Ever wonder how pasta is dyed different colors? I was curious, so I looked up a recipe in one of my favorite, authentic Italian cookbooks.
Spinach. That’s all it takes to make handmade golden pasta into a batch of green spaghetti? It’s all-natural and easy. Let’s give it a try!
First, steam frozen spinach in water and reserve the green water. Then finely chop a few tablespoons of the steamed spinach. You’ll add that bit of green spinach plus the green-tinted water to your flour to make a green dough.
Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes. If your kids want to help, this is the ideal time to hand them a ball of dough and let them play!
After the “green playdoh” is nice and smooth, let it rest for 30 minutes-2 hours. In the meantime, combine 3 basic ingredients for the tasty filling: mozzarella cheese, steamed spinach, and pesto.
Once your green dough has rested, you can roll it out into thin sheets. Your family will probably want to scoop the filling onto the dough—it looks like a Halloween adventure with all of that green!
Place a ring of water around each ball of filling (this is the glue that will hold the green sheets of dough together). Then top with another piece of dough. Cut out shapes using a ravioli cutter or a knife.
(Tip: if you use a knife to cut square ravioli, seal the edges of your ravioli with a fork. This keeps them sealed and it looks pretty, plus your kids can do this part!)
An Italian Grandma taught me to put plenty of salt in the pot of boiling water, so dash at least a tablespoon or two before you plop in your green ravioli. But don’t walk away! This green pasta won’t take longer than 3-5 minutes to cook.
Once they are finished, top with your favorite sauce. We prefer a few spoonfuls of high-quality olive oil so we can fully appreciate the spinach and mozzarella flavors!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 16oz frozen spinach, steamed in 1 cup water, reserve the water
- 8oz mozzarella cheese
- 3 Tbsp pesto
- Steam the frozen spinach in 1 cup of water. Drain the spinach, and reserve the water.
- Take 2-3 heaping tablespoons of the steamed spinach and finely chop it up. Set aside.
- Next, pour the 2 cups of flour into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and fill with approximately ½ cup of the reserved water and the finely chopped spinach. Use a fork to gradually incorporate together. Add more of the reserved water slowly, until the dough begins to stick together. It should be tinted green.
- Knead the green dough with your hands for 5-10 minutes, until smooth. Then cover with a towel and let it rest for at least 30 minutes, but no longer than 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, make the filling by combining the mozzarella with the steamed spinach and pesto.
- Turn the water on to boil, and heavily salt it. (At least 1 Tbsp of salt.)
- On a floured surface, roll out the dough into thin sheets ⅛ of an inch thick. Scoop the filling onto one sheet.
- Use your finger or a basting brush to add water around each ball of filling. (The water acts like glue to hold the dough sheets together.) Then top with another sheet of dough.
- Use a ravioli cutter or a knife to cut out ravioli.
- Boil in heavily salted water for 3-5 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the ravioli. (Do not dump into a colander or the ravioli will burst open!). Top with the sauce of your choice.