Cooking Time: Give your self 1 hour
Difficulty: You'll be sweet
Serves: 8 portions (we freeze 4 balls). 2 servings per ball.
• 2 big handfuls spinach leaves
• 600G high grade flour
• 6 large eggs
• Plenty of muscle
• Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add spinach leaves and cook for 2 mins. Drain and set aside to cool.
• Weigh out 600G high grade flour.
• On a large clean surface tip out the flour and make a well in the centre roughly 200mm wide in diameter.
• Place spinach in the centre of a clean tea-towel. Roll the tea-towel into a tube and wring out the spinach, getting AS MUCH moisture out of it as possible. This is important - you don't want unnecessary water content in your pasta - it will make it dense.
• Take 2 of the 6 eggs and place them into a food processor with the spinach. BLITZ that puppy until a smooth green pasta has formed.
• Carefully crack the remaining 4 eggs into the centre well of the flour. NO SHELL! Then add the spinach mixture. Use a spatula to get it all out. Waste not want not!
• Using your fingers, start to combine the flour and eggs. Once combined, the hard work starts.
• You must knead and work the dough for AT LEAST 20 mins so that it’s springy and gorgeously al dente when you come to eat it.
• Squeeze it. Pull it. Smash it. Thump it. Get those biceps working and really work the dough until it feels silky and contracts a little in on itself once you take your hands off it. Practice makes perfect and you’ll soon begin to feel when it’s ready. I usually make pasta when i’m sad, as it’s a great way to take out frustrations! And then the sadness turns into happiness once you eat your delicious own hard-work!
• If it any time it still feels too doughy or sticky, keep the bag of flour at hand and add a little extra as you see fit.
• When done, separate your dough into 4 smaller equal sized balls. Each ball serves 2 people handsomely. So the batch in it’s entirety will serve 8. Wrap each ball tightly in cling-film (so the edges of your pasta don’t dry out) and place in the fridge for at least half an hour to chill before use.
• We freeze the remaining 3 balls of dough, so we can have easy pasta nights ready to go!
• We have a pasta machine. So the next bit’s easy. If you don’t, break down your ball of dough into smaller bits so you can roll the pasta out thinly enough on a lightly floured work surface. It should be almost transparent. NOBODY wants thick chewy pasta.
• Same goes for the pasta machine. Separate the ball of dough into two. Lightly flour each ball and put it through the pasta machine, starting at setting 7 (the widest) and working down to setting 1 (the thinest). This is when it’s ready. Then either pass it through the ‘spaghetti’ setting or the ‘fettuccine’ setting. OR hand-cut the pasta by gently folding it over on itself and using a sharp knife to cut the desired width of pasta, i.e: pappardelle or lasagne sheets.
• IMPORTANT: Once you’ve made your desired style of pasta, add a liberal amount of flour and separate the noodles / ribbons of pasta. You don’t want them to clump together when you put them in the boiling water to cook.
• When ready, place a saucepan of water on the boil. Add a SHIT-LOAD of salt and when the water has reached a rolling boil, add the pasta.
• Cook for 2 mins.
• Drain and add to whatever scrummy sauce you’re making.
• TIP: Always keep about 1 cup of the salty, starchy pasta water before draining the pasta. You can use it to loosen up any sauce if it’s too thick.