulls in a little bit of flour from the sides. In a few minutes, the mixture will become thicker and thicker, finally becoming too tight to move easily with your fingers. At this point, you can use a bench scraper (a perfect tool here) or spatula to start adding the remaining, a little pile at a time. Once a shaggy dough has formed, begin kneading the mixture, scraping it up when it sticks, until a ball is formed. It will look flaky but will hold together.
Knead the dough, pressing it away with the heels of your hands then forming it back into a blob, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the dough is moist but not sticky. Add remaining flour, a spoonful at a time, only if dough is too sticky. Add a drop or two of water only if it’s cracking when you knead it. In almost all cases, I find that erring on the side of firmer pasta is safer than softer pasta, which doesn’t hold shapes well and will want to stick a pasta roller. Let it rest for 5 minutes, then knead it again for 5 to 8 minutes. Wrap dough in plastic and let rest at room temperature for an hour.
Divide dough into sixths. On a floured surface, roll the pasta as thin as you can; as thin as a credit card and translucent is ideal. Letting rolled-out pasta rest for 10 minutes before cutting it into your desired shape helps yield cleaner, easier cuts.
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, well-salted water for anywhere from 2 to 6 minutes (depending on thickness), until al dente. Drain and toss with fixings of your choice — garlic-sizzled olive oil or melted butter, parmesan or pecorino, dollops of ricotta or mascarpone. Eat immediately.
- Using different flours: In Italy, pasta is usually made with 00 flour (doppio zero, a very finely ground flour also used for pizza dough; it is not low protein, no matter what you’ve read). Do you love it or have it around? You can use it here instead. Do you need to buy an imported bag at a hefty price? I say no, and so does Marcella Hazan in Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. “When, outside of Italy, I make fresh pasta at home, I have found that unbleached all-purpose flour does the most consistently satisfying job: It is easy to work with; the pasta it produces is plump and has marvelous texture and fragrance.” Semolina flour (sold in Italy as semola di grano duro; I use semolina flour from Bob’s Red Mill) is milled from durum, the strongest kind of wheat, feels a bit like very fine cornmeal in your fingers but will not taste gritty at all once cooked. It is used in Italian packaged pasta. Here, Hazan and I differ; Hazan feels that although it is mandatory for industrial-grade pasta, there’s no need for it in homemade pasta and she finds it frustrating to work with. But David and I like to use some in our pasta; I often replace 1/3 to 1/2 the all-purpose flour in my pasta with semolina flour and find that it produces a less chewy pasta. Here, I used 1 cup.
- To make in a mixer: You can blend the ingredients in a food processor. The spinach will become better chopped, resulting in a less flecky pasta than you see in my photos. Run the flour, salt and chopped spinach together until blended. Add the eggs and yolks and run the machine until the dough forms a shaggy ball. Knead for a few minutes on a floured counter, then wrap in plastic and let rest at room temperature for one hour before rolling out.
- To make the dough ahead of time: The plastic-wrapped dough can also rest in the fridge for up to 2 days. Maybe longer? I’ve honestly never tried it for more than 2 days. I do hope you’re impressed with my professionalism here. ;)
- To make this pasta greener: My 5 ounces of baby spinach leaves once cooked and wrung out yielded all of 1/4 cup of spinach. I think you could easily use up to double of this for a greener pasta. Hazan says you can go as far as to put a full 10-ounce package of frozen spinach or 1 pound of fresh (again, wilted, and very well wrung-out) in 3 cups flour, though I haven’t auditioned this volume yet at home.
- To sheet the pasta with a pasta roller: Place a little pile of flour (whatever blend you’re using for the pasta, or just plain flour) on a large cutting board. Unwrap rested pasta dough and cut it into small pieces — I like to aim for walnut-size, which seems small but keeps the pasta sheets from getting unmanageably long. Working with once piece at a time, dust the nugget of dough in a little flour, then run in through your pasta roller on the widest setting (usually “1”), then repeat this process with the roller set increasingly smaller (2, 3, 4) until the pasta is very thin. My Atlas machine goes to 9 but I often stop at 8 because this setting makes for thin, delicate pasta that’s not so fragile that I’m pulling my hair out with frustration trying to move it around. If you find your dough sticking, lightly flour it. If it gets too big to handle, cut it in half. If the piece gets too wide for the machine or becomes annoyingly irregularly shaped, I re-“fold” the dough by folding the sides of the dough into the middle, like an envelope, and press it flat. Then, run the piece back through the machine with the open sides up and down on the widest setting again (0) working your way thinner. This allows the machine to “press” any trapped air out. Rest the pasta in single layers on a lightly floured surface and repeat with remaining pieces. Once I’m done sheeting all the pasta, I run each piece through the linguine or spaghetti cutter on my machine. I find that the extra few minutes (usually 10 minutes) of drying time help me get cleaner cuts. If your spinach wasn’t minced well enough, you may find that the linguine doesn’t cut into separate strands very easily in the machine, and needs some hand-separating to finish. You can also cut the pasta at this point by hand on a cutting board into a desired shape.
- If you’re not cooking your pasta right away: It’s better for flavor and texture to dry it completely than to try to keep it moist and wrapped in the fridge until you’re ready to cook it. If you have a professional pasta drying rack, well, that’s great. I do not and tend to hang my pasta on whatever I can find — lately this has been a (clean!) laundry drying rack. (See photos above.) The only pesky thing is that I’m never able to remove the pasta without it breaking at the bend. If I know I’m going to be drying pasta, I will plan for this by making strands that are much longer than I’ll need, knowing that they’ll be half-length before I’m done. Make sure the pasta is fully and completely dry (anywhere from 12 to 24 hours) before storing in a box or tin between sheets of paper towels or mold will develop. This will add 2 to 3 minutes cooking time to your pasta.
180 comments on fresh spinach pasta
I have a friend that I have “play dates” with when my guy is busy on the weekend, and I think we found our next recipe to make. I need to make more fresh pasta!
Oh, and after reading your notes for “greener” pasta, I think we might try it out a few ways and make some ombre pasta dishes! :)
We had a surprise early release from work on Friday afternoon. I got the pedicure I’d only dreamed about finding the time for. And a haircut? Well, I got a haircut at around the 37th week of my pregnancy. The next time I had a haircut, my child was WALKING. I bought my husband a pasta maker for Chanukah this year. I don’t know what delusional planet I was on at the time, but now that I have this recipe here, right in front of me…
Don’t think me at all maudlin, but now that my two are in grad school/college, I do get more stretches like this than I know quite what to do with, and spend a lot of that time plotting what meals I’ll be making once they’re both back on breaks and having those meals with me! (And they spend a fair amount of their time missing food from home, or so they tell me, anyway.)
