I’ve been away—first a move, then a vacation to the US, and now another move is coming soon, so I haven’t been cooking as much as usual, but I do have a couple new recipes to share, courtesy of my boyfriend’s mother, Mabel.
First up are homemade, whole wheat spinach noodles, whipped together without the aid of any pasta-making devices. It’s a labor-intensive process, but uses whole, healthful foods and the family loves it. Here’s how she does it:
1 kg. whole wheat flour
100 g. gluten (white, with no additives)
1 packet of spinach, washed
1 clove of garlic
2 T. oil
2 T. olive oil (optional, but recommended)
- Sift together the flour and gluten until well mixed, and any impurities have been removed. Put 3/4 of the mixture in a bowl and create a well in the center.
- Cook spinach, if desired. Add spinach, garlic, oil and two eggs to a blender, and blend until well mixed. Pour into the well in the flour-gluten mixturee.
- Beat the remaining to eggs and olive oil, if using. Mabel throws them in the empty blender, to rinse out any remaining spinach-goodness, before adding them to the well in the flour mixture.
- Mix well, until the dough forms a solid, non-sticky ball, as shown below.
6. Now, comes the tricky part. Roll out one of the balls of dough until it is paper-thin. If you have a pasta machine, this may be easy, but Mabel uses a rolling pin to stretch the dough as she rolls it out, as shown. She works deftly, with years of practice. Basically, it’s a matter of wrapping a bit of dough over the rolling pin and stretching the dough by pushing on the pin. Repeat until the entire mass is a uniform thinness. Use the extra flour in the process, as needed to keep the dough from sticking.
7. Next, coat both sides of the dough with the leftover flour mixture, and roll the dough into a log. Check while rolling to ensure the dough doesn’t stick to itself, and add more flour if necessary.
10. Repeat until all the pasta has been rolled, cut, and tossed. Toss in boiling water for about 5 minutes, tasting for doneness after about three. Serve with a delicious sauce, or just oil and grated cheese.