OK, not everything. But I did learn to make and appreciate fresh homemade pasta. The texture is out of this world! I love dry pasta too, as it certainly takes WAY less time to throw a meal together using it, but fresh pasta is worth the effort when you have the time to make it.
Somehow I pretty much always end up making homemade pasta at least once or twice around this time of year. I think with Valentine’s on my mind, I just figure February is the month to spend a few nights making an extra special homemade meal if you’re into that kind of thing. And I’m WAY in it. 🙂
This dish features pasta made with a whole cup of kale! It gets topped with a two minute butter, oil, and garlic situation. Then you throw on some Parmesan cheese and a big squeeze of lemon, and you’re in business. The pasta takes time to make, but everything else about this meal comes together in minutes! I love that the topping on this dish just enhances the flavor and texture of the fresh pasta.
Have I convinced you to make this yet? Good, let’s do this.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour*
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup kale juice**
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Let’s address those asterisks first. I used 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour in this pasta, but if you prefer to use only all-purpose, you can easily use 2 full cups instead of the 1 1/2 listed.
Next, what is kale juice? Is that something only Whole Foods sells? (Maybe.) I made 1/2 cup of kale juice by blending together 1 cup (about 1.75 oz.) of raw kale, large veins removed, and 1/3 cup water. You can do this in a good blender (I used my Vitamix) or a food processor. You could also make real kale juice with a juicer. No matter your method, you want the juice to be, well, very liquid. You do NOT want large pieces of raw kale still present as this will not make for that smooth pasta texture we’re going for.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flours, oil, yolks, and kale juice. Stir together until a loose dough ball forms. Then knead together with your clean hands. If your dough does not hold together and is still very crumbly, it may need more moisture. Just add a teaspoon or two of water at a time until you are able to press it into a ball. You don’t want excessive amounts of moisture here, but it does need to hold together.
Now you can roll and cut pasta by hand, but I’ve already revealed that this is not what I do. 🙂 I have a pasta roller that attaches to my KitchenAid mixer. I simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions to roll out the dough, and then I use a fettuccine attachment to cut. Have a plan for how you are going to hang your pasta so it won’t stick together while you get your water ready, or for where you will dry it out so you can store it in the refrigerator. A pasta rack is great, but you can also just get creative.
If you are cooking your pasta the same day you make it, then get some salted water boiling! Fresh pasta will cook faster than dry; I cooked mine for about 5-6 minutes.
While the pasta is boiling, get your sauce ready. Mince the garlic. In a small saucepan melt the butter and oil together over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, just until it begins to brown and becomes very fragrant.
Toss the sauce over the cooked, drained pasta.
Top with salt, pepper, Parmesan, and a few fresh herbs if you have them (I used parsley and thought it went great with this!). Serve with a lemon wedge to be squeezed over everything just before eating. I know, I’m getting a bit bossy here, but trust me! The bright pop of lemon juice goes great with the subtle kale flavor in this dish. Happy pasta making! xo. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.