There are two truths about summer gardening that make me very happy. The first is that I will always have an overabundance of basil that gives me great joy- I love finding ways to use it up and preserve it. And the second is that there is no better summer comfort food than a big bowl of handmade pasta full of garden fresh veggies. And while I can’t send you tomato plants through the internet, I can definitely show you how to use up some of your basil to make the tastiest bowl of pasta! Enter Basil Pasta Dough!
Making basil pasta dough is super similar to a regular pasta dough but with just one extra step- so if you were already in the mood for fresh pasta it isn’t a ton of extra work! And note: this recipe only works with fresh basil- if you try using dry it actually changes the texture of the pasta and it doesn’t roll well!
Basil Pasta Dough Ingredients
1 Cup Semolina Flour
1 Cup Unbleached All Purpose Flour
2 Large Eggs (Room Temperature)
1 Cup of Fresh Basil Leaves
1 Teaspoon Salt
Basil Pasta Dough Instructions
1 If you are grabbing basil fresh from your garden make sure to wash it thoroughly- my basil definitely had some six-legged friends come inside!
2 In a food processor add in both eggs and the basil, stems removed. Pulse until fully incorporated and the basil leaves are finely minced.
3 While you wait for some of the bubbles to dissipate in the egg mixture, combine both flours and the salt on a clean, dry work surface. Form this into a mound and use your fist to create a divot in the center of the pile where the egg mixture will be poured in.
4 Pour your egg-basil mixture into the well your created in the flour and slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs starting to form a shaggy dough. This takes quite a while by hand- about ten minutes until the dough starts to become smooth. If at any time your dough ball seems a bit too try and doesn’t want to pick up any more flour, wet your hands and use that moisture to continue the process. I’d recommend against adding water directly too the dough because it can get way to sticky very quickly!
5 Continue to knead until your dough is smooth and soft (if you’d like to see this in video form, be sure to check out my pasta dough YouTube video!) and then wrap your dough (I use beeswax wraps!) and set aside for about 30 minutes allowing the gluten to develop.
6 When your dough is rested use a rolling pin to roll out your dough. If you are using a pasta machine you can roll until it is ready to be passed through on the largest setting, but if you are cutting by hand roll until it is as thin as possible without breaking! I have an on-counter pasta machine that I love but there are also KitchenAid pasta attachments as well!
7 Remember that fresh pasta dough plumps A LOT when it is cooked, so unless you want very thick noodles, make sure to roll it very thin! You can either cook these right away or use a drying rack to preserve them.
8 These spinach pasta dough noodles will stay fresh for about three days in the fridge in an airtight container or 4-5 days if you dry them. You can also prolong their life by freezing them! Pasta dough (in a ball, pre-noodle) freezes incredibly well- when I make a double batch, I freeze the second half in a Stasher Bag and save it for later. Fresh noodles (pre-drying) will only take about 3-4 minutes to cook in salted, boiling water. The dried pasta will take 6-8 minutes- so it is a very quick meal once the pasta has been made!
I would love to know what your favorite ways to use you excess of basil in the summer are! Please make sure to tag me over on Instagram if you make this basil pasta dough or in photos of other ways you are using your summer bounty!
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