I am somewhat obsessed with spinach. To me, spinach just makes (almost) everything better! Spinach curries, spinach casseroles, spinach pasta dishes! It’s no surprise that this spinach pasta appealed to me!
I stumbled across this recipe for homemade spinach pasta and vegetable ragout in a vegan cookbook (Dr Oetker – 100% Pflanzlich: Vegane Rezepte). I had bought it in an attempt to reduce the amount of animal products we consume. I like having a couple of vegetarian days a week and would like to incorporate a few vegan meals too. Aside from the obvious benefits I feel it encourages me to try new things on a regular basis. I tend to structure meals around the protein (if there’s chicken in the fridge, it will probably be chicken for dinner). Veggies often just play a supporting part. However, vegan recipes allow you to turn the supporting actor into the star!
Homemade Spinach Pasta & Vegetable Ragout
Homemade spinach pasta with a rustic vegetable ragout.
Thaw and drain the spinach. Squeeze, so that there's no water left and chop finely.
Add flour, semolina and 1/2 tsp of salt to a bowl. Then add the chopped spinach and knead well. Divide the dough into two.
Spread some flour on your kitchen counter and form each spinach dough ball into a thick roll. Then wrap each roll in food wrap and put aside.
Cut the aubergine cut into thick (1cm) slices and season with salt. Put aside for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Chop the rest of the vegetables. Add garlic and onion to one, and tomatoes to another bowl.
Back to the dough! Unwrap the rolls and cut into small pieces. Place on your hand and use your thumb to create something that looks like a tiny mussel.
Bring a pot of water to boil, add the pasta and some salt and simmer for about 15 minutes. Then rinse well.
Now heat olive oil in a pan and fry the aubergine slices for 3-4 minutes from each side. Place on kitchen paper to dry.
Add onions and garlic to the pan and roast gently. Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cover and let it simmer for about 5 minutes before adding the aubergine slices.
Add spinach pasta and serve.
Sometimes, when I try a recipe from one of my German cook books I encounter difficulties sourcing the ingredients in the UK. This recipe contains one of these ingredients - or so I thought.
The ingredient I was struggling with is Hartweizengrieß, which you'll need for the spinach pasta. According to my trusted dictionary, Hartweizengrieß translates into durum wheat. However, I could not find durum wheat at any of the major supermarket chains. At some point I found out that:
Hartweizen = durum wheat
Grieß = semolina
You'll find semolina at every supermarket. Usually, the packing shows sweet dishes - just ignore that. Check the back of the packaging and when you see the term durum wheat on there, you know you've got the right ingredient!