Fresh Spinach Fettuccine With Chanterelles, Spring Peas, and Prosciutto
The fresh fettuccine needs to be started at least one day in advance of preparing this recipe. The pasta can be made up to one week ahead and frozen, then defrosted before preparation.
- 1 recipe Fresh Spinach Fettuccine (recipe follows) or 12 ounces dried spinach fettuccine (about 6 cups cooked)
- 1 cup shelled fresh peas or frozen peas, thawed and drained
- 1 pound fresh chanterelle, porcini or other mixed mushrooms
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto such as prosciutto di Parma or prosciutto di San Daniele
- 4 fresh sage leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), seeded and crushed, with their liquid
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Grana Padano cheese (buy a 2-ounce block)
Prepare Fresh Spinach Fettuccine. To make sauce, if using fresh peas, parboil them in small saucepan of boiling salted water until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain: set aside.
Trim tough ends and wilted spots from mushrooms. Wipe clean with damp paper towel. Thinly slice; set aside.
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Press garlic cloves with flat side of knife; add to skillet. Add prosciutto and sage leaves. Cook, stirring, until garlic is lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in mushrooms; season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until mushrooms are lightly browned and wilted, about 7 minutes. Pour in tomatoes, season again lightly with salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a boil. Lower heat so sauce is at a lively simmer; cook 5 minutes. Stir in peas and chopped parsley; cook until peas are tender, about 3 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, bring pot of salted water to boil. When sauce is done, stir fettuccine into boiling water. Return to boil, stirring frequently. Cook pasta, semi-covered, stirring occasionally, until done, about 5 minutes.
Drain pasta well; return to pot and pour in about three-quarters of sauce. Bring sauce and pasta to boil, tossing to coat pasta with sauce. Check seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary. Remove pot from heat; stir in cheese. Transfer pasta to warm platter, top with remaining sauce. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.
Fresh Spinach Fettuccine:
- 1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach or 10 ounces packaged fresh baby spinach
- 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for kneading and rolling
- 2 large eggs
- 2 egg yolks
If using frozen spinach, take frozen block out of box, place in colander over bowl and let thaw completely and drain in refrigerator overnight. Squeeze thawed spinach by handfuls to press out as much liquid as possible when ready to make dough.
If using fresh spinach, try to start a day ahead. Wash thoroughly in several changes of cold water. Remove stems; cook 5 minutes or more in large volume of boiling water. Remove spinach from pot; let drain and cool in colander. Squeeze out as much water as possible. If possible, let drain and dry in refrigerator overnight. Squeeze spinach again.
(With either kind of spinach, when you think you've squeezed it enough, squeeze it again, by handfuls, using all your might. The drier the spinach, the better the pasta.)
Crumble spinach into bowl of food processor. Cover; process until paste forms, scraping sides occasionally. Add flour; process with several on/off turns until combined.
Whisk together whole eggs and yolks in bowl or measuring cup with spout. With food processor running, pour in liquid ingredients on top of green flour. Process about 30 seconds, scraping down work bowl and remaining egg mixture. Process another 20 to 30 seconds, until dough has started to come together in ball on blade.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead briefly until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap; let rest at room temperature 30 minutes before rolling.
To roll out dough with pasta machine, cut it in six equal pieces. Keeping them lightly floured, roll each piece through pasta-rolling machine at progressively narrower settings into 5-inch-wide sheets (or as wide as your machine allows) and 20- to 24-inches long. Cut long sheets in half crosswise into twelve strips, each about a foot long and 5 inches wide.
To cut fettuccine by hand, one strip at a time, lightly flour one strip and, starting with short end, fold it over in thirds or quarters, creating small rectangle with three or four layers of pasta. With sharp knife, cut cleanly through folded dough crosswise, separating into 1/2-inch-wide pieces. Shake and unfurl cut pieces, opening them into long ribbons. Dust liberally with flour. Gather fettuccine into loose nest and set it on floured tray. Fold and cut all of pasta this way, piling fettuccine in small, floured nests. Leave uncovered to air-dry at room temperature until ready to cook (or freeze nests on tray until solid; pack in airtight sealable freezer bags).