Tag Archives: spinach

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


Spinach sauce with savoury French Toast – a recipe

This is a very Hungarian meal and may not be to everyone’s liking but Mum made it for me all through my childhood and I still make it for The Offspring [and myself].

Spinach sauce

1 large bunch of English spinach

2 cloves of garlic

3 tablespoons of plain [all purpose?] flour

2 tablespoon of Peanut or olive oil

milk

Method

Begin by stripping the spinach leaves off the stalks and washing them AT LEAST 3 times. This is the part I dislike because it takes time and patience but if you don’t get all the minute bits of grit or sand or whatever it is off the spinach leaves your sauce will crunch between your teeth – most unpleasant!

Once the spinach is clean put a small amount of water to boil in the bottom of a pot large enough to hold all the spinach. When the water is boiling throw the spinach into the pot, cover and let the spinach wilt for no more than 1 minute. As soon as the spinach collapses into a green ball remove from heat, strain through a colander and refresh with a quick rinse under cold water. Let it drain.

While the spinach is draining peel the garlic and mash it with a heavy knife. I find the easiest way to do this is to use the back of the knife to scrape away at the cloves until they break down into a paste. Garlic presses are no good because you end up with small bits of garlic that can be rather overpowering when you bite on them.

Once the garlic is mashed make a white roux with the oil and flour in a pot large enough to hold the finished spinach sauce.  To make the roux stir the flour and oil together over a gentle heat and keep stirring for about 2 minutes until the flour cooks. Do NOT let it go brown!

Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the mashed garlic. The roux can now sit for a little while.

Put the strained spinach onto a wooden chopping board and chop until very fine.

Add the chopped spinach to the roux and combine well until there are no lumps of white showing.

The next bit is a little hard to quantify but pour in at least 1 cup of cold milk and immediately stir into the spinach mixture. At this stage the sauce should be quite ‘wet’. If it looks too thick add a little more milk then return the pot to the heat and allow the sauce to come to a simmer. You must keep stirring [with a wooden spoon] until the sauce is completely cooked. Depending on quantities this could take ten minutes.

As the sauce simmers it will start to thicken and the spinach will ‘bleed’ that lovely green colour into the milk. The sauce is done when it has a nice overall green colour and has thickened to the point where you could almost eat it with a fork – so not runny but not like porridge either. Set aside while you make the french toast.

French Toast

The Hungarian version of french toast is called ‘Bundás kenyér’ and translates as ‘fur coated bread’ [bunda means fur coat. Don’t ask]. Each slice should be golden brown, slightly crunchy and sprinkled with salt, not sugar!

4 whole eggs

6 slices of bread – stale or fresh. [I allow roughly 1 egg to 1.5 slices of bread, depending on the size of the slices]

peanut oil for frying – should cover the bottom of the frying pan with a bit to spare but remember, you are not deep frying here.

Method

I use a heavy cast iron frying pan so it needs to be heated ahead of time while I prepare the rest of the ingredients. Adjust to suit your own pan.

While the oil and pan are heating, crack the eggs into a bowl and beat lightly with a fork – just enough to mix the white and the yolk.

Cut each slice of bread in half and arrange bread and egg mix near the frying pan. Place a serving plate within reach of the pan.

Once the oil is hot [it should be radiating heat but not quite smoking] dip a piece of bread into the egg, flip it with a fork and immediately lift out of the egg. Let the excess egg drip back into the bowl and then gently place the bread into the hot oil.

[Note : you have to be quick getting the bread into and out of the egg because you don’t want it to get soggy. If it gets soggy it will not fry to a crisp finish.]

Fry the bread in batches until the bottoms go a nice golden colour. Turn, fry the other side and then place onto the serving plate. You can drain the bread on kitchen towel if you want but I rarely bother.

Once the bread is all done, sprinkle with a little salt and it is ready to serve. Reheat the spinach just a little bit and stir the slight ‘crust’ on top until it reintegrates with the sauce.

To serve

Arrange slices of golden bread in a fan shape on a plate and pour half a ladle of spinach sauce next to the bread. It should look rather pretty. Then spoon some of the sauce onto the bread and eat the two together to get the combination of smooth, garlicky sauce and crisp, eggy bread. Enjoy!


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