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Spinach Pici (Homemade Pasta)

You might think that you need special tools to make homemade pasta, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The only thing you really need is a mat to roll out the dough on. And, for this recipe having a food processor helps a bunch. We’ll also discuss how to make this lovely spinach pasta even if you you don’t have one!

This spinach pici (pronounced like “peachy”) is a thick, hand rolled pasta that looks like green beans thanks to the spinach in the dough. Some describe it as “fat spaghetti” but I can’t help feeling that calling it the green beans of the pasta world is just a bit more elegant somehow.

Spinach Pici (Homemade Pasta)

There’s quite a lot of spinach in the dough, too, so you’re getting some veggies in every single bite. Tossed with some basic Italian pasta fixings this meal is wholesome, fresh, tasty, and totally unique.

The easiest way to make this pasta is to put fresh spinach in the food processor, then blitz it into a paste before adding the semolina flour and olive oil to make the dough. It’s important that you do it in this order so that the spinach be broken down before it’s mixed with the flour.

Spinach Pici (Homemade Pasta)

If you have a blender you can use that to break up the spinach into a fine texture. Then you can mix the flour and olive oil with the spinach paste. If you don’t have either machine you can use frozen chipped spinach thawed and then chopped very finely by hand once thawed. Some spinach pasta dough recipes call for blanched or cooked spinach instead of fresh, so this is not a cheat- just a work around.

Once you have the right texture spread out some flour on a mat or cutting board and get to rolling your dough. My advice here is to make sure that whatever surface you’re using isn’t easily stained as the bright green color will cling to some surfaces.

Spinach Pici (Homemade Pasta)

When you have it all rolled out into green bean shapes boil for 6 minutes and then make up a simple sautéed tomato and garlic mixture to dress the pasta with.

Some grated parmesan cheese, torn basil leaves, and a few red pepper flakes give this dish a bit more flavor.

Spinach Pici (Homemade Pasta)

Another addition that’s perfect on this fresh pasta is some chopped nuts. They can be pine nuts, toasted pistachio, walnuts, or almonds. You can easily adjust the veggies, too, to whatever is in season (or just in your fridge at the moment).

It’s tasty so many different ways and you don’t even need a pasta roller to make it.

Yield(s): 4-6 servings

30m prep time

11m cook time

436 calories

Allergens: Milk, Wheat, Gluten

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  • 7 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 2 1/4 cups semolina flour, plus extra for flouring
  • 9 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 grated parmesan cheese
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  1. Blitz spinach in food processor. Add flour and 6 tablespoons olive oil and blend until dough forms. If too wet add a bit more flour, if too dry add a bit more olive oil. Blend only until Play Dough texture is achieved.
  2. Spread extra flour onto clean work surface. Pinch off balls of dough slightly smaller than 1”. Roll out to long green bean length. Set aside and roll rest of dough in same manner. Can be made a day ahead if needed or cooked fresh.
  3. Place pasta into boiling water and cook for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Pasta will take longer to cook if dried.
  4. While pasta cooks heat remaining olive oil in large skillet and add garlic. Cook for 1 minute then add tomatoes. Cook for 2-4 minutes and then add salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
  5. Drain pasta and add to pan along with basil leaves. Toss gently to combine. Garnish individual servings with parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes (if using).

Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver.