If you have been eyeing the pasta attachments for the Ankarsrum mixer, February may be the month you want to make those homemade pasta dreams come true. Technically prices go up on the lasagna, fettuccine, and tagliatelle attachments this month, but they are on sale all of February for the old price. Also, if you buy all three together this month, you can get them for $279.95. These attachments are some of my favorites and always a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen. There is something magical and fun about making your own noodles, and what kid doesn’t love pasta? What adult doesn’t for that matter? A while back, I did a basic pasta dough recipe. That is still my standard go-to, but I decided to branch out into flavored noodles in honor of this month’s sale: spinach pasta dough.
Instead of using the plastic whipping bowl like I usually do, I mixed this dough up in the stainless steel bowl because I wanted to make a bigger batch and I wanted the machine to do the work for me. And unlike the pasta discs for the meat grinder, you want the dough for the freestanding attachments to already be kneaded and ready to go.
Frozen spinach worked great for this recipe. The key is fully thawing it but not draining out the excess moisture. This way it will turn into a smooth puree in the blender. If you have the blender attachment, it does an excellent job. If not, just use your regular blender.
If you’ve made homemade pasta before, you know that the type of flour you use is an important factor in the end result. I prefer using semolina flour for its high gluten content and flavor, and this is my favorite brand. This semolina flour is ground twice and very fine, and produces that perfect al dente noodle. If you are using semolina, make sure that it is not the coarsely ground kind. It should say pasta flour on the bag or something along those lines. You could also use all-purpose flour. And if you mill your flour at home and want a whole grain noodle, try out durum wheat.
The amount of flour you are going to use in the recipe depends on the type of flour you are using, how finely ground it is, and whether it is white or whole wheat. I give an approximate flour amount. Start with the smallest amount and then add more if necessary. The dough should be soft and pliable but not sticky:
Another trick to homemade pasta is liberally dusting the noodles with flour as you make them. This helps the fresh pasta noodles not stick together. Also a great task for your kids or grandkids, although your entire kitchen may be dusted in flour by the end!
Out of all the pasta attachments, you will want to get the lasagna one first. This one will let you roll your dough down to the desired thinness to then easily run it through the fettuccine and tagliatelle attachments. You will want to start on the widest setting of the lasagna attachment, and then work your way down. I stop at the #2 setting and then roll the pasta sheets through the fettucine or tagliatelle attachments.
Pair these fresh noodles with your favorite pasta sauce or try them out with my meat sauce. I also love these spinach noodles with just a simple sauce of minced garlic and sliced mushrooms sautéed in butter or olive oil, sprinkled with a little flour to thicken, and then beef broth and freshly cooked noodles added into pan and cooked till broth begins to thicken and coat noodles. Top with some fresh parmesan and enjoy!
If you want further instructions on how to use the pasta attachments, check out this video. For cleaning, wipe down attachments with a barely damp cloth and brush out with a pastry brush. Do not wash or immerse in water; certain components of the attachment will begin to rust.
Spinach Pasta Dough
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 3-4 minutes
10 oz. chopped frozen spinach, fully thawed but not drained
2 Tbsp. water
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
18-22 oz. flour (finely ground semolina, all-purpose or whole wheat durum)
extra flour for dusting
Place the thawed spinach, water, eggs and egg yolk in a blender. Blend on high speed until a smooth puree forms.
Set up your Ankarsrum mixer with the stainless steel bowl and roller/scraper. Add the spinach mixture, salt and 18 ounces of flour. Start out mixing on lowest speed (12 o’clock). Once the mixture begins to come together, turn off machine and scrape down grooves of roller with the plastic scraper. Increase the speed to medium-low (between 2 and 3 o’clock), and lock the arm in place about 1 inch from the side of the bowl. If the dough is still sticky add the rest of the flour. Knead for 3-4 minutes until a smooth dough ball forms. The dough should be stiff but soft and pliable.
Cover and let the dough rest for at least 20 minutes.
Place the lasagna attachment on the Ankarsrum base and adjust it to the widest setting. Pinch off a small handful of the pasta dough and flatten with your hands. Keep rest of pasta dough covered until ready to use so it doesn’t dry out. Turn the Ankarsrum on the lowest speed (12 o’clock) and run the dough through the lasagna attachment. Fold in half and run through the same setting again. Dust with flour as necessary. Adjust width to next setting and run dough through again, fold in half, and run through that setting again. Continue running the pasta dough through each setting as described until you get to setting #2. After you have run through #2 setting, the dough is ready to use for lasagna or to run through the tagliatelle or fettuccine attachment. Remember to dust with flour as needed.
For tagliatelle or fettucine: place the pasta attachments on the Ankarsrum base. Run rolled out dough through on the lowest speed setting (12 o’clock). Dust noodles liberally with flour.
Holding and Cooking: Pasta dough can be kept in the fridge for 2-3 days before forming into noodles. Noodles can be made up to a day in advance and kept covered in the refrigerator before cooking. Just make sure to generously dust with flour before storing. To cook, add 6 quarts of water to a large stock pot. Salt water and add 1 Tbsp. olive oil if desired. Bring water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the fresh pasta and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain and serve with favorite sauce.
Yield: approximately 2 pounds fresh pasta dough, 6-8 main course portions or 8-10 first course portions