Let’s slow down and welcome spring with a homemade pasta dough with wild greens and einkorn flour. With a delicate spinach-like quality from nettle and mild garlic flavor from wild ramps, this pasta has a bright spring essence. And of course, an eye-catching ethereal mossy hue.
Spring: New Beginnings
While winter is about rest and reflection, spring is all about new beginnings. Let’s leave behind anything that no longer serves us and allow it to melt away just like the winter snow. Perhaps this is a negative thought pattern, a material item, a self-sabotaging behavior, or spending time with people who bring you down. Letting things go doesn’t mean rejecting them or pretending they never existed. Acknowledge them, but then let them melt away.
The snow that melts into the earth after winter is filled with nutrients that feeds the soil for all the new growth in spring. Similarly, the things that no longer serve us are ultimately those that spark our growth. When we acknowledge them, we can release them. And when we release them, we allow ourselves room to grow and invite more positivity into our lives.
It’s always magical to see new growth in spring. Everything is lush and green and smells of the earth and grass. While it’s easy to get wrapped up in what to plant in the garden, there’s magic popping up all around us. It’s a good reminder to be thankful for all of the goodness that’s already present in our lives. Spring gifts us nourishing plants all on her own without any manipulation from us mortal beings.
Wild greens are some of these gifts. Nettle, Lamb’s Quarters, Chickweed, Dandelion, and Ramps to name a few. And while I have nothing against buying organic greens, you might be surprised how much nourishment is in your own backyard! Better yet, these gifts cost nothing other than a bit of your time. Considering time in nature is so beneficial to our health, this is another gift in and of itself! Are you sick of my positivity yet? I can’t help myself.
Homemade Pasta Dough with Wild Greens & Einkorn Four
Because spring gives way to summer all too quickly, I wanted to preserve these green gifts. And let’s be real, I love me some homemade pasta. Especially pasta made with einkorn flour. With a delicate spinach-like quality from nettle and mild garlic flavor from wild ramps, this pasta has a bright spring essence. And of course, an eye-catching ethereal mossy hue.
Making homemade pasta is like play-dough for adults. It’s definitely a slow-living kitchen craft. But if you can find the time, it’s a playful process. And let’s not forget about the nutrients we can pack into this pasta dough!
Einkorn Flour Pasta Dough
The best part of making your own pasta is the ability to choose your ingredients. I love using einkorn flour for pasta. Einkorn is the most ancient form of wheat available. Compared to modern wheat, einkorn is more nutritious and has less gluten, making it more easily digestible. It contains more protein, fewer carbs, and has better protection from mycotoxins. For more information, check out this post. For this recipe, I used a combination of Jovial All Purpose Einkorn Flour and Jovial Whole Wheat Einkorn Flour. I’ve served it right alongside pasta made with durum wheat , and no one could tell the difference. It has beautiful texture and is easy to work with.
Pastured Eggs for Homemade Pasta
Fresh egg pasta isn’t complete without the freshest eggs! Once spring arrives, we have an abundance of eggs from our laying hens. If you’re able to get eggs from hens that are allowed to forage, you will be rewarded with more nutritious eggs. Studies have found that eggs from pastured hens are more nutritious than conventional eggs. They are higher in vitamins A, D, E and omega-3s, as well as lower in cholesterol and saturated fat. Thank you, ladies!
Nettle has one of the highest amounts of protein and iron in plant form. It’s high in calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, potassium, and boron. It has vitamins, bioflavonoids, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and chlorophyll.
Nettles are best harvested as young shoots before flowering. Using scissors, snip tops and leaves from the stem. Nettle stings, so be sure to wear gloves! The sting will dissipate once cooked. I use tongs when working with them in the kitchen (rinsing and transferring).
Although there is little comprehensive nutritional information for ramps, their profile is likely similar to leeks, scallions, and garlic. For example, they contain many of the same sulfur compounds as garlic, including allicin and kaemperol. They also contain antioxidants and nutrients like iron, choline, and folate.
Please note that ramps are considered an at-risk plant and should be harvested sustainably or not at all. Ramp festivals and public interest have taken a toll on ramp populations.
To sustainably harvest ramps, the root should be cut off and left in tact in the ground. However, the most sustainable way to harvest ramps is to cut only one leaf, leaving the bulb and second leaf to continue growing.
Also, please be sure to know the laws. In Wisconsin, it is illegal to dig ramps on state-owned lands unless you get permission through a general use permit.
A Final Note on Wild Edibles
As always, please be 100% certain you’ve properly identified a plant before harvesting and ingesting it. Also be sure that wild edibles have not been sprayed with any chemicals. Other than that, enjoy your pasta with any wild edibles you can find!
Fresh Egg Pasta Dough with Wild Greens and Einkorn Four
- 2 heaping cups washed greens I used ramp greens and nettle
- ½ cup water
- 15 ounces einkorn flour plus more for dusting (I used half all-purpose and half whole wheat)
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 3 egg yolks at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Bring water to a boil and add greens. Cook for 2–3 minutes. Drain the greens (drink the leftover water like teand wrap in paper towel or a clean kitchen towel, squeezing out excess liquid.
- Roughly chop greens and add to a bowl of a food processor. Process until only fine pieces remain. Add an egg or two if liquid is needed.
- Pour flour into a large bowl. Create a well or volcano shape. Add eggs and greens purée to the center of the well.
- Using a fork, incorporate the flour into the egg/greens mixture. Once the dough forms large clumps, begin kneading by hand. Once the loose flour has been incorporated and the dough has formed a rough ball, about 4 minutes, transfer to a board to finish kneading.
- Knead dough until smooth, adding water if too dry or flour if too wet. The consistency should be similar to fresh play dough.
- Cover dough with a damp cloth or wrap in plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes. The dough will continue to absorb flour. If too sticky after resting, incorporate more flour by sprinkling the dough with flour (I continuously sprinkle flour while rolling and cutting).
- Roll into sheets (5 on my Kitchenaidand cut into desired shape.
My your pasta dough always be wild and your life filled with new growth.