Homemade pasta is to simple to make and so worth it. I like to get it to the sheet stage and then use it to make lasagna: no boiling necessary.
I usually eat pasta with fried spinach, but this version sounds way better.
This looks so delicious! Did you eat it with the Salami on the side?
A tipp for drying homemade linguine or tagliatelle: make little nests like in the packaged versions. I roll mine carefully and non-overlapping around the end of a pestle or anything that’s got a thick, cylindrical form, sometimes even my fingers. I then put it in a vertical position and let the rolled up pasta slide down on a prepared sheet where I let it dry completely. Amazingly enough, it will not start sticking to itself and completely separate again once cooked. It might take longer, but if you’re doing a lot of pasta in advance it’s well worth the effort, because it’s much easier to store that way as well!
I would do exactly what you did. It sounds like paradise. My daughter is Jacob’s age, and my son is two, and I have yet to have a day/night to myself, either. I would also, definitely, make pasta. Thanks for the inspiration!
Wow looks amazing! So beautiful.
Your photos remind me of when I was a kid. My mom used to make homemade egg noodles and hang them all around the house to dry. Now I want to make them just for the memories! Of course, they also look delicious, as usual!
I love your introduction to this recipe so much! As a toddler parent who is a bookish, television-watching, tapas-eating sort when left to her own devices, I applaud your choices for your weekend away! And I love the cuteness of his return too. Hooray for enjoying “fancy meals” with kiddos! Beautiful pics, as well. I look forward to trying this.
I told my 4 year old that once we are finished with our kitchen reno’s (which will hopefully be within 2 weeks) I was going to show him how to make ravioli … I was just about to look up a pasta recipe when I saw this. Deb: when using your pasta roller, how thin should the pasta be for ravioli? Also, do you ever add any olive oil to your pasta mix – would you recommend it?
Sunny — I’ve never added olive oil. For ravioli and basically all pasta, thin is best. Or, at least I prefer pasta that is thin and delicate over thick and clunky/soft.
BTW here’s my “alone” fantasy. I eat out the entire day, all the foods that are my favourite at my fav hole in the walls! Then I go to the movies, or rent “my” movies that I love to watch – i also give myself a little buffet of everything I love to eat, including dessert! Yes, tapas all the way .. I basically spend the day doing everything I want … not what the kids want or even my husband! I think this is exactly what you did! Way to go!
That looks absolutely gorgeous…healthy and nutritious but also extremely tasty! I think it will be an excellent student supper – I am on a mission to find easy, healthy meals for college students to make and this will definitely be featuring soon!
If I had 26 hours all to myself I don’t actually know what I would do. I think I might start by making scones and a pot of tea and then I would sit outside reading a non-grad-school-required book. Just for fun! Then I would probably go for a nice long walk in the park nearby, visit the botanic garden/greenhouses and maybe buy a new plant. Then I would go to a concert with friends or go to the rare books library and ask to see anything in the catalog that looked interesting – probably something medieval and music-related, and then I would get thrown out for singing in the library. For dinner I would finally tackle the spectacular spinach gnocchi recipe from my favorite restaurant and maybe invite some of the friends back with me to eat. I would spend the evening writing. The next morning I would sleep in, drink tea, maybe make a quiche and invite friends for lunch, and spend the afternoon baking something awesome.
If I still lived in Scotland, I would replace all of this with: walk to the train station, see which train leaves next and find out how many ruined castles/beautiful lakes/historic places I can see and still get home in time.
26 hours? Even being childless it still sounds like a luxury- good for you! What would I plan? Right now it would be weather dependent gardening or fishing, but if I recieved a 26 hr gift and the weather continued to be miserable, I’d plan ahead and paint my office by moving my stuff into the living room, and then have dinner with wine at my favorite restaurant.
Meanwhile- spinach pasta I can do. Soon. =)
I work full time and have a 3 year old. I found myself home alone on a weekday afternoon yesterday; it was pretty delightful. I made oatmeal muffins for my picky son, homemade pasta sauce with the tomatoes on the verge of going bad in my fridge, and a chickpea and carrot salad for today’s lunch. Then I bought both mothers their mother’s day gifts and thank you gift for a friend.
That’s not boring! It sounds like the best day ever! I don’t know why you are asking us for anything cooler than that because you just topped my cool-cat list.
If you want anything more crazy-awesome than the day you had that doesn’t involve more cronuts, museums, ice-skating and sleeping for 12 hours straight (my personal additions), I would say you’d have to plan way in advance. A train trip to the north! A getaway to the south! These things take planning, and I say with all the half a second of planning time you had, you rocked it!
It feels so strange whenever Eric takes the dog away to work. It’s a wonderful sense of freedom… but, of course, I always miss her when she’s not here with me.
This pasta is so fabulous. I was just saying that it’s been too long since I’ve made pasta. Might need to give this one a go.
I’m sorry, I didn’t even read the recipe because I was so excited to answer your question… In a some alternate universe where my husband and 21-month-old left for 24 hours, I would, in no particular order: sleep in; lay on a beach and read (no matter that I live in TN); get a manicure AND a pedicure; drink a Jack and ginger (or two!); take an uninterupted shower; have a long, lazy dinner with friends; eat fried green tomatoes with basil aioli, tomato chutney and goat cheese; go to bed early. That sounds pretty much like heaven right now.
You know I must be a parent of a little one as well when I think that your time spend solo sounds utterly dreamy and incredible. And I am totally jealous! My daughter has multiple food allergies, so honestly the first thing I think of when I imagine time away from her is eating all the food I can’t normally. All the lobsters! Entire jars of peanut butter! More fried eggs than you can shake a stick at! It’s the little bits of freedom that get us through the long slog, right?
Wow!! Looks delish. I really must invest in a pasta machine. Don’t think I could roll it out by hand.
This pasta is so gorgeous! Hope you enjoyed your solo weekend : )
My sister ( who is new mum) is dying for one of these days. While a 9 month old may not be big to compared to your little one; she is run off her nut sometimes. It must be normal to be confused with free time when you are suddenly given it.
