This spinach pasta, which I served as a whole meal one of these days, has appeared as an absolute impromptu.
Fridge-dive meals are my favourite ones. I find the process of putting all the leftover ingredients together very inspirational. All you need to do is to grab whatever you have at hand and end up with a really nice and unique meal!
Obviously it works with any type of pasta but nothing beats the homemade one. That is why I usually have some pasta in my freezer. I do it whenever I have time, so all I need is just to pop it out of the freezer and we have a terrific dinner!
So, I had some fresh broad beans, something around 350 grams, 3-4 kale leaves, a couple of tablespoons of fresh ġbejna, which I decided to use and voila! It turned out to be a delicious green pasta!
- ½ quantity of fresh spinach pasta cut into tagliolini (around 200g of pasta)
- 4 kale leaves
- 350gr fresh broad beans
- 3 small spring onion
- ¼ fresh chili
- 1 garlic clove
- Olive oil
- Lemon (unwaxed)
- 2 tbsp of fresh ġbejna
- Wash kale very well and remove the stalks. Pod the broad beans. Very finely dice spring onions and chili. Peel and crush the garlic clove.
- Bring a big pot of water to the boil. Meanwhile prepare a bowl with iced cold water. Blanche kale leaves and broad beans together for 2 minutes, lift them with a slotted spoon and transfer to the bowl with water. Reserve the cooking liquid.
- Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan, add onions when hot and sweat them on a low heat until soft.
- Drain kale and broad beans. Cut kale leaves into wide stripes and peel the broad beans.
- Add garlic and chili to the onions and cook for another few minutes. Then add kale leaves and cook for a few minutes more. Add the broad beans just to reheat.
- Bring the cooking liquid to the boil and add a generous amount of salt. Cook pasta for 1-3 minutes. Drain and add to the pan, give it a good stir adding a drizzle of oil if you wish and plate immediately. Grate some lemon zest over and dot with ġbejna.
If you want to know how to choose, store and shell broad beans, follow this link. Here you can also get some ideas about their best pairing!
Fresh spinach pasta dough
- 200gr spinach
- 400gr “00” flour, plus some extra to dust
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Blanch spinach for 1-2 minutes and refresh it in iced cold water. Squeeze as much liquid as you can – this is very important. Then process it in a blender and push through a very fine sieve (this is not going to be easy). The paste should be rather thick in its texture.
- Sift the flour on a table and make a well in a center. Break the eggs in a bowl and then pour into the well adding spinach paste and olive oil.
- Using one hand gradually combine the eggs with the flour.
- Continue incorporating flour into eggs until you will get a rather firm dough, neither wet, nor sticky. You might not need to use all the flour. At the same time, pasta like this contains more liquid than the usual pasta, so you need to be careful not to make your dough too soft.
- Now scarp the work surface very well, removing all the bits of the dough.
- Lightly dust the surface and start kneading the dough. It will be sticky in the beginning but as you work it will become firmer.
- Knead for 5 minutes to get a smooth and elastic dough.
- Wrap in a plastic and put in a cool place (not fridge) at least for 1 hour (or for 2 hours – even better). You can leave it in the fridge overnight but make sure you bring it to cool in room temperature before rolling it out.
- When rolling pasta out take one small piece at a time, as the dough dries out almost immediately. The remaining pasta should always be wrapped in a plastic as you work.
- I use pasta machine for rolling out sheets of pasta.
- Flatten and roll the dough with hands a little bit to make it easier to pass through the machine for the first time.
- Set the machine to the widest setting and pass the dough through it for 3 times folding the sheet in a half each time.
- Now set the machine to a narrower thickness and pass the dough trough the rollers. Repeat this until you will come to narrowest setting that you need. I stopped on 5th setting, which is 2 mm on my machine.
- Put each pasta sheet on a piece of plastic wrap to avoid sticking to the surface and leave it to dry a little bit until it becomes leathery (it will be easier to cut it like this). Don’t leave it out for longer than 10 minutes.
- Now attach the cutters to your pasta machine and feed the pasta sheet through the cutters of your choice.
- Cook immediately for 1-3 minutes, dry or freeze.