Because homemade pasta is always worth the effort.
If you have flour, eggs, and literally any type of deeply hued leafy greens on hand, you are ready to make green pasta. Adding greens to homemade pasta adds healthy stuff, sure, but we’re mostly here for the color pop. In early spring, nettles add an amazing flavor, if you can find them at your farmers market. But surely you’re going to be using baby spinach, or perhaps kale, or the bushy tops from a bunch of turnips. Arugula would add a nice peppery bite.
- Kosher salt
- 4 ounces tender greens, such as baby kale, arugula, or spinach leaves, or stinging nettles, any thick stems discarded
- 4 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
- 400 grams all-purpose flour (about 2 3/4 cups), plus more as needed
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season it generously with salt. Plunge the greens into the water and cook until wilted and tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Drain through a colander and rinse under cold running water to cool slightly. Use your hands to squeeze out as much water as possible. Place the blanched greens and the 4 whole eggs in a blender and buzz to a fine purée.
- Pour the flour in a pile on a work surface and make a wide well in the center. Pour the green purée in the center of the well and add the 2 egg yolks. Using a fork, whisk the yolks into the purée. Begin working the flour into the center, mixing it with the purée while maintaining the walls of the well at first, until the dough comes together in a shaggy mass and can hold shape. At this point, begin using your hands to knead the dough. Dust the work surface as needed to prevent sticking, but don’t work in more flour than the dough needs. Enough flour has been incorporated when it feels moist and a little tacky, but not sticky. Continue kneading the dough until it’s smooth and supple, 8 to 10 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
- Cut the dough into four pieces, and work with one piece at a time, keeping the rest covered. Pat the piece of dough into a flat disk. Using a pasta-rolling machine, pass the dough through the widest setting, then fold it in half and pass it through again. Do this three to four times until the dough is smooth. Change to the next setting on the pasta roller and pass the dough through twice. The dough should now be a thick pasta sheet. Dust the sheet lightly with flour to prevent sticking. Continue passing the pasta sheet through each setting twice, stopping at the second thinnest setting (6 on a Marcato Atlas machine). Cut the long pasta sheet in half crosswise and lay it out flat, covered by a clean cloth. Repeat this process with the remaining dough.
- If your pasta machine has a cutting attachment, use it to cut each pasta sheet into fettuccine. If not, cut them by hand: working with one sheet at a time, dust both sides generously with flour and fold it loosely in half then in half again. Use a knife to cut 1/2-inch wide noodles.
- If they will be cooked immediately (or within a few hours), toss the noodles to break them up and sprinkle with more flour to thoroughly coat. Keep the noodles separated in piles. To dry, hang the noodles flat over a drying rack (a clothes line, coat hangers, or the back of a chair all work well for this) until completely dry and brittle.
Store It: Dried pasta will keep in an airtight container for several weeks.