For me home time alone means, butter sauce pasta , wine and track pants. Delicious!
Oh, I would read. Read, read, read. Real books with pages I can turn. I don’t know when reading became such a luxury, but it is. And then I’d go to the spa. We must both be moms. :)
Get out your kid’s tinkertoy sets. You (or they) can make as large or small of a drying rack as you need.
I’d want to do what you did. Sounds awesome :)
Wow, this looks great! I might have to try it with asparagus, though.
Wonderful recipe! Thanks for sharing it. My son is 7 and I have had nights without him home when he goes to grandma’s, but my husband is usually home and we have to go to an event/party/work. I haven’t had more than 5-6 hours completely alone in over 7 years and that sounds just heavenly LOL. I am impressed you did so much! I would most definitely do the mani/pedi/massage along with shopping for the items I have needed yrs, but can never get to.
Deb, can you give any direction on freezing fresh pasta (how to, good idea/bad)?
oh yum! making homemade pasta is so relaxing, no? i bet the spinach pasta would taste phenomenal with some garlic-infused olive oil.
i am curious – in one of your photos featuring the finely chopped spinach, it looks as though you’re using a nakiri knife? or am i mistaken and that is a global chef’s knife? if the former, how do you like it????
I think I may need to try making my own pasta! Thank you!
Also would lemon zest be a good addition to this pasta recipe? I’ve had this before — probably in a springy, asparagas-y pasta? — and would love to add that delicious hint of flavor if you think it matches.
Anya — I’m sure it would be delicious. My original plan had been to toss the linguine with lemon and ricotta like we did here, but I ended up going simpler.
Re, freezing fresh pasta — I am not sure I would. If I’m not going to use it right away, I just dry it. It’s no extra work and dried pasta is (many would argue) superior to frozen or rolled pasta that’s been refrigerated. I.e. one you mix the dough, you either want to make pasta with it or dry it for longer storage.
This pasta is beautiful with those little flecks of green.
This is a fantastic idea to rescue my pasta machine from boredom (and to give the drying rack another use ;)
I’m thinking about beets for the pasta and cheese for the sauce…
Thanks for sharing!
I just had twin girls a month ago and I also have a two year old son and it’s been great. However, reading this post made me wish I was you last weekend. Mmmm, heaven, the thought of being alone for 24 hours going to spas, bookstores, etc, sounds like heaven!
These look really good and easy to make! If I had 26 hours of free time I’d go get a massage, I’d go to the movies and watch a good one while eating candies and I would probably just wander in a few épiceries to find some new treasures !
OMG I would probably do things very similar to what you did. With 2 kids 4 & 1 I just want to be able to go somewhere by myself, just for a bit because I’d miss them.
I have two boys, ages 2 and 5, and I hear you! When I get even 20 minutes to myself I have no idea what to do. Sometimes I just sit down and eat uninterrupted, and it’s wonderful. Good for you on getting out and having some fun!
Such gorgeous pasta, love that you can see the light streaming through as it dries. Glad that you were able to have a mini staycation – sounds simply perfect!
I have three under six. (Slight exaggeration- eldest is six next week.)
A twenty-four hours with no husband and no kids would involve a lot of sleeping in, a lot of lying in bed reading (with nobody jumping in to share the duvet!) and drinking cups of tea without fearing them being spilt all over the bed, seeing a girlfriend for a long uninterrupted natter, going for a long walk in the nature reserve at the bottom of the hill I live on with nobody to carry back up the hill (really steep), having a bath, and going to bed to read really late (I should probably do this before the lie-in).
Other than seeing my friend, it would heavily feature Total And Utter Silence. No steam-train-whistle screams, no cries of “She looked at my [insert name of previously ignored toy here] in a funny way and therefore deserved me hitting her!”, no wails of utter despair. Nobody trying to climb up my leg whilst I’m trying to cook a healthy, nutritionally-balanced dinner that they’re not going to eat anyway. (Sorry, it’s been a long day, and they rejected both lunch _and_ dinner. Never thought that I’d have Worse Than Picky Eaters.)
Ideally, my day off would also involve me getting to spend a couple of hours staring at the sea, but I live in Switzerland…
I’ve seen this spinach pasta somewhere else, and I just can’t get it out of my mind! It’s a very intriguing dish and spinach is one of my favorite beyond favorite veggies!
I have a 4 month old daughter, so my 26 hours would look very similar to yours – sounds divine!
Yes, spinach pasta. I am going to do this. Last week we made carrot pasta and it was fantastic. We wanted to try spinach but were looking for great recipe and I think i found it.
Thank you, Deb! As usual, always fun to read and learn with you. We both had our first at the same time, so I often think we are living slightly parallel lives…and I used to live in NYC, so I can pretend I’m still there….
I took a pasta-making class from Chicago’s Pasta Puttana, and, like you, she suggests drying it for a bit before cutting, 10 minutes (like you suggest) or up to a few hours. I think this is where I always screwed up in the past and caused my pasta to stick when I tried to cut it.
When you say you dry it, do you mean it’s shelf-stable, put-in-the-cupboard dry? For storage, she had us “fluff” the strands up so they aren’t sticking together, dust it with rice flour (apparently rice flour gets less sticky than regular flour), re-fluff, and store in the fridge or freezer, which was how she sold it at the market.
And as for what I’d do with 26 hours to do whatever I wanted? Be back on the Ligurian coast with a glass of local wine, some bread, pesto, seafood, the sun, and the water.
26 hours alone would be so awesome! I’ve had a spa gift card just hanging out in my purse for a few years. You’ve inspired me to use it! Last time I had a couple days alone I painted my bedroom and rearranged a bunch of furniture. Next time, hopefully I do something more relaxing.
This looks delicious!
You are one productive lady! I would have spent most of that 26 hours being completely bewildered! I think that homemade pasta is still a few years off in my future but I applaud your efforts!
Re, the 26 hours :) — They spanned from 1:30 p.m. Saturday (i.e. 3:30 haircut, 6:30 mani/pedi, loads of time before and between to wander) to 3:30 Sunday (slept late, leisurely walk to 11 am massage, books on way back, read, started cooking at 2) which I think is the best way to do it in terms of maximizing free time, don’t you?
