Sunday, June 29, 2008

Homegrown Gourmet 9 - Celtics Win!

Homegrown Gourmet, my precious little blogging event, is celebrating round 9 with a delightful theme of PASTA! Fabulous!

My friend Megan at Joy Through Cooking is hosting this round. I was really excited at the idea of basing a recipe on pasta- we eat lots of spaghetti and ziti and all that great stuff.

But as I got thinking about it more, well, what the heck is a New England pasta recipe!? I mean, sure, my husband and I have our favorite restaurant in the North End of Boston, but that's just Italian. And my Italian grandmother makes stuffed shells for many holiday meals, but what's so special about that?

There was always lobster ravioli, but I am not fan of dealing with ravioli and lobster isn't on the top of my list. My mom always made American Chop Suey but I also always hated it. What to do, what to make?

Then it hit me... I wanted to celebrate the Boston Celtics recent NBA Championship win with a gorgeous green and white dish! Adam and I hadn't made fresh pasta in ages, so a lovely batch of spinach pasta was whipped up. Then to top it, I chose a very New England choice of a white clam sauce.

I've got to say, this was delicious. Adam thought the sauce was buttery (only 3 Tbsp!)and flavorful, and I thought it was tender and just the right amount of seafood. We devoured the entire batch in one night and I thought it was a great tribute and a fun Homegrown Gourmet entry!

Champion Celtics Spinach Pasta with White Clam Sauce
Spinach Pasta based on
  • 1+ C. Fresh Spinach
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 C. Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tbsp. Warm Water

  1. Bring a few cups of water to a boil in a small pot. While the water heats up, remove any stems from the spinach leaves, leaving just the smooth flesh.
  2. Blanch the spinach in the boiling water for just 1-3 minutes, until it is bright green.
  3. Quickly remove the spinach from the water with a slotted spoon or similar utensil and rinse it with cold water.
  4. Squeeze the spinach in your hands, getting as much moisture out as possible. I also gave it a quick run through a paper towel. You should have about a 1/2 cup of cooked spinach in that mushy ball.
  5. Put the spinach in a food processor with the olive oil and puree into a smooth consistency. Add in the two eggs and blend it up again.
  6. Now here is where I wish I had gone with my gut instead of the instructions. The original recipe calls for you to add the salt and flour into the food processor to work the dough. I put in the salt and some flour and mostly ended up with a gooey mess. My processor wasn't big enough for all the flour, so I had to attempt to get the dough out and then work in the remaining flour- what a pain! When I do this again, I will mound up the flour on a clean surface and make a bowl in the center of the flour. I will pour in the egg mixture and slowly work it into the flour to make the dough. Or I'll just use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer.
  7. Regardless, you need to work in the flour gradually to form a solid ball of dough. Knead the dough until it is firm, yet springs back to the touch. I let my dough rest for 30 minutes only to start extruding it from the machine to find it was way too soft. We added more flour (getting up to 2 cups total) and then went right into making the pasta. If your dough is too dry, use little splashes of the warm water until the dough softens up.
  8. Use your Kitchen Aid pasta attachment or other pasta maker to form the fettuccine. Let it sit, separated, and dry for 10-15 minutes.
  9. Get a large pot of water boiling. Cook the fresh pasta for 3-5 minutes until it is just al dente. Drain and serve topped liberally with clam sauce below.

White Clam Sauce based on
  • 3 Tbsp. Butter
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped
  • 3 Large Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/2+ C. White Wine
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) Cans Chopped Clams, with Juice

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Saute the onions and garlic until translucent and delicious smelling!
  3. Pour in the white wine and simmer until reduced by about half.
  4. Pour in the clams with all the juice and continue to simmer, until slightly reduced. Serve hot over pasta.


That Girl said...

I instantly thought "clam sauce" when I thought about a New England pasta. Good to know we're on the same page!

Joelen said...

Thanks for posting a recipe for spinach pasta. I've been curious about how to incorporate flavors into pasta and this has been helpful! :)