Recipes, Lunch & Dinner Recipes

This Homemade Herb Pasta with Vegetables Is Total Comfort Food

Somewhere along the line, “comfort food” got a bad reputation. “Comfort food” started to mean zero nutritional value, lots of starch, and cheese. But that’s simply not true. Comfort food stems from emotion and yes…sometimes a little bit of starch. At its core, comfort food fosters enjoyment. And enjoyment can be as much about the process as the final dish.

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Cooking at home can be relaxing and comforting (if you let it - it’s also a great way to get stressed out in the wrong mood!). Pasta takes simple ingredients and turns them into a crowd-pleasing favorite that’s easy to modify.

From changes in flavor and color (add anything from lemon to squid ink to pasta dough) to accompanying toppings and sauces, pasta can be a delicious base to adding healthy produce to dinner tonight.

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Making pasta at home takes a little bit of practice, but it’s fun and easy to get the whole family to help. Tender, homemade pasta is delicious enough on its own with butter and salt and pepper, but to make it healthier comfort food, it’s accompanied by produce and a sauce that focuses on vinegar and mustard for lightness.

By infusing herbs into the pasta, extra flavors are added in a calorie-conscious way. To add fiber and satisfying colors, I also recommend adding spinach, artichokes and roasted red bell peppers.

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This recipe is also a look into quality over quantity. Day to day, we use salad plates for eating in our house since most American dinner plates are more like platters and can encourage serving more than you meant to enjoy.

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A homemade dish of pasta is truly the ultimate comfort afternoon activity. Since you put the work in, make sure you sit down and enjoy your hard work!

Homemade Herb Pasta with Vegetables

theinspiredhome.com

SERVINGS

4

INGREDIENTS

For the Pasta:

  • 1 small bundle chopped chives
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons of water

For the Sauce & Toppings:

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted red bell pepper (jarred)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
  • ½ cup canned or jarred, quartered artichokes
  • ¼ cup walnut halves, chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Finely chop chives and add to a mortar and pestle. Add ¼ tsp of kosher salt. Grind into a paste and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, add flours, salt, and olive oil and turn on low until combined. In a small bowl whisk together eggs with water, add chive paste and slowly add to the standing mixer on low until fully mixed.
  3. Pasta dough should feel smooth and lightly tacky. Divide dough into four sections. Roll into balls and cover with plastic wrap. Flatten each into a disk and let rest for half an hour.
  4. Working with one disk of dough at a time, dust lightly with flour, roll into a rectangular shape about 1/4 inch thick. Roll the dough through setting “1” on the pasta roller twice. Change the setting to “2” and repeat on each setting twice until it reaches the desired thickness. For this recipe, on the Cuisinart machine, go to setting “3”.
  5. Move the crank to the opposite side of the pasta roller to the ‘cutting’ side on the fettuccini shape. Cut the dough by passing through and cranking in the same manner as rolling the pasta thinness. Place the cut noodles on a baking sheet and dust lightly with flour.
  6. Continue process with remaining dough. If not using all pasta immediately, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to two days.
  7. To cook pasta, boil a large pot of salted water. Place noodles in and stir so the noodles don’t stick. Cook about 2 minutes.
  8. To make final dish. Sauté olive oil and spinach together in a large pan for about 3 minutes until bright green and wilted. Whisk together vinegar and mustard. Add drained pasta with remaining ingredients and dressing. Gently toss to coat.
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