I have never ever made fresh pasta by hand as it looks so intimidating (and I’m more of a rice girl to be honest) but that looks so so incredible I might have to try something similar out!
You did all of that in a day? Goodness you’re putting my life into perspective.
In answer to your question: sleep until 3pm. And then boil a few things together in a saucepan and call it brunch/dinner/whatever. Oh wait that’s just what I do every Sunday ever.
Oh that sounds heavenly! And at first glance the first photo made me think of your broccoli pesto pasta which is a family favorite of ours. It’s actually 1 of 5 meals that my 3 year old will eat.
I tried my hand at spinach pasta once and it was a big fail. I’m not sure what I did wrong but the dough just crumbled when I put it through the roller. I will have to try again with your recipe!
When my children were small (2.5 years apart) I used to get several local teenagers to come in after school ( different one each day) to “spell” me. The kids loved the variety and the girls all could do the 2 and a half hours between 2:30p.m. and five p.m. easily. Sometimes I left the house, sometimes I didn’t. I could then play it by ear: grocery shop, go to the library, take a bath, a nap, do some reading, sewing, or clean the bathroom, clean a few closets, go to an exercise class, listen to music, “prep” a special recipe etc.I never got the 26 hours in a row…but the daily respite was wonderful. I never dared pasta though, but since I am now newly” partially- retired” ( this is heaven for sure!!!) I am going to make this green goodie, and have some friends in for dinner and wine!
I’m so jealous of your free time. If I had uninterrupted time like that I would grab a raspberry mocha from Starbucks and sit on the couch knitting, while binge watching my favorite shows (no kids shows!)
And your pasta looks amazing. I’m totally trying it sometime. I’m always looking for ways to eat more spinach
I am 30, single, and childless, with lots of alone time, and that still sounds like a dream 26 hours. Fantastic plan. Working on the pasta right now, though I switched arugula for the spinach.
Ooh…I haven’t had homemade pasta in ages! This looks beyond delicious. Sounds like you made the most of your solo weekend!!
I made homemade fettucine ages ago, but it came out so crumbly. This looks absolutely perfect!
What a lovely day. I fantasize about time alone, and most importantly, as the mom of a 10-month old, a morning to sleep in past 5:30! In my fantasies (which my partner has promised to give me eventually), I stay over at an inn with a spa and sleep in (let’s be honest, I’d wake up by 7 anyway). As for the rest of the 26 hours, I’d want to do like you, and spend it with good friends and good food.
The pasta looks so delicious (though I’m spoiled by our local pasta shop that has free amazing pasta with a $10 purchase).
Deb, great post and timing I m alone while husband is traveling and have been afraid to make homemade pasta. But with your instructions and since every one of your recipes has been a success I have to try this tomorrow. I so look forward toeach of your posts. Thanks – they are terrific.
I would do exactly what you did and, if I were lucky enough to live in NY I would definitely add breakfast or lunch at Buvette (read about it on DALS and now can’t stop looking at their website).
This looks so good! I need to start making my own pasta! :)
Deb, I love what you did this weekend. It sounds perfect and it would be exactly what I would do too! Tons of relaxation? Time with friends? Sounds perfect!
Oh, I’m jealous. Jealous jealous jealous. I have three of the wee ones, one who’s only eight months old and still breastfed, so I am tied to them for now. For what it’s worth, my priorities are similar to what yours would have been with a wee one. Back to bed. Or Paris. Or bed in Paris. Yep, the last one.
Your 26 hours of freedom sound grand to me! On a side note I make my own ravioli and I freeze them before boiling them up. I tried making the ravioli and right into the boiling water and they fell apart.
Haha Deb, I totally understand what you feel! I got no kids yet but still every day is so so busy that I totally forgot that these things exist too!
Lovely looking spinach pasta!
Such a cool recipe!! I would never have thought of this…but that’s one of the reasons I frequent this blog, of course! So creative Deb!
I think if I had 26 hours all to myself, I’d run to the coast and get a hotel room overlooking the water. Somewhere like Cambria or Morro Bay in California. Take my Kindle and read outside, have a hot bath, a decadent dinner out, probably seafood, and sleep for ten hours. Aaaaah.
Sigh. My little one is only 6 weeks old and I’m already wildly jelous of your 26 hour stretch. To sleep again would be magical. I think my breast would probably explode though. :(
Hi Deb. I’m a recent celiac and was wondering if you’ve tried this recipe with any other flours. I love your blog and cookbook, and have been omitting flour and bread where I can easily. I was thinking this could work with buckwheat flour. What do you think?
Anna — I haven’t fiddled at all with gluten-free pasta. You might want to check out Gluten-Free Girl or another GF blog for a place to start. You can always add the spinach.
Elizabeth — You should go for the Aperol Spritzes. I know they’re Italian, but no place in the city makes them as well as Buvette. ;) (It was a difficult project, trying them everywhere last summer, but I persevered!)
Gorgeous looking pasta! And such a great way to get that extra hit of spinach!
I just have to get a pasta machine. I found a video online that showed me how to roll it using my rolling pin and it worked fine but, boy, were my arms sore the next day. (it was a lot of pasta) I’m retired now so have more time than money, but back in the day of toddlers, the first thing I did when I found myself alone was to turn off anything that made noise; tv, radio, stereo with kids songs and just sat and made a time-off plan, much like you must have. I didn’t do any cleaning, I did enough of that during the work week. (my rational; the week days were ruined anyway because I had to work, so I worked at home-stuff on week nights so I could have the weekend to do fun things as a family.) Alone I did whatever caught my fancy from my scrabbled together plan. I wasn’t one to overthink the day off before it actually materialized as I was afraid that would jinx it!
Good Lord. Is it just me, or did you do a helluva lot in your free day?? I would accomplish precisely… none of that. I know because i occasionally find self with a free morning or afternoon, and I’m like a dog trying to find a comfy spot on the sofa – I go around in circles, unable to decide what to do, and then end up doing very little indeed*. Kudos to you! And to your pasta, which looks divine.
(*eventually I generally treat self to a cup of English breakfast tea, and read a REAL newspaper – albeit one which is a few weeks old – in the bliss of peace and quiet.)
I recently got a pasta machine and love how relaxing making pasta can be. I’m hoping to have a go at spinach pasta next so I’ve seen this at the perfect time.
