Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Spinach Pasta

This recipe is really more like three recipes.

See, we've made pasta for years, but we learned a fabulous technique last year (from the cookbook Plum by Makini Howell) that has really, really improved our pasta making (and eating) experience.  That discovery would be the use of "egg" foam.
Spinach pasta with sauce of homegrown tomatoes, onion, peppers, and garlic.
Since we're vegan-types we've always just skipped the egg in our pasta and it really did always work out just fine.  BUT!  But, with the egg foam the dough is more flexible and forgiving to work with than without it.   I also think the pasta has a slightly nicer texture to the tooth.  And with green egg foam the pasta can be made a most fantastic grass green color, too.  Its so pretty and so tasty!
Fresh Spinach Pasta
2 C flour + extra for working
1/2 C green egg foam (see below)
1 T olive oil
pinch of salt
2 t water

Put flour, egg foam, oil, and salt into a food processor.
While the food processor is running add the water.
It will look flaky, but will start to come together into a dough.
Stop the food processor after about one minute and check the dough.  It should be slightly crumbly, but it should hold together when pinched in the fingers.
Knead on floured surfaces for a few minutes until it forms a smooth, round ball.
Put in fridge one hour in a sealed container so it doesn't dry out.
Roll out and cut into noodles.

Making egg foam is easy.  Making green egg foam adds an extra step, but is still incredibly easy.

Green Egg Foam
2 T egg replacement powder (such as Ener-G brand)
1 C spinach water (see below)

Put egg replacement in small sauce pan over medium-high.
Whisk until is starts to thicken, about two minutes.
Ideally it should fluff up to 1 1/2 times the original amount.

Its a pretty incredible transformation that the egg replacer undergoes, too.  No where on the box of Ener-G do the instructions say to put the mixture over heat.  And that's a real shame because it is much more viscous and egg-like when combined over heat.  Its remarkable.  We don't use egg replacer much at all, really, but I think that we're pretty sold on it from here on out for pasta making.
The spinach water, after being processed in the blender, was the most beautiful, deep, emerald green.
Spinach Water
4 C spinach leaves
1/2 C water

Heat water.  Boil spinach until wilted, about 15-30 seconds.
Drain, but do not squeeze out excess water.
Add spinach and water to blender and process until smooth.

Of course, this pasta recipe works superb in all its egg foam glory without the colorful addition of spinach, too, if a more basic pasta is desired--just use plain water instead of spinach water in the egg foam.

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