Pea and Mint "Paglia e Fieno" (Straw & Hay Tagliatelle)
For the pasta doughs...
Paglia e fieno is a beautiful combination of spinach and egg tagliatelle, cut together into long strands. Check out this post for how to make a classic egg pasta dough; for the green pasta dough, I used a combination of peas and spinach, as follows:
Blanch ~½ cup fresh or frozen spring peas and ~½ cup (4 ounces/a couple of large handfuls) fresh or frozen spinach in lightly salted boiling water until vibrant, about 20 seconds. Immediately drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Transfer to a blender and add just enough water, about ¼ cup, to blend the greens into a very smooth purée. This yields about 150 grams total.
For 250 grams of flour—I used 225 grams '00' and 25 grams semola rimacinata for both doughs—you'll need about 1 whole egg, 1 egg yolk, and 70 grams (~⅓ cup) of the green purée, for a total of 142 grams liquid. Mix the eggs and purée together and make the dough according to your preferred method, either by hand or in a food processor. Any leftover purée can be frozen in an airtight container for future use.
Knead each dough vigorously until smooth and elastic, about 10-12 minutes, and wrap tightly. Allow to rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature.
Important! Between the two doughs, you'll have enough pasta to serve 4-6 people. See storage notes below on freezing extras, as well as the note about increasing the amount of sauce depending on how much pasta you're making.
For the paglia e fieno...
1. Cut off a third of one dough and roll it into a thin sheet, about setting 6 on the Marcato Atlas 150 and the KitchenAid attachment, or by hand. Repeat the process with the other dough so you have two similarly sized pasta sheets.
2. Allow the surface of each sheet to dry briefly, about 5-10 minutes, on both sides. Dust both sides with a light layer of '00' flour to prevent sticking.
3. Layer the two sheets on top of each other and roll into a wide, somewhat loose, log.
4. With a sharp knife, cut the log into strips ~¼-inch wide. Unravel the tagliatelle and lay them flat on a semolina-floured tray, not overlapping, so they dry a bit more. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.
For longer term storage, once the tagliatelle have dried out a bit, dust with a bit of semolina flour and form them into small nests by wrapping the strands around the outside of your hand into a loose spiral. Freeze the nests on a flat baking tray until solid, about an hour, then transfer to a freezer-safe bag. Cook straight from frozen, and use tongs to separate the strands once they're in the boiling water for about 10-20 seconds.
For the sauce...
Important note: this sauce serves 2-4, about half of the amount of pasta this recipe makes, so increase these measurements, particularly for the cream and pasta water, if serving 4-6 people.
4 garlic cloves
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
~1 cup (5 ounces) frozen peas
1 bunch of mint, leaves only, torn into large pieces
½ cup heavy cream
A very generous grating of parmigiano reggiano
~½ cup+ pasta water
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Mince the garlic and zest the lemon. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and zest and cook briefly until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the cream and simmer briefly on medium-low heat until slightly thickened.
Salt the pasta water and add the pasta. Stir with tongs to separate the strands. The pasta will cook for about 3 minutes if fresh, but taste it regularly for preferred doneness.
While the pasta cooks, add a generous grating of parmigiano to the sauce and stir to combine. Follow with a couple of small ladles of pasta water and simmer briefly until you've reached desired saucy consistency (add more pasta water if it gets too thick). Add the frozen peas and the juice of half of the lemon and stir to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.
Transfer the pasta directly to the pan with the sauce, followed by another grating of parmigiano if desired. Toss quickly and vigorously to coat, adding the mint leaves at the last moment, and serve immediately. Enjoy!