I’m an early empty nester (my son is severely autistic and is living in a group home at 12 – he visits every few weeks) and your long stretch of free day sounds divine. :) Sort of like what I keep telling myself I should do with my days instead of yelling at politicians on the radio…
Any recommendations for a pasta machine? Models to look for, essential features to consider?
Pasta machine — I haven’t tested others, but I adore the Atlas machine I bought 8 years ago. I’d highly recommend it.
I’ve never been brave enough to make my own pasta, but you make it seem so easy. Bookmarking this. Glad you got a good weekend to yourself. Thanks for the recipe and how to do photos, Deb!
I loved reading about what you got up to when you were ridin’ solo at the weekend! You definitely sound like you deserved some time off :) I freaking love spinach pasta, so thank you so much for the recipe!
In searing New Delhi even time off is unfortunately spent indoors, but I’d say solo lunch, cafe, book, home to doze; then meet closest girlfriends, wine, laughter, dinner – whether at home or a favourite restaurant; then late night reading in bed; wake leisurely, cook something delicious I’ve never tried before (this pasta sounds just the thing!), and settle in front of airconditioner + favourite cooking show on TV for the afternoon. Sounds like bliss, and I don’t even have children.
I have had the Atlas pasta machine for seven years and love it. I got it from Target for $20 and it’s hands down been my favorite pasta machine. It has NO thrills but thats what makes it great. Sometimes it even falls off the counter but I just hold it with the other hand. Its basic and perfect.
That pasta looks amazing!
I have always thought “who on earth has time to make fresh pasta!?” and yet here I am, yet again believing even a mortal like me could do it, and feeling even a twinge of “Let’s Do It!!”. It’s a Mary Poppins Miracle – the kind only you can inspire BEFORE my morning coffee!
Thanks for always being my sleepy go-to amusement first thing in my day, and endlessly cheering me up. :D
I cannot get over these photos!!! What a beautiful blog you have :)
OMG All I can say is I am so glad that you didn’t clean the house!!!
You’ve been eating low-carb, right? One of the benefits of that is how much more you appreciate white flour when you have it again. Now, this is beautiful and special and I would like you to send me some over night, please, so don’t think I’m trying to compare these two things. But the other day I had a sardine on Wonder Bread sandwich and it was the best thing since, well, sliced bread.
I’ve never made my own pasta. My closest attempt was some very good gnocchi. This looks fabulous, though and I want to try. So I guess that’s what I would do with 26 whole hours to myself. Actually, my one and only daughter is about to leave for college this summer and then it will just be me and my better half. I truly don’t know what I will do with the extra time. Thanks for giving me some great ideas!
The photographs for this recipe make me desperately jealous. I’ve been experimenting with handmade pasta for about a month and cannot ever make a batch where the well on the counter stays put. I end up with egg all over the place every time. That said, this looks delicious. I’ve been obsessed with Lottie & Doof’s saffron pasta of late, but I think I’ll try this one on Sunday instead. Beautiful!
Mmm, I love anything with spinach. I wish I had a pasta maker. Looks time consuming but incredible all the same :)
My kids are both teenagers but if I had 26 hours free (which never happens), I would grab my husband and go to the beach. I would love to just sit on the beach, read a book and play in the water. The ideal time for this would be September since the beaches are less crowded and it’s still warm. Then a really nice dinner somewhere out so I don’t have to cook it. You would think with older kids you would have more time but you really don’t. It’s just spent differently than when they were little.
I love to make pasta but I don’t do it often. I’ll have to give this a try next time I get the itch. I usually make ravioli since I find that most of the ones you can purchase are far too thick and do not make me happy at all.
Ha! First time my daughter spent the night at her grandparents my husband and I had to sit there for a while to figure out what we used to do before we had kids. I spent the whole day baking bread and rendering leaf lard, he spent the whole day painting, and then we went out to dinner together and watched a movie. The main thing we kept commenting on was how quiet the apartment was!
I loved everything about his post and can’t wait to make some spinach pasta!! To the person who asked about pasta rollers, I love the Atlas I have. Deb, if I had 24 hours to myself (which I don’t see happening soon with a 7 month old) I would do exactly what you did with lots of wine involved :) It sounds like the perfect day. And how great for your little one to return just in time to roll the dough and eat the ‘fancy’ meal with you.
I have never even tasted fresh pasta, much less made it. I know I will not be able to stop thinking about it until I give it a try this weekend :-) I love using your recipes for trying new things like this-your instructions are always so clear and your recipes always work. Thank you!
I don’t know that I’m brave enough to tackle making my own pasta – first I have to get one of those pasta machine things…lol…unless you are planning to have more children soon – you will get more time on your own as your kids age – they are now a fun age where they can spend the night with the grandparents and if the family is close – this will happen a lot ….you and hubby need to make some plans:)
I love this post! Your day sounds fantastic. As someone who hasn’t had a full night sleep or a day to herself in 9 months (though his gorgeous little face is totally worth it), I actually don’t even know what I would do with myself :) I especially love the special fancy meal you shared and I’m saving this one for when my little guy is older. Thanks.
As someone who has all their days to themselves (mostly anyways) I still don’t do all the things you did in your pseudo-holiday weekend, it sounded far from boring! Maybe its one of those things like when you know you can do it you just don’t? Like living 10 minutes away from the beach in California and then never going to the beach.
Oh wow! Where do I begin?! YES to the pasta and YES to a whole day of freedom (wish I had one of those more often too!)
In the third paragraph of your instructions it reads “…and will want to stick a pasta roller.”… picky proofreader here suggests you want to add “to” in there. :)
Great variation, Deb! My favourite tool to use when blanching and squeezing spinach (or other greens) is my potato ricer. I take bundles of soggy, blanched spinach and squeeze out the excess water really quickly. I’m left with a dense green puck, ready to be chopped.
Funny I made a lot of homemade (handmade) pasta in the last 20 years and the girls’ favourite is spinach but I would never, ever think of making some on a “free for all” mental break vacation! Then again, maybe I would if I felt refreshed. I admire all that was done in those 26 hours!! In the past when that happened, I would waste most of my time fretting about what to do. The pressure was too much! :) Now I know. Nothing grand, just simple pleasures. Sleeping in, read, shop, haircut is always cool if in the mood, same with pedicure (no mani, I’m too rough with my hands), drink lots of wine, go to the movies… Recently I did indulge in a solo meal at good restaurant and I would definitely not shy from doing that again. I ate at the bar and it was simply sublime. It would be better with friends but being alone wouldn’t stop me.
