The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Experiments in Pasta #2: Spinach-Garlic Fettucini

loydb's picture
loydb

Experiments in Pasta #2: Spinach-Garlic Fettucini

Last night was my second attempt at homemade pasta using home-milled flour. While my first attempt (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/25340/experiments-pasta-milling-my-own-flour) was delicious, I tried a few new things based on comments there and reading elsewhere.

 I started out milling a 50/50 mix of durum wheat (14%) and hard white wheat (13%). After milling, I used a #30 mining pan (yes, as in 'gold mining.' It fits perfectly on 5 gallon buckets and large containers like the one shown) to sift out some of the bran, ending up with 85% extraction by weight. I ended up with a little more than 2 cups of flour.

Next, I medium-chopped three cloves of garlic and sauted them in a tablespoon of butter for 5 minutes or so, then added 6 oz of fresh spinach, sprinkled lightly with kosher salt, and cooked 3-4 minutes, until nicely wilted. Moved to a seive and let drain and cool a bit for 20 minutes.

After draining, I put the spinach/garlic mix into a blender, added two room-temperature eggs, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of olive oil (remember there's butter and salt from the spinach). Blended up, and poured into a well with the flour.

I worked this in with a fork until it became too much to stir. After ending up with an excessively wet dough last time, I was determined to sneak up on the proper hydration this time. I dumped the still-dry mixture onto my board, and began working in water by hand until it just came together.

After about 12 minutes of kneading, it came together into a nice dough that felt like Play-do. It wasn't at all sticky, nor was it noticably dry. I sprayed it with olive oil, put the lid on the container, and then went about my day. I got back to it four hours later. I put it on a lightly floured board, rolled it out to about the thickness of a pencil, and fired up the Atlas.

This time, I only had to add a tiny, tiny bit of flour to the sheets between setting 3 and 4, and they cut perfectly. They got to dry for right at an hour while I worked on everything else.

Here's the final dish. Toasted almond slivers, mushrooms, onions, garlic and green peas with shrimp. The pasta was cooked for around 4 minutes, then mixed in with everything for a couple of minutes in the pan. It had a great flavor, and was sooooo soft, almost like udon.

 

Comments

Crider's picture
Crider

A dish like that isn't available at any restaurant at any price!

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

"Chez Loydb"  :)

varda's picture
varda

I can't believe that shade of green.   It looks fantastic.    And I love your repurposed mining pan.   Now where did you come by that?  -Varda

loydb's picture
loydb

The color is almost unnatural, I agree :) I got the seives at http://www.akmining.com/cart/classifiers_and_screens.htm . I got a #30 (which does about 85% extraction of my stone-milled wheat), #50 (around a 55% extraction, produces something very close to AP) and a #100 (so ridiculously fine that I laughed and haven't used).

 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

would probably make wonderful cake flours! If you could grind enough grain to sift a couple cups! LOL

The lovely noodles look very nice, I am not a spinach fan, but might try some. I have made pasta before and love the taste of the homemade stuff over the processed store bought! My pasta machine recipe simply says eggs and flour, my brother can remember our grandmother making noodles for chicken soup, and he said she put a pile of flour onthe board and added eggs to it and mixed until it made dough, no water, no other things and definitely no fat! So I would probably steam the spinach and garlic and blend to keep from adding the fat which would make the pasta less glutenous if my reading here is right.

loydb's picture
loydb

I don't use any fats when making straight pasta dough -- I used the olive oil for flavor and to make a better emulsion with the spinach and garlic in this instance. It wasn't glutenous in the sense of texture, but maybe it would be inappropriate for someone allergic to gluten?

 

EvaB's picture
EvaB

gluten in the flour, but less likely to hold together, or rather more tender and likely to come apart in the cooking water. Therefore less glutenous as in glued together! Any recipe I've seen for spinach in the dough, calls for boiled or steamed spinach rubbed through a sieve and added to the dough. The oil might make it easier to use in a blender especially with garlic but it might make the dough more tender than just the spinach itself.

loydb's picture
loydb

Ah, gotcha. It didn't have any problems holding together in the boil or afterward. It was however, incredibly soft/tender, almost like udon noodles, so that might explain it.

EvaB's picture
EvaB

interesting. I do love the deep green you managed with the pasta, and that may be partly the oil as well, since it would give the colour more depth! I expect they were wonderful, and will have to keep them in mind for next summer when the market has lovely local spinach, its got such a nice taste in comparison to the stuff that's trucked who knows how many miles.

Did your drying rack come with the pasta maker? I've never seen one like that, my maker said to put broom sticks on chair backs (impossible to do with curved plastic covered dinette chairs) and hang the pasta to dry on them. Not to mention who has brooms these days? LOL However I did set up my clothes dryer, some people call them maidens, simply a rack to place the wet clothes over in the house, that worked well, and my mother was happy to have homemade pasta to take home with her. I haven't made any since then.

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

from where did you get the pasta drying thingie ?  I purchased one but it only has about 4 "arms".  This is much better and holds more.

Thanks much,

Anna

 

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

KA makes the plastic ones, nice !  

 

loydb's picture
loydb

The drying rack came as part of the package deal on my motorized Atlas (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005CYST4S). It is also available separately (http://goo.gl/fTsCK). There's a plastic wand that fits in the top (that's half-hollow so you can slide it onto a bar and then rotate it to deposit the noodles).

 

 

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

think I will put my husband to work with dowels - if I didn't have a dog, I would maybe use clothesline between the cabinet handles from one side of the kitchen to the other, but I might drop more than hang up and Casey, the dog, might gain too much weight, grin..

best,

Anna