If you’ve ever wondered how to make bright green chewy pasta with bite, this is the recipe for you! Homemade spinach pasta is easy to make and this recipe uses just 4 ingredients — twice-milled semolina flour (semolina rimacinata), eggs, and a bit of extra virgin olive oil. This spinach pasta dough recipe makes delicious spinach fettuccine, pappardelle, tortellini, or even “lasagna verde” for classic Lasagna alla Bolognese — you can even use it to make cute spinach farfalle pasta if you want! Step-by-step recipe photos can be found below.
Making pasta at home isn’t complicated (even if you don’t own a pasta machine or KitchenAid pasta attachments). But like with any new skill, if you’re just learning the art of homemade pasta it gets easier every time you make it (like second nature kind of easy). This particular spinach pasta dough is a bit stronger than my two 00 Italian flour pasta recipes because it contains less liquid, but the texture is worth the little bit of extra force it takes to knead it. It’s perfectly chewy with a great “bite”.
Why We Love This Spinach Pasta Dough Recipe
- It uses just 4 ingredients
- It makes really pretty spring green-colored pasta that tastes as good as it looks
- It’s a great meal prep (make-ahead and freeze) fresh pasta recipe
- You can sub regular semolina, or 00 flour, for the twice-milled semolina used here
- It’s super chewy with a great bite because of the low-hydration dough and proper kneading
- Use it to make any kind of spinach pasta (ravioli, tortellini, fettuccine, lasagna, etc.)
A Few Tips for Making Homemade Spinach Pasta Dough — (Pasta Fatta in Casa)
If you haven’t checked out my post for how to make homemade Italian 00 egg pasta, hop over there and check it out. I share all the pasta-making details and techniques that will hopefully all but guarantee a great bowl of chewy, delicious homemade pasta (even if this is your first time). For now, here’s the gist of that information:
Should I add salt to homemade spinach pasta dough? I typically just stick to the way the Italians have been doing it for over 700 years — I don’t add salt.
Should I add olive oil to homemade spinach pasta dough? Adding a bit of high-quality extra virgin olive oil to homemade semolina pasta dough (like this one) adds fat and extra flavor. I typically don’t add olive oil to pasta dough when I use 00 or all-purpose flour.
How long do I knead semolina spinach pasta dough? It’s important to knead pasta dough in order to activate the gluten which builds a weblike network and strengthens the pasta dough giving it that pleasant chewy “bite”. There’s no exact science for how long this process takes (read more about it here). But typically when hand-kneading pasta (especially semolina pasta dough) you’ll probably want to work and knead the dough by hand for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on your kneading skills) or in a stand mixer for 10 to 12 minutes for best results.
How long do I rest homemade spinach pasta dough after kneading it? I cover and rest semolina pasta dough for at least hours which makes this pasta much easier to roll out. Much like pizza dough, when pasta dough rests after being kneaded it’s allowing the gluten network to relax, and reorient itself in order to be rolled out without pulling back onto itself.
Below in Photos (The Stages of Making Homemade Semolina Spinach Pasta)
Homemade Spinach Pasta Dough Ingredients (Using Twice-Milled Semolina Flour)
Depending on the absorption potential of the flour and also how large your eggs are, you may need to add a splash or two of spinach water to the dough if it’s too dry (which will also help with rolling it out). I chose to not add any water even though the dough was a bit “tough” because I wanted a really strong and chewy noodle, but I easily could have added 2 teaspoons or even 1 tablespoon of (10g-15g) of water to this dough which would have made it more malleable and much easier to knead (not to mention even smoother). On the other hand, if you’re pasta is too wet, you may need to add a little extra sprinkle of flour.
- frozen or fresh spinach
- twice-milled semolina flour (Italian Semola Rimacinata) (sub 00 flour or regular semolina)
- large eggs (pasta gialla eggs or other richly-colored eggs preferred) (*see photos below)
- extra virgin olive oil
Overview: How to Make Homemade Spinach Pasta Dough — Mix, Knead, Rest, and Roll
This pasta recipe makes 1 pound of fresh spinach pasta. As for desired pasta thickness, I suggest rolling it out to #6 on the pasta machine so that the noodles don’t end up being too thin. I own an Atlas Marcato 150 pasta machine in Italy and an Imperia pasta machine back home in the States and I believe their settings are somewhat similar. I suggest using a small piece to test different thicknesses and cooking them in boiling water to see what you prefer before rolling out all the dough. *You can find the full instructions in the recipe card.
- Blanch the spinach.
- Make the dough.
- Knead the dough.
- Rest the dough.