The ‘fancy’ meal you guys had is probably my girls’ favourite too! Minus the tomatoes (unless they’re in a sauce). :)
I have yet to tackle spinach pasta, and this looks so good! I am surprised that you advocate against freezing it- I’m a freezing maniac in part to your tips about freezing baked goods etc. I usually end up freezing the fresh pasta once I make it- mostly because I rarely have time to make and eat fresh pasta in the same day, and drying it draped over various surfaces in my house makes me nervous since we have a cat and I worry some airborne pet fur would make its way into my pasta. I’ve never noticed a discernible difference between fresh-fresh and frozen fresh. I let it dry out a bit in nests on a cookie sheet, tossed with an extra pinch of flour here and there to reduce clumping, and then stick the cookie sheet in the freezer until frozen, then ziploc baggie it. My future self is always super grateful!
Looks amazing, as always!
I’m 28, single and have oodles of time alone to do whatever I want and be very, very selfish. This was a bittersweet reminder that it may not always be that way. I hope that is the case. Sigh.
I regularly make multiple batches of fresh pasta to freeze. I find it much easier (and less space consuming in an NYC home) than drying. I put flour in a very big bowl and then toss the just cut noodles to coat lightly so they don’t stick. Then I freeze in meal size batches in flat containers. They go right into boiling water from the freezer. I almost never use commercial pasta anymore.
I’ve made my own pasta for years, and enjoy using 00 flour to thinner strads. I’ll incorporate some whole wheat at times as well. I use a blend of AP and semolina for lasnagna sheets and ravoli, I like it stronger. I use zested lemon peel, rosemary and pepper in my fav pasta recipe. Second fav is spinach pasta with zested lemon peel. By the way, my hand cracked pasta roller is attached to a counter in my kitchen, where it’s been for over 30 years. (It cost less than ten bucks when I bought it!)
Last summer my daughter was at sleep away camp for the first time and my husband on a business trip. Well I had grand plans of redoing the linen closet, cleaning out the pantry and planting the herb garden. Instead I bing watched Mad Men , ate in front of the tv with my feet up and enjoyed every lazy minute.
This pasta is on my weekend to do!
You crammed a lot into 26 hours! I am impressed! I have two littles (3 and 7) and tend to seek out stores with breakables, food/drink destinations that are decidedly not kid-friendly, prioritize napping if given the chance. Luckily for me, I have the opportunity to travel internationally for business a few times a year, which gives me long periods of alone time in flight for movies and catching up on work guilt-free (and napping!). I once slept 12 hours straight on a flight to Asia! Oh yeah, it was really nice.
My Italian grandparents always dried their pasta on wooden clothes racks – which absorbed some of the moisture and prevented the pasta from sticking/breaking – and saved the dried u-shaped strings of pasta in shirt boxes (such as from a department store). I still dream of that pasta…
Wow! I think you did amazingly well on short notice with only 26 hours to fill! It would be difficult to fly to Paris with so little time, but it could have been a whirlwind of dining and shopping!
My kids are grown and I am awaiting grand-babies now, but I remember what it was like to have no me time. I look forward to giving a break to my kids.
Love your recipes….have found so many keepers! Thank you!
Thank you for the pasta roller instructions! I have only done it a couple of times, and the strands always get too long to manage, and I need a second person to help. From now on I will use walnut sized pieces of dough.
Looks gorgeous, can’t wait to try!
You are wonderful. This made me smile.
Deb, how long do you keep homemade, thoroughly dry pasta? I’ve read so many dissenting opinions!
Sarah — I’d expect it to be good for a month or two, right? But, it needs to be fully dry. And hmm, maybe pasta with fresh spinach is less shelf-stable when dry? I’d keep it in a cardboard box or metal tin before an airtight plastic container or freezer bag.
This pasta looks amazing and healthy, but a little time consuming. Will have to save it for a rainy day with lots of time.
ok.so I am in love with the pasta…..but….call me weird,I gotta know what carrot salad youre talking about. I love the little orange things..
Love that you have the latest book – it must be so fabulous. I missed him in SF but still want to get the book. That image of all the pasta hanging out is also amazing- looks time consuming but worth it!
26 hours all for myself? Your post got me dreaming…
Every year my husband takes our now 10 and 8 year olds away for a week of fishing. I consider it my own vacation and insist they never stop this tradition.
I dance to loud music in the kitchen, drink lots of wine and cook. I have a party for my girlfriends with a ton of homemade goodies. I watch a few silly TV shows. I clean the kitchen when they leave and, amazingly, don’t have to clean it for a whole week. I eat simple meals and enjoy the quiet. And I to can’t believe some people live with that freedom every day. Then I cry when they get home because I missed them so much.
Oh I remember those days of wishing I had some time to myself and then not knowing what to do with it. Stay up late. Popcorn for supper.
Your pasta looks so lovely. The last time I made spinach pasta is was ALL green and not specked. This is so much better. Thanks for this one.
With a 7-month at home you made me so jealous with your story of your little vacation. And you know what, that’s pretty much what I would do if I had the chance. Or watch bad TV and sleep and eat Reeses, hard to say. Looks delicious. I love fresh pasta (which needless to say I haven’t had in just over 7 months).
I love this post, and this recipe, and David’s book, which I plan on getting pronto, or should I say, tout de suite, and the adorable, impatient look on your Jacob’s face. :)
Hi Deb, I’m glad you got some free time. I’m a little intimidated to make pasta. I tried once and it didn’t go well. Is there a pasta recipe or shape that you would recommend for beginners? Is this a good one, or would this recipe be more for someone who has successfully done it before? Thank you!
Brittany — You should find this one doable. For the simplest ingredients, you can use this recipe but I’d try my best to skip the water. You can roll it out by hand and cut it into wide pappardelle or thinner fettuccine-like strips.
Oh, my….what a lovely mini vacation you had. My son is close to Jacob’s age, and I know that look all too well (your son is adorable, btw). If I had a 26 hour break, I’d likely take a spa day – I have gift cards to a favorite local day spa that I’ve had for at least 3, maybe 4 years. I’d have lunch and/or dinner and/or brunch with friends, and haunt some local stores that I haven’t set foot in for a very long time. I’d peruse some of the many cookbooks I have, and pick out some yummy things to try. I’ve never made homemade pasta (I know, what am I waiting for?!?) but this recipe looks scrumptious.
