With our help, homemade pasta can (and should) be in your wheelhouse. —INGRAIN, Spring 2019
If you’re more into cooking than macramé, this is your weekend DIY project. Once you’ve rolled out the pasta dough, the homemade ricotta and Spinach Basil Pesto are quick to check off the list. Though not as tall and mighty as a traditional lasagna, this version is so richly flavored, it’ll feed a small pistachio-loving crowd.
Pairing Dry, grassy ale with a crisp finish (Goose Island 312 Dry-Hopped Ale)
Serves 10 to 12
Spinach Basil Pesto (ingredients + recipe below)
Pistachio Pasta (ingredients + recipe below)
Fresh Ricotta (ingredients + recipe below)
8 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 to 3 large lemons
Freshly ground black pepper
Spinach Basil Pesto on the bottom of a medium baking dish (roughly 9 x 9 inches), lightly coating the bottom of dish. Lay a single layer of pasta on top of the pesto, followed by several generous dollops of pesto + fresh ricotta (about ½ cup each) + Parmigiano-Reggiano (¼ cup) + freshly ground pepper, to taste.
Process two or three more times, depending on how many pasta sheets you have to create the layers. (It doesn’t matter if the sheets are broken; snuggle them up side by side.) Finish with the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Bake immediately, or refrigerate lasagna, well covered, overnight.
Oven to 350ºF. Bake lasagna until sides begin to brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes and serve with plenty of sliced lemons on the side.
This green dough is anything but classic. It’s somewhat clunky to work with, but the end result is homemade pasta ignited by pure, fresh pistachio flavor with a homespun, rough-around the-edges appeal. Hold one hand beneath the pasta machine to support dough as it emerges from the roller to help keep the sheets in one piece. You’ll also need to continue sprinkling flour on the rollers and the dough, as all of that rich pistachio oil pushes its way through the pasta sheets. The sheets will still likely break a few times as you work. These are the moments when we call our creations “rugged” and open a beer.
1½ cups pistachio flour (finely ground pistachios)
1½ cups all purpose flour, more for rolling pasta
½ teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1½ cups pistachio flour (finely ground pistachios) + 1½ cups all purpose flour + ½ teaspoon kosher salt together in a large bowl. (Break up any pistachio flour clumps with your fingers.) Turn mixture out onto a prep table, make a well in center of dry mixture, and crack 3 large eggs into well. Use a fork to lightly whisk the eggs, then gradually draw the flour into the eggs until the dough is shaggy.
Work surface and dust lightly with all purpose flour. Knead dough by hand (push dough with the heel of your hand) until smooth, about 2 minutes. If dough becomes sticky, add a little more flour to the work surface; dough will be fairly stiff. Flatten dough into a disk, cover lightly with plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.
Dough roughly with the palm of your hand, sprinkle dough lightly with flour, and pass through setting 1 on your pasta machine. (The dough may be dry but will become more moist as the oil from the pistachios is incorporated.) Hold one hand beneath the pasta roller to support the pasta sheet as it emerges (if it breaks, just refold the dough and start over). Sprinkle the pasta sheets with more flour if needed.
Dough in half or thirds and repeat the process two to three more times before moving on to the next setting (level 2). Now repeat the process on setting 3, then on setting 4, or until you have a long, flat pasta sheet. (This is thicker dough; setting 3 may be plenty.) Lay pasta sheets between layers of parchment paper or plastic wrap and cover with plastic wrap.
SPINACH BASIL PESTO
Makes about 2½ cups
1 cup unsalted pumpkin or sunflower seeds
4 cups (4 ounces) packed basil leaves
4 cups (3 ounces) baby spinach
4 small garlic cloves
1½ cups olive oil
1 large lemon
1 cup unsalted pumpkin or sunflower seeds + 4 cups (4 ounces) packed basil leaves (tender top stems only) + 4 cups (3 ounces) baby spinach, tough stems removed + 4 small garlic cloves + 1¼ to 1½ cups olive oil in a blender. Blend until mixture is smooth, about 1 minute; scrape down sides of blender if needed. Add juice of ½ lemon and kosher salt, both to taste.
Makes about 3 cups
3 cups whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
1½ cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
Fine-mesh sieve with two layers of cheesecloth and set over a medium bowl.
3 cups whole milk (not ultra-pasteurized) + 1½ cups heavy cream + ½ teaspoon kosher salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Turn off heat, immediately add 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar, and stir a few times (milk mixture will begin to curdle). Let rest for 2 to 3 minutes.
Mixture into prepared sieve to strain until thickened to the consistency of pudding, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool, cover, and refrigerate ricotta for up to 3 days.