My daughter is going to help out at HighCross Farm this season. This pleases me so. When I went to pick her up this afternoon, Farmer Steve invited me to grab a bunch of spinach that had come up on the farm. Who am I to turn that down?! Look how gorgeous it is.
This has me super excited for the approaching CSA season.
Spinach is one of those super foods. It’s incredibly good for you by contributing to healthy bones, eyes and teeth. Spinach is loaded with iron and Vitamins K and C. Can’t go wrong with spinach.
I decided to make some spinach fettuccine with a low-fat roasted garlic Alfredo sauce to top it off. I couldn’t think of a better way to break in my new pasta making attachment for the Kitchenaid Mixer.
This dish is worth the effort of making the pasta. The pasta is light with a nice spinach flavor that’s not over powering. The sauce is rich, creamy and full of flavor. You will enjoy this immensely.
I started off by slicing the top off a large head of garlic and drizzling it with olive oil.
I wrapped it up in tin foil and popped it into a 450 oven for about 35-40 minutes. When you can start to smell the garlic in your kitchen…it’s done.
Your garlic cloves should be nice and soft and caramelized on top.
Squeeze your head of garlic (once it has cooled off) into a bowl releasing all the yummy roasted garlic cloves.
Set aside for later.
Now for the pasta. The supplies are as follows:
- 3-1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup spinach puree (approximately 8 ounces of fresh spinach steamed and pureed
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- *water used to steam the spinach
Fill a sauce pan up with about an inch of water. Make sure the water doesn’t come up through your steaming device (either a vegetable steamer insert or a colander). Place spinach into steaming device, cover and let cook for 2-3 minutes. You will note the spinach cooks down considerably. I prefer to steam my spinach rather than boil because you want as little moisture in the spinach when it is all said in done.
Spinach after it has been steamed.
When spinach has cooled, wrap it in a paper towel and squeeze as much of the water out as you can. You will not there is a good amount of moisture in the spinach even when it is steamed. You want your spinach to look like this…
Put wrung out spinach into a food processor or blender and puree.
Place the flour and salt in the Kitchenaid mixing bowl. Insert the flat mixing paddle. Mix dry ingredients together on speed 1. Add eggs one at a time and then the spinach. If the dough looks too dry add the water that you used to steam the spinach in by the spoonful until you get the conistency that you want. (if you can stick your thumb in the dough and it comes out clean you are good) Continue to mix on speed 1 for about 1 to 2 minutes. Replace the flat mixing paddle with the dough hook and knead the dough on speed 4 for 3 minutes.
Remove dough and wrap in plastic. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes.
Assemble pasta attachment to the stand mixer. Turn machine to speed 1. Run the dough through the machine.
I like to put my pasta into nests. It makes for easier storage.
Either let your pasta dry or cook immediately.
Note: It is very important to remove as much moisture from the spinach as possible before adding to the dough. If after kneading the dough feels slightly sticky, knead one tablespoon of flour into the dough until the stickiness disappears. ** I personally found the dough to be a tad dry, thats when adding the water from steaming the spinach really helped. But if you find your dough too sticky then go ahead and add more flour. I found myself adding a little more flour after it had rested since it was still a tad too sticky for me.
Also: You do not need a Kitchenaid to make this pasta. You can make it by hand or in a food processor. You do not need a pasta roller as well. Just roll out your dough until it is thin enough to your liking and use a pizza cutter and cut it into strips.
Now on to the sauce…
I love Alfredo sauce, but I do not love Alfredo sauce calories. I decided to try and make it low fat and when it was all said and done, I wound up cutting the calories by almost half. I used way less butter and half and half instead of cream.
Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce
- I head of garlic, roasted…cloves removed
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/4 C half and half
- 3/4 shredded paremsan cheese
- S&P to taste
Melt the butter on low. (But don’t let it brown) Then stir in the other ingredients until the cheese is melted. How easy is that???
Spoon the sauce over your pasta and you have heaven on a plate.
I can’t put into words how much I love HighCross Farm!