I have a three year old, a one year old, and we’re planning to get pregnant again. If I had 26 hours all alone…honestly I probably wouldn’t get anything done because I’d just be sitting there watching bad tv and eating chocolate chips while in shock at my good fortune. That’s sad. I’d better get planning so that I don’t fritter away a magical day like that, if it should ever come! Hmmm…
has anyone done the research behind why these egg pastas don’t ever go bad? i pondered that when making my last batch. the dough just sits… and is dried… and then sits some more, never cooked, with raw egg! the horror.
Deb: Ever thought of just asking you husband to watch your son for a Saturdayevery other week or ask the inlaws to come in for the weekend so you and your husband can get away, once a month/quarter? You can’t let half a decade go by again and not have your time too. Good luck and looks delicious!
marsha — Aw, thank you. We actually have a lot of babysitting help; we are very spoiled. What was so strange for me was being solo. The apartment is SO QUIET without them both.
I’ve been wanting to make this recipe ever since I opened David’s book. Really, I’ve been wanting to get my pasta maker out of the cupboard where it sits all by its lonesome for several months now–first I was inspired by Ottolenghi, then by another blogger and finally by David. But still, I procrastinated. Something about your post–maybe the promise of a fancy dinner, or the pretty pictures of pasta hanging on chairs–has given me not only courage, but the all-important nudge in the right direction. Thank you!
I just love your images and can’t wait to try making this pasta, thanks for posting, it’ll be a special meal for us too!
I made this with my 3 year old Jacob tonight and it was a hit! The pasta was wonderful and a little olive oil and Parmesan were the perfect compliment. And he finally consumed a little spinach. Hooray!
If I could do anything in the world for the next 26 hours? I would jump in my (imaginary) souped up camper van (complete with tear drop window) and set off on a sunny road trip, tunes blaring. I would then proceed to stop and eat at every road side stall along the way. Then, when I got home, I would make this pasta, because a bowl of buttered pasta could easily remind me that even though I love a roadie, coming home is always a pretty good part of the trip. :)
So true everything you said about the sleepless nights and what to do with some free time!!! I have a 10 months old child and sleepless nights since he was born!!!
This looks amazing! Any idea how one could make this a whole grain version?!
Steph — I’m pretty sure that semolina flour is whole-grain; you can make semolina pasta here. If you do a 100% replacement, which is fine, you might find the dough a little trickier to work with and you might need more flour than you’d need AP (I find it less absorbent), but it would be very authentic.
Just made this – it was amazing – thankyou!
I make homemade egg noodles about twice a month so this seems like the perfect alternative. I probably don’t eat enough vegetables anyway so this would be a good way to work it into my diet. Unfortunately I always cut the noodles out by hand, I seriously need to look into getting a pasta roller/slicer! Thanks for the recipe, I’ll be trying it out sometime next week.
Deb, thanks so much! Just made this using King Arthur’s white whole wheat flour and it was incredible! My husband felt so special that someone made him homemade pasta :). Thanks again :)!
I have to agree about the semolina flour. I tried using just AP many times and was never satisfied until I started adding semolina. It’s a bit pricey, but if you’re going to go to all the trouble to make pasta from scratch, it might as well be great!
I love your (and David’s) blog – you’re both the reasons I got into blogging actually – so thank you!
A little tip for you with pasta though, if you’re finding the dough too firm to knead or if the liquid is unevenly distributed throughout the dough and it’s cracking on you, you can actually use the pasta machine to knead. I worked for a day (I’m only an amateur) in the two michelin starred restaurant “The Square” in London and that’s what they did with their dough. Anyway, mainly wanted to let you know I love the blog and it’s firmly in my blogroll (as it should be in every blogger’s) over at TimedEating.co.uk
I had a rough time last fall with work, school & activities for two kids, and a traveling husband and decided at the spur of the moment to go stay in a hotel for the weekend, ALONE. It was closer to 48 hours, because I really needed one whole looonng day alone. I had a decadent dinner with a friend the first night, then went to my hotel room and watched a movie of my own choosing. The next morning, I went to a bookstore, then a Whole Foods for snacks for the day. For the rest of the day, ALONE in my hotel room, I read, watched two more movies, napped, snacked on cheese & crackers, drank tea and wine, ate cookies, took a bath, read more, then went to sleep. The next morning, I sadly said good-bye to my hotel room and went straight to work. My co-workers said that I looked amazing, and I felt more rested and relaxed than I could remember feeling in a long time. I highly recommend it.
Netflix, yoga pants, leave the patio door open and let all the fresh air and bugs in (my husband hates that), throw out my husband’s old undershirts, mac and cheese out of the box for dinner. Just keeping it real.
Okay, I absolutely hate squeezing out the wet spinach. I have happily settled on using my ricer for this–so much easier! Just thought I’d share.
YUM. Wow. I love spinach pasta. Thank you for sharing! I’ll certainly be trying this at home!
Wow! Not a boring story at all! I love this post–zit really makes me appreciate my time and all those little joys you got to experience. What a gift!
Made this last night with a full pound of fresh spinach. Kept all of the other ratios and it was perfect! Beautiful bright green noodles. Lovely texture. Served them with roasted garlic, blistered cherry tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms and roasted asparagus. And Parmesan. Added a little lemon juice. So. Good.
Wonderful recipe and some tips/tricks – 00 flour – I believe it’s a must and can be found on-line (for those like me who live in Vail, CO) or, if you’re lucky enough to live in Chicago or NYC, EATILY Market has it – as far as rolling out your dough in the pasta machine (hand cranked version or motorized) – Step 1) ON THE WIDEST setting, roll your dough through and then fold it into thirds and then REPEAT this step 9-12 times (yes, that many) on this setting PRIOR to turning your dial to the next setting. For each subsequent setting, there is no need to run the sheet of dough through more than once –
I never thought I could make pasta with just my hands, a spatula, a rolling pin, and a knife…. but I did! Thank you! I made the dough and plan to serve it tonight, but this morning I rolled and cut a piece of the dough into pasta noodles to test it out. While it cooked, I sauteed a little garlic, red chili flakes in butter, and added shreds of kale and later a bit of pasta water, and lemon juice. I tossed in the noodles and then into a bowl, topped it with a sunny-side-up egg with a runny yolk and grated romano, salt and pepper. Ahh… breakfast pasta, almost carbonara-like! It was amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Your day solo sounds more awesome than anything I’ve done and I don’t even HAVE kids. Totally taking notes.
