Serves: Makes about 1 pound of pasta
- 8 ounces spinach, stemmed
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1½ to 2 cups unbleached all-purpose
- Flour, plus more as needed
- Semolina flour or cornmeal, for dusting sheet pan
Procedures:Cooked spinach turns pasta dough a pretty jade green and adds a pleasant, albeit subtle, vegetable flavor. The spinach makes the dough softer, so it easier to knead and roll than plain egg pasta. This recipe makes enough pasta for Roasted Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Four Cheeses on page 279 or for four servings of spinach fettuccine or tagliatelle, which you can cut on the pasta machine with the appropriate attachment.
Rinse the spinach in a bowl of cold water and drain in a colander. Transfer to a 6-quart Dutch oven, place over medium-high heat, cover, and cook, stirring once, for 2 to 3 minutes, until the spinach is wilted and tender. Transfer to a colander and press with the back of a spoon to extract the water, or place the spinach in a potato ricer to press out the excess water. Transfer the spinach to a clean dish towel, fold the towel over the spinach, and press to blot out more moisture. Coarsely chop the spinach and set aside. You should have about 1⁄3 cup.
Place the spinach, eggs, and salt in a food processor and pulse until blended. Add 1½ cups of the flour, one heaping tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition, or until the dough clears the sides of the bowl and forms a ball, about 1 minute. if the dough seems sticky, add ¼ cup more flour as needed. remove the blade and, with floured hands, remove the dough from the food processor bowl.
Lightly dust a work surface with any remaining flour, and place the dough on it. Knead the dough, using additional flour for your hands as needed to keep the dough smooth and moist but not sticky, for 5 minutes. invert a bowl over the dough and let the dough rest for 30 minutes, or more.
When ready to roll out the dough, follow the manufacturer's instructions to secure the pasta machine to one edge of a countertop or large table. Using a large knife or a bench scraper, divide the dough into 6 equal pieces, and cover 5 pieces with the bowl to prevent them from drying out. Use the heel of your hand to press the dough into an oval. Dust your hands with flour if the dough feels sticky.
Dust a rimmed sheet pan with semolina flour, and have ready some clean kitchen towels. Position the pasta machine rollers at number 1, or at the widest opening. Dust the rollers lightly with flour. With one hand, guide the oval of dough between the rollers while turning the crank with the other hand. Fold the dough into thirds to make a rectangle and roll it through again. repeat the folding and rolling one more time. Then move the rollers one notch smaller and roll the dough through this setting twice. (You don't need to fold the dough into thirds any longer.) As the dough comes through the rollers, hold it so it stays as smooth as possible. Continue rolling, feeding the dough through each setting twice before moving the dial to the next smaller opening, until the dough is⅛ to 1⁄16 inch thick, or notch number 6. As you roll the dough, sprinkle it lightly with flour if it becomes sticky.
As the rolled sheet of dough emerges from the final setting, cut it into strips the length of the baking dish you will use for the lasagna (14 inches). Each strip should be 2½ to 3 inches wide. if it is wider, trim it with a paring knife or a fluted pasta cutter. lay the pasta strips in a single layer on the prepared sheet pan and cover with a towel.