Homemade colourful pumpkin and spinach pasta - made from pumpkin I planted at home!
In my chats with friends in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia (avid bakers, school friends, and a food industry consultant) we all seem to find a common phenomenon happening in the world during the Covid-19 lockdown: (1) Packs of wheat flour and pasta are flying off the shelves of supermarkets (2) People are learning how to make bread or buying bread machines. In fact there was a news about bakers yeast shortages in China amid the Covid-19 lockdown and people are learning to bake. (Click here for the news)
Amid the lock-down and social distancing rules in many countries, making food at home is not only a responsible thing to do (to reduce our need to dine out or go out for bread), but also one of the most enjoyable and productive activity one can do with children. Finally, we can all find some quiet time at home to do enjoyable things that we have put off for a long time.
In this blog, I'd like to share a few fun tricks to make your own colourful pasta.
And in another blog (click here), I will show you how to use the same pasta dough to make some super easy pan-friend dough balls / pancake / bread (or whatever you like to call them) - this is great for kids to make, and especially useful for friends who don't own an oven at home.
And......since I am an urban gardener, I have grown this little palm size pumpkin from seeds of a pumpkin from the market. Click here to see how I grew it from seed, pollinated the flower and harvested it!
Recipe for Homemade Colourful Pasta
Ingredients for plain pasta base:
288 grams all-purpose flour (2 and 1/4 measuring cup)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
To make pumpkin pasta, you will need: 1 small pumpkin (about the size of my palm)
To make spinach pasta, you will need: 1 small bunch of spinach
How to Make Pumpkin Pasta:
Step 1: Peel, chop and steam the pumpkins until cooked. Put in a food processor to make into a puree.
Step 2: Beat in the eggs and mix well
Step 3: Mix the dry ingredients together (flour, salt, baking soda)
Step 4: Cover your hands with flour, mix and knead the dough into a ball. If the dough is sticky, continue to add more flour until it doesn't stick. You can use a bread machine to handle this process too. Let it rest for 30 min (resting the dough will allow the gluten to relax, making it easier to roll-out later)
Step 5: Spread some flour on your baking mat/working station and the rolling pin, roll the dough flat. Make sure the entire dough is the same thickness, about 2-3 mm thick. I prefer to roll it into a rectangular shape so it is easier to cut into regular shapes.
Step 6: Making the pasta
To make fettucine, add some flour to the dough, and fold it in thirds. Then cut out into strips.
Forming the pasta
Open up the strips and choose one of these methods to make the pasta:
a) Pull each pasta gently with your hands and then hang on a rack to let gravity pull it
b) Use the Chinese la-mian method (a.k.a. hand-pulled noodle method) I call it a jump-rope method. See below:
To make farfalle, cut the dough into small rectangular strips and form into bow shapes by pinching the middle. The authentic ones have curvy sides, mine don't. I just didn't bother to take out the cutting tool.
Step 7: Cook the fresh pasta or let dry
You can cook the fresh paste and enjoy them now! Or you can let them dry on a rack, and the store in an air-tight box in the fridge for cooking in the next few days, or freeze them for later.
How to Make Spinach Pasta:
All the steps are the same as above, except you need to blench the spinach with a dash of salt for about 15-20 sec until cooked. Use a food processor to make into a puree, and then use sieve to sieve out hard fibres.
Photos below: <Left> blenched spinach, <Middle> Purred and sieved, <Right> Added 2 eggs
I also made some alphabet cut outs with my children, they love to put them in chicken soup:
Click here to see my other post on using the same pasta dough to make pan-fried pumpkin dough as snacks for your family.
Click here to see how I grew the pumpkin from seed to harvest, and see how I pollinated the pumpkin!
Let me know if any of these steps are not clear. I'd love to see pictures of your beautiful homemade pasta too?
Maybe you and your children can create some lovely shapes and show us?