Homemade Pasta with Fresh Greens ~ no pasta machine needed for this easy, fun, and fresh green pasta that packs a healthy dose of spring in every bite. Don’t think you can make pasta from scratch? Think again!
Homemade pasta with 3 ingredients!
Just three ingredients and a little time is all you need for this fun, colorful, homemade pasta. Making pasta at home is easy, no machine required, and is a great activity to keep you busy on the weekends, stretch your cooking skills, and put a beautiful meal on the table all at the same time. I added vibrant, spring-y green pea shoot puree to keep things fresh here, but the possibilities are endless for customizing your own version of this simple diy pasta.
Yes, you can make homemade pasta without a machine ~
This pasta recipe dough is super easy to work with. It rolls out easily, promise! Simply divide your dough into small pieces, and take your time rolling them out. Letting the dough rest for an hour makes it easier to work with by hand, and rolling out small sheets allows you to get a nice thin pasta without going crazy. Just get into a flow, and have fun!
If you prefer, you can use a pasta rolling machine, but it’s really not necessary!
Greens for fresh green pasta ~
The volume of fresh greens that are packed into this pasta is amazing ~ I used what seemed like a whole mountain of spring-y pea shoots that blended down into a dense half-cup of bright green puree. This is a great way to use up a big batch of CSA or backyard garden greens if you’re lucky enough to have some! Lots of different greens will work, just look for something with a relatively mild flavor and that isn’t too tough, or you can experiment with something more flavorful like peppery arugula or basil if you’re feeling bold.
- pea shoots
You don’t need special tools to cut your pasta
Simply roll up your flat sheet of pasta and slice it with a sharp knife into instant ribbons. I made my pasta into wide fetttucine-esque noodles, but go thicker or thinner as you see fit. I think raviolis or lasagna sheets would be super fun, and would be fast and easy to cut out.
How to sauce fresh pasta
The key to the sauce is to keep it simple and light. Fresh pasta is delicate and won’t hold up under a heavy sauce (no Bolognese, please.) Despite the sheer volume of healthy greens that go into this beautiful speckled pasta dough, the flavor is mild (assuming you use a mild-flavored green!) so it’s versatile enough to go with lots of different toppings.
- toss simply with olive oil, fresh cracked black pepper, and parmesan cheese for a fresh take on cacio e pepe
- add crispy ham or prosciutto
- browned butter and crispy sage is a time honored tradtion
- try a herby pesto like my Chive Pesto
- a light checca sauce is always appropriate
- you can never go wrong with garlic and oil (Pasta with Garlic and Oil)
- dollop fresh ricotta over any or all combinations (did you know you can make homemade ricotta?)
I haven’t made a lot of fresh pasta before, and I can officially say I’ve caught the bug! I’ve already got a mental list going of other shapes, colors, and flavors I want to try out this spring and summer.
How to cook fresh pasta
This is where so many go wrong…cooking fresh pasta is quite different from cooking dried pasta. Fresh pasta usually takes between 1 and 3 minutes to cook. Any longer and it can become gummy and fall apart.
Fresh pasta: 2 to 3 minutes
Fresh pasta, from frozen: 3 to 5 minutes, depending on size
Fresh pasta, dried: 4 to 7 minutes, depending on size
Boxed: 6 to 10+ minutes, depending on size
You won’t get the ‘al dente’ bite that dried pasta gives, but the tradeoff is worth it, fresh pasta is beautifully delicate and tender.
How to dry homemade pasta
Arrange your freshly made pasta out on a baking sheet, making sure to keep all the strands in a single layer. Let it dry at room temperature, uncovered, for 12-24 hours, or until it has the consistency of pasta you buy at the store. It should be brittle, not ‘bendy’. Dry your pasta in a dry area, because humidity will slow the process.
How to freeze homemade pasta
Create little piles of pasta and then freeze them on a baking sheet. Once solid, transfer them to a heavy duty zip lock freezer bag. When ready to use them, cook right from frozen.
More fun weekend cooking projects ~
- Easy Dutch Oven Bread
- Super Easy Homemade Gnocchi
- Homemade Maple Marshmallows
- How to Make Homemade Ricotta Cheese
Homemade Pasta with Fresh Greens
- 9 ounces of fresh greens like pea shoots, spinach, etc. You want to end up with about 1/2 cup of puree.
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- First, make your greens puree. Bring about 1/2 inch of water to a boil in a large pot. Add your greens and cook for just a couple of minutes until the greens are just barely wilted.
- Drain you greens well and press out the excess water through a colander or strainer, or gently squeeze in a clean towel.
- Puree the drained greens in a food processor or with an immersion blender until smooth. You want to have about 1/2 packed cup of a thick puree.
- Place the flour in a large mixing bowl or on your work surface.
- Make a well in the center of the pile of flour, and add the eggs and the puree.
- Using a fork or your hands, begin to mix the eggs and the puree into the flour, continuing to add flour from the sides of your pile of flour as you go.
- Continue to mix until a sticky dough forms. Knead the dough for about 5-10 minutes. You want it to be smooth and not sticky. You can add a little more flour to your dough or your kneading surface as you go if you need to keep it from sticking.
- Place the dough in a bowl, cover it with a damp towel, and allow it to rest at room temperature for an hour.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces, and on a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece at a time into a large rectangle somewhere around 6 x 18 inches. You can continue to lightly flour as you go if needed. You want your dough to be very thin and translucent, but not so thin that it's super delicate and prone to tearing when you try to move it.
- When you are done with each sheet, place it somewhere like a clean dish rack, or a baking sheet to dry out for a few minutes as you finish the rest of the sheets. This will make cutting the noodles easier.
- When you're done rolling out all of the sheets, start cutting the noodles, starting with the first sheet you rolled out (this gives the other sheets time to dry out as you cut the noodles.)
- For long, flat noodles like fettucine, lightly flour and then fold your rectangle gently in thirds. With a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut narrow strips, and unfold the noodles as you go and lay them to the side. If they are sticking too much, add more flour to your sheet of dough.
- As you finish each batch of noodles, gently twist them into little nests or piles to keep them from tangling, and place them on a lightly floured baking sheet. You can cook your noodles right away, or leave them covered in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
- To cook fresh pasta, place them in boiling water for about 2 minutes, drain, and enjoy!