Mario Batali's Green Pasta Dough

Mario Batali's Green Pasta Dough

Details

Beautifully-green, fresh spinach pasta. "Making your own pasta is not difficult to make, nor does it take much time, and I can guarantee you that it will change the way you think about food, pasta and life." Mario Batali
  • Serves: 1 1/4 pounds
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Views: 37,840
  • Success: 83%

Steps

Step 1: Preparing the Spinach

• 1 cup packed, fresh spinach leaves (3.5 oz)
• 3 L/qts water
• 1 tbsp sea salt

Method

To prepare the spinach, bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil and set up an ice bath next to the stove.

Blanch the spinach leaves in the boiling water for 45 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon or spider and immediately plunge into the ice bath to cool.

Once cool, using a strainer, squeeze out the excess water. Then place the spinach onto a kitchen towel and twist it to remove as much moisture as possible.

Step 2: Making the Dough

• 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra (for kneading)
• 5 large eggs

Method

To make the pasta dough, chop the spinach very finely and combine it with the eggs. Mix until well combined. Mound the flour on the countertop and make a well in the center. Add the spinach/egg mixture. Begin to incorporate the flour, starting with the inner rim of the well. As you expand the well, keep pushing the outside edge of the flour to retain the well shape (don’t worry if it looks messy).

When half of the flour is incorporated, the dough should begin to come together. Start to gently knead the dough with your hands to incorporate the rest of the flour. As soon as the dough comes together in a cohesive mass, set it aside. Don’t worry if you have more than 1 cup of flour that has not been incorporated. Scrape up any dried bits of dough and leftover flour and discard. A bench scraper is the perfect tool for this.

Then lightly flour the countertop and continue kneading for about 10 minutes. Dust with a bit of flour, each time the dough sticks to your hands or the counter. Scrape the counter from time to time, just to make sure any dried bits aren’t being incorporated into the dough.

After kneading for about ten minutes, the dough should be smooth and soft and just a touch tacky, but it should no longer be sticking to your hands or the countertop.

Once ready, wrap it in plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature before rolling it out.

This dough can now be rolled into any pasta shape, whether it be lasagna noodles, pappardelle, fettuccine, or ravioli. The variations are endless.

Chef's Notes

Before blanching, make sure to remove the tough stems from the fresh spinach leaves, so they don’t tear the pasta during rolling.

15 Comments

  • Matthew B
    Matthew B
    If making this spinach dough recipe in a food processor, what quantity of flour would you recommend to place in the food processor to begin with? Thanks!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Start with about 2 cups - you can always adjust. I'd recommend you watch the lesson on How to Make Fresh Pasta (specifically Topic 4, which covers making pasta in a food processor). Happy cooking!
  • Matthew B
    Matthew B
    I watched the episode which looked fabulously easy! My first attempt failed and I reverted to the "hands on" approach which was super albeit time consuming. (My first attempt used eggs directly from the fridge but I think I should have allowed them to temper prior to adding to the flour in the food processor....)
  • Butch P
    Butch P
    If I don't use all the dough, how long will it keep?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Fresh pasta won't store well for more than 3 days, it will start to ferment. It can be frozen, but this can also develop off flavors from the freezer and cause clumping. Drying fresh pasta really defeats the purpose of making it fresh. It does not cook to the same texture. It's okay to dry it, but I think it's not worth more than commercially dried pasta unless you are making it with special flours and/or flavors. Fresh pasta is one of those things you make when you want a special plate of fresh pasta.
  • Cassie B
    Cassie B
    Do I have to boil the lasagna noodles befoe assembling the lasagna?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Yes the lasagna noodles should be boiled for the lasagne. Here is the link to the full recipe for Mario's Lasagne. Also, here is a great discussion called "To Boil or Not to Boil" Give it a read if you like. Cheers!
  • Carl O
    Carl O
    I have made fresh pasta a couple of times with great result. This time I wanted to color the pasta as was done in this video. I made the dough and put in in the fridge to rest over night. The day after when I was about to use it, it looked good but was impossible handle. Even with the widest setting on the pasta machine the dough didn't stick together. It fell a part into crumbs. I then thought I might need to "warm up" the dough before running it through the pasta machine so I started to knead again, a few times, but I didn't help a bit. Is there a good explanation as for why this happened? Thanks!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    It is hard to say exactly what might have gone wrong for you. It sounds like perhaps your pasta was just too dry. Meaning that you added too much flour. Also, fresh pasta is often made and rolled out the same day. I would suggest that you try it again, as this pasta is really delicious. Maybe just watch the video again and also be sure to watch the lesson on "How to Make Laminated Pasta" as this will show you what to look for etc. Good luck Carl. Cheers!
  • Carl O
    Carl O
    Okey, thanks Dawn! I tried again today, but without coloring with spinach and it went well. Is it possible to over-knead the dough? Will amount of kneeding affect the texture on the cooked pasta. Today it became very al dente even after cooking for over four minutes. Thanks!
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    It is really hard to over-knead, especially by hand. Yes, kneading can affect the texture of the dough, but this is generally because one has not kneaded enough. Not sure why the dough would have become al dente after it had been cooked? Perhaps the dough was again, just a bit too dry to begin with? You might want to try the practice recipe "basic pasta dough" from the "How to Make Laminated Pasta". And if you have not already, be sure to watch the lesson as this might provide you with a bit more guidance as to what might be going wrong. Good for you for trying again Carl. Keep up the good work and practice and you will get it. Cheers!
  • B.j. G
    B.j. G
    Can you use different types of vegetables other than spinach to make this recipe such as carrots or green onions? Or would something like onions add too much exes liquid.
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    You can use other vegetables to gain color, but you want to balance the sense of color (some are not very bright, others are) and moisture content. Vegetable puree, of course, adds moisture to your dough so you need to adjust your ratios. ~Ken
  • Ellie T
    Ellie T
    When making this recipe in the food processor should I add the spinach with the eggs or while kneading the dough and are there any other changes I would need to make?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Either way is possible, but since you will use a food processor go ahead and add the spinach along with the eggs, then all the mixing work will be done. See more notes here: https://rouxbe.com/recipes/1296-basic-egg-pasta-dough.

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