Mmm yes to all of those things to try (please make them and share!). I’ve always wanted to make handmade pasta. This looks like a fantastic one to start with.
I was exhausted at the list you had! You fit way more into 26 hours than I would have. I’ve been lucky to have a hubby send me on mini vacations a couple of times – we called them Mommy weekends – and it was generally AWAY at a cheap hotel where I didn’t have to cook, could watch tv if I wanted, and could read, or shop, or whatever. Now I’d love to be at home with everyone gone so I could cook what I wanted! lol One time I ended up going to Hawaii by myself for a week. It was too long, I swore I’d never do that without my hubby again, and it was boring for the most part because I didn’t have loads of money to spend. ;)
but my favorite one was in San Diego. I spent hours by the beach, soaking up the sounds, sun and water. (I’m a transplanted Californian). A friend came and spent 3 of the 5 days with me, and it was awesome. So, sounds like you had that in spades. ;)
LOVE that you dried your pasta from your chairs and clothes drying rack! xxoo your blog.
I have never made homemade pasta but I think I have to now! :)
No limits? I’d go to Manhattan and spend 20 hours in Eatily. It takes 6 hours to drive home. :)
Sounds like you made the most of your time, and found a way to share. Thanks!
I went to Vancouver BC (we live in Seattle, so it’s an easy/cheap fast train ride) and spent 67 hours away from my partner and our 4 year old. I’ve spent one night away from the kid since birth, so this was a big deal. (she had a blast with her dad.)
If I’d stayed home, I probably would have done productive things, but being away meant I couldn’t do laundry, mow the lawn, etc. No computer, expensive roaming charges on my phone so no work. I read, I played ridiculous amounts of pinball, I ate incredible Japanese and Korean food, I read some more, I slept, I read at bars and drank beer, I went to see live bands. I watched Date Night in the bath and when Tina Fey’s character described her fantasy of eating lunch by herself in a hotel room I grinned–because that’s basically all I wanted from my solo weekend: to eat a hot meal on my own time by myself.
I decided to follow the recipe substituting cooked kale for the spinach. I also used 1 part OO flour with AP flour. My result was the most tender, flavorful, pasta I’ve had in ages. Topped it with Marcella Hazan’s amazing tomato sauce the dish was the perfect meal before settling in to watch the Tony Awards.
Before pasta machines, for those of you who don’t have one, we just rolled out the dough in the shape of a rectangle (on a floured surface) just a bit thicker as we would for a pie crust. Then dusted the top of the dough with flour. It was left to sit flat on the counter for about 45 minutes or until it was just starting to dry on top and before the edges got too dry and curled up. (Often we covered the edges until the rest of the dough began to look dry.) Then, starting at the narrowest edge, we rolled the dough into a very loose log. This was left to dry, covered, most of the day. By dinnertime it was ready to cut into ribbons and then each ribbon was unrolled while holding it over the boiling cooking water. Yes, some pieces were so dry the broke, but not many. Was it simply the best thing since P & J? You betcha!
No pasta machine here so a big thank you for this!
Oh man, I forgot to buy fresh spinach. Any way frozen would do?
I think it would. Just wring it out very, very well after you defrost it.
Sounds great! One question…Why do you cook the pasta so long? I’ve heard any longer than 2 minutes for most fresh pasta is too much?
Tonya — How long the pasta is cooked has everything to do with how thin or thick it was rolled. So, the range listed is from 2 to 6 minutes. Usually people tackling homemade pasta for the first time don’t get it as thin as would be needed for 2 minute’s cooking time; I know I didn’t.
With a 10month old just thinking of 26 hour of me time made me want to cry. I would probably sleep as much as I can, take a luxurious bath, make/order a soup and have it while it is still warm.
In an utopian world- I mean in a world where I would not be limited by the realistic options, I’d definitely divide the time between unlimited margaritas and massage!
Deb, just to be clear, did you substitute 1 cup semolina out of the 2 3/4 – 3 cups all-purpose flour? I just want to make sure the total is 2 3/4 – 3 and not 3 3/4 – 4 cups. Also, thank you for this recipe! I bought a Cucina/Imperia hand crank pasta machine a couple of years ago after taking a Culinary Boot Camp course where we got to make fresh pasta. It was easier than I imagined but sadly the machine has been collecting dust along with the wooden pasta rack I picked up at our local Italian Centre. I’m going to break that baby out and go for it! :-)
I missed this recipe first time around – it looks gorgeous! I’m making it tomorrow!
This is a great recipe, thank you. I’d never attempted pasta, thinking it too far out of my ability. But, I had a bit of time this weekend and have had two great dinners out of it and enjoyed the process. Thank you for sharing!
Great recipe, first time my attempts at pasta dough actually worked!
Made with 8 oz fresh spinach. Truly delicious! Finished with olive oil, roasted zucchini, and some pecorino romano. The 10+ minutes in between rolling the pasta out and cutting it into noodles was very helpful.
As for what to do the next time you have alone time? I’d vote for sleeping in at a French bnb. Siiigh…but for now, I will settle for some nettles pasta, since I am surrounded with nettles everywhere, basil pesto out of my freezer, leeks (overwintered in my garden) and portobello mushrooms. Oh YUM. Maybe work in some dried Brandywine tomatoes. All while I plant peas and dream this year’s garden into being. Thanks for inspiring my dreams.
I would love to make this for a later time , can I freeze it ? first? I have leftover
spinach a lot of it from making another dish,
You did all that in one day. AMAZING!!!
Absolutely delicious! I do find that most of the time I need a lot of extra flour/semolina, but now I start off with using the full 3 cups. I do use 1 cup of semolina to 2 cups of flour, as I really like the texture better.
Often use this as dough to make ravioli…with a ricotta/prosciutto/parmesan filling. So pretty and a frequent request of my family.
So what if you don’t have a pasta rolling machine? I would think hand rolling and hand cutting pasta is not so dead easy.
It’s definitely trickier but it can be done. Mostly I find that I think I’ve rolled it really thin but it still takes a long time to boil and can be thicker — but still tasty.
Could I make this with fresh ground whole wheat?
I wouldn’t use it here, no.