Tag Archives: all purpose flour

Recipe – Homemade [Vegan] Spinach Pasta and Dipping Sauce

The Offspring and I are omnivores through and through, but there are some vegan recipes that are so good, even committed meat-eaters like us fall in love with them. Spinach Pasta with Dipping Sauce is one such recipe. The Offspring discovered it on Youtube, and it’s become a family favourite. No pics, sorry.

As with many of my recipes, there’s an official version, and then there’s my version. You’ll find both below. Enjoy. 🙂

Official Version

  1. Prepare one large bunch of English Spinach by washing thoroughly to make sure there are no grains of sand or grit hidden amongst the leaves.
  2. In a large soup pot, bring just enough water to the boil to cover the bottom 1/2 inch of the pot.
  3. When the water is boiling, drop the spinach leaves into the pot and quickly toss them in the boiling water. This should not take more than a minute as the spinach wilts very quickly.
  4. Take the spinach out of the water but reserve the liquid.
  5. Allow the spinach to cool before chopping.
  6. Once chopped, add 3 cups of all purpose flour [plain flour for Aussies] and 2gm of salt to the spinach and mix together by hand until it forms a dough. If it’s too dry, add some of the reserved cooking water.
  7. Let the dough rest for 20 minutes.
  8. Knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and rest in the fridge until ready to roll out.
  10. Fill a large soup pot with cold water and bring to the boil.
  11. While the water is coming to the boil, divide the dough into 4 -6 lumps and roll each lump out individually on a lightly floured board.
  12. Cut the rolled dough into strips.
  13. Lay the strips on baking/parchment paper until they’re all cut out.
  14. Once the water is boiling, drop the pasta into the water and cook for 1 – 2 minutes.
  15. Remove the strips from the boiling water and rinse in icy water.
  16. Set aside until all of the strips are cooked.

My Version

  1. Thaw a packet of frozen spinach… [During the pandemic we grew our own spinach, but once it went to seed I wasn’t happy about substituting supermarket spinach because it didn’t look great after ‘decontaminating’ for 3 days. Enter the frozen spinach. It made everything easier. 😀 ]
  2. Place the thawed spinach in the blender with just enough cold water to blend until smooth. At this point, the spinach looks like a beautiful green soup.
  3. Pour the blended spinach into a large bowl and add all purpose [plain] flour – a BIT AT A TIME – mixing as you go until the dough starts to hold together.
  4. Continue mixing and kneading lightly until the dough is soft but no longer super sticky.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes. [From here on the process is the same as for the official version.]
  6. Fill a large soup pot with cold water and bring to the boil.
  7. While the water is coming to the boil, divide the dough into 4 -6 lumps and roll each lump out individually on a lightly floured board. The thinner you can get the dough the better.
  8. Cut the rolled dough into strips – we make them quite wide, say 2 inches or so.
  9. Lay the strips on baking/parchment paper until they’re all cut out.
  10. Once the water is boiling, drop the pasta into the water and cook for 1 – 2 minutes. I let them float to the surface and then give them an extra 30 seconds.
  11. Remove the strips from the boiling water and rinse in icy water. set aside until all of the strips are cooked.

NOTE: if you make too much of the dough to cook for one meal, put the uncooked portion in a freezer bag and freeze until you want to use it again. To thaw, simply take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge overnight. It should be ready to use by the time you are ready to roll it into strips. This is the only pic in the entire post:

A ball of frozen spinach dough straight from the freezer

Dipping Sauce [quite spicy]

Ingredients:

  • 3 – 4 spring onions [they’re the long, skinny ones that look like leafy cigarettes]
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/3 of a teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 a teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 a teaspoon sugar
  • 30 mls of peanut oil
  • 60 mls of Chinese dark vinegar
  • 30 mls of soy sauce
  • 3 mls of sesame oil
  • 125 mls of water

Method

  1. Clean the spring onions and cut the whites and greens separately
  2. Peel and crush the garlic
  3. Gently cook the white part of the spring onions in the peanut oil [to infuse the flavour].
  4. Strain the infused oil and discard the whites.
  5. Pour the hot, infused oil over the dry ingredients [and garlic] and mix.
  6. Finally, add the vinegar, soy saunce, sesame oil and water.
  7. Mix and set aside until ready to serve. Can store in the fridge for 2 – 3 days.

To serve, simply place some of the spinach pasta in individual bowls and spoon over as much of the dipping sauce as you like. Chopsticks can be used but I find the pasta is a bit slippery so stabbing it with a fork is easier. 😉

cheers,
Meeks


Milk and Chocolate Shortbread

This is another Offspring special, a basic shortbread recipe with added chunks of Plaistowe dark cooking chocolate. My contribution was the milk. 😀

The photo is a little washed out because it was taken at night with a flash. The shortbread actually looks more like this:

For those who have never tasted shortbread before, it’s an odd combination of dry, crumbly texture that literally melts in your mouth. It’s very easy to make and we love it. If you want to try it yourself, the recipe follows:

Traditional Shortbread [with added chocolate]

Note: the recipe is on the back of the McKenzie’s rice flour packet, and you will need rice flour in addition to ordinary wheat flour.

Ingredients:
  • 225 gm of plain flour [all purpose flour], sifted,
  • 115 gm of rice flour, sifted
  • 115 gm of caster sugar, sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • 225 gm of unsalted, room temperature butter [do NOT use spreadable butter as the oil and/or process used changes how the butter works in recipes].
  • about 1/4 cup good quality cooking chocolate, chopped into smallish ‘chunks’. We used Plaistowe cooking chocolate because it’s actually good enough to eat on its own so long as you don’t like your chocolate very sweet.
Method

Pre-heat oven to 150 C. This is a slow oven.

Grease your baking tray [we didn’t, we lined it with baking paper instead].

Combine both flours, sugar and salt in a bowl.

Rub in butter and knead gently until a smooth dough forms.

Add the chopped chocolate and gently mix into the dough.

The recipe says to transfer the dough to a floured surface and ‘shape as required’. That basically means you can cut pretty shapes out of it. We don’t do any of that. We place the dough directly onto the baking tray and spread it out by hand or with the back of a spoon until it’s about the right ‘depth’. Shortbread should not be thick! 1/2 an inch is more than thick enough.

Prick the dough with a fork. We also ‘score’ the surface lightly with a knife. This makes cutting the cooked shortbread easier.

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until a light, golden brown. The end.

A tip from us: leave the shortbread on the tray and gently cut along the scored lines while the shortbread is still a bit soft and pliable. The shortbread will firm up as it cools. Cutting it once it’s cold and crumbly is…not very successful.

And there you have it. Another day, another treat. If you have favourite treats of your own, please link to them in comments. Oh, and if you have favourite cups or dishes to go with the treats, please link them as well.

Cheers
Meeks


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