- Roll out the dough.
- Cut the desired pasta shapes.
How to Make Traditional Italian Spinach Pasta Dough step-by-step recipe photos
How to Cook Homemade Fresh Spinach Pasta
Homemade noodles and pasta take just a few minutes to cook to “al dente” doneness, so keep this in mind. It’s also good practice to allow fresh pasta to rest at least 20 to 30 minutes before cooking it to allow it to dry a bit. Add pasta to a pot of salted boiling water and be sure to check them after about 1 1/2 minutes to see how much longer they’ll need. I usually never cook homemade egg pasta for 3 to 5 minutes total (even when cooking from frozen).
How to Store Homemade Fresh Spinach Pasta
If you’re wondering how to store fresh spinach pasta, it can safely be stored in a few ways, although freezing it is my preferred method. You can also dry it completely on a kitchen towel in a single layer (without overlapping the pasta) covered by a linen tea towel for 2 to 3 days in a dry environment. Then add it to an airtight container and use it within 3 or 4 days.
Be careful if you live in an extremely humid environment because if the pasta doesn’t dry properly or thoroughly, the fresh eggs in the dough can harbor bacteria. This makes freezing homemade egg pasta the best, easiest, and safest way to preserve all your hard work. Freshly made frozen spinach pasta can be stored with great results for up to 3 months under the right conditions (although I suggest using it up within 1 to 2 months for the tastiest results).
- To Freeze Homemade Spinach Pasta like spaghetti, tagliatelle, pappardelle, chitarra, fettuccine, etc.: Portion pasta into 3 to 4-ounce portions, dust them with flour, twist them into a “nest” and place them onto a parchment-lined (or flour dusted) baking pan without letting the nests touch. Pop them into the freezer until completely frozen (about 30 minutes), then add the nests to a freezer bag or other airtight container and store them for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to cook the pasta, do not thaw it first. Just add the frozen nests to boiling salted water, and cook until al dente doneness (about 4 minutes).
- To Freeze Homemade Spinach Lasagna sheets: Lay a sheet of flour-dusted lasagna onto a parchment-lined baking tray or platter, add a sheet of parchment paper to fully cover, then add another sheet of lasagna and continue alternating with parchment paper. Cover the tray with sustainable cling film and freeze for up to 3 months until ready to use. Allow the lasagna to rest for 15 minutes or so at room temperature before layering into the lasagna or other pasta al forno dish. Also, you may par-boil the frozen lasagna sheets so they soak up less liquid while baking. Bake as instructed.
- To Dry Homemade Spinach Pasta: While I have dried out egg pasta at room temperature and then sealed it in glass jars or bags, it can take hours or days to fully dry depending on what time of year it is and how humid the environment is. You will need to agitate and turn them over periodically to allow for even drying. Alternatively, you will need to use a pasta drying rack. This particular dough (which contains less water than most of my other pasta dough recipes), tends to dry out fairly quickly (and makes a great homemade spinach farfalle (bowtie) pasta).
- To Dry Homemade Spinach Lasagna sheets. Unless you have quite a bit of space in your kitchen, I don’t recommend drying lasagna sheets but you definitely can by placing a linen or cloth tea towel over a wire rack and placing lasagna sheets in a single layer on top. The sheets need air flow above and below in order to dry properly. So if you have a bunch of wire racks this may be a good option for you.
- Can I refrigerate Fresh Spinach Pasta? It’s not recommended to refrigerate homemade egg pasta (especially filled pasta like ravioli, tortellini, etc.) because the humidity can ruin the pasta and the flavor can change. If you really need to refrigerate homemade egg pasta I recommend doing it for not longer than 24 hours and it’s even better if you can use it within 18 hours.
Looking For More Easy Pasta Recipes or a Way to Use This Spinach Pasta Dough?
We love each of these authentic Italian pasta recipes and think you’re family will too!
- Anniversary Pasta (Spicy Shrimp Tomato-Alfredo Sauce w/Rigatoni)
- Asparagus & Ham Lasagna (w/Asparagus Bechamel)
- Classic Lasagna Bolognese (authentic Italian recipe)
- Shrimp Fettuccini Alfredo Pasta Recipe (w/Parmigiano Cream Sauce)
- 15-Minute Shrimp Pasta w/Garganelli (the Italian Way)
- Tagliatelle al Ragù (Northern Italian Beef Ragù w/Pasta)
- How to Make Homemade Tortellini from Scratch (Tortellini in Brodo)
- Italian Prosciutto Cotto and Mozzarella Lasagna (Lasagne con Prosciutto Cotto e Mozzarella)
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