'Glorious Green' - homemade pasta dough recipe with spinach
STEPS 6 INGREDIENTS 4 TIME 35-40 MINS
Rather than the usual flour and 2 eggs per two-person serving, this particular version dumps an egg and replaces it with blended spinach. This gives the final dough a wonderful bright green coloring and guarantees that whatever pasta dish you serve, it will look as wonderful as it tastes.
As with all the guides here, this homemade pasta dough recipe comes direct from the kitchen of my Italian mamma-in-law Marisa, so you can feel confident in the knowledge that it’s as authentic as it is appetizing.
(New to this site? Don't miss my fresh pasta recipe pages.)
150g/5oz fresh or frozen spinach
250g/8.8oz plain/all-purpose flour (ideally ‘double zero’ but not essential)
Frying pan with lid
STEP 1 - First some quick preparation:
- If using fresh spinach, pull off the stems and rinse leaves in cold water.
- Pop the pan on a 60-70% heat hob and drop inside 3 tablespoons of water.
- When hot, add the spinach (fresh or frozen), and cover with lid. Stir occasionally until the spinach completely loses its size.
How long: We are ‘wilting’ or ‘shrinking’ the spinach here. Allow 5-6 mins for fresh spinach, a few minutes longer if frozen.
STEP 2 - When the spinach has reduced, drain away excess water and mash into a smooth puree (using your blender or pestle and mortar).
STEP 3 - Now we start on the dough!
- On a clean work surface, pour out the floor and shape this a bowl shape.
- Crack the egg into the center (don’t trash the shell), and add enough salt to cover its orange yolk twice.
- Fill both halves of the egg shell with spinach puree, then add this into the flour bowl too.
(If the bowl seems too small, use a fork to carefully push the walls further outwards).
Note: This is how this homemade pasta dough recipe differs from normal… with plain fresh pasta you would add 2 eggs, but here it’s 1 egg and spinach.
STEP 4 - It’s mixing time.
- Using a fork held flat, mix the egg and spinach thoroughly, being careful not to breach the walls.
If you can, sprinkle a little flour from the tops and edges of walls and mix this in too (not essential).
- Once mixed, use your hands to thin out the walls - moving excess flour to one side and making the walls just 1cm/half-inch thick.
- Using your fingers, mix the remaining flour walls with the green spinach mixture until a dough begins to form (sprinkle on some of the excess flour if still very damp after 2 mins).
STEP 5 - When your green dough has begun to form, it’s time to start folding to get a little into inside the dough.
- With your surface lightly floured, flatten the dough with your palm.
- Now fold the dough in half, turn, flatten again and repeat. Do this for at least 5 mins, adding just small amounts of flour if the dough continues to stick.
- When you can cut through the dough ball and see tiny air dimples - it's ready. Form the ball again, lightly flour it and leave to stand for 5 mins.
STEP 6 - Flatten the dough into a circle with your hands, then roll flat using a rolling pin.
- Aim for 1mm thickness (basically as thin as possible). The dough will be elastic at first, but after 5-10 minutes it will ‘give in’ and start keeping its size.
- Once the dough is very thin and flat, you can shape it as you like.
What shapes can you make?
• Alternatively, to make the circular ‘corzetti’ shapes shown on this page, use a shot glass to cut out small circle shapes of pasta (avoid wasting leftover dough by wetting your hands, forming it into a new ball and re-rolling).
• Make green ravioli by checking out these ravioli recipes and tips.
There you have it… a homemade pasta dough recipe anyone can follow and mouth-watering fresh pasta your guests will adore.
Stuck for pasta sauce ideas?
Try one of these…
Recommended Tool: pasta rolling machine
A pasta machine will speed up your pasta rolling, and give you some valuable long pasta options.
Check out my full review - with video - of the excellent Imperia pasta machine.
I use this piece of kit myself - it's great value, built like a rock, and available with a range of accessories for cutting and making all kinds of pasta.
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