With this spinach pici pasta recipe you can have fresh, homemade vegan pasta without a pasta maker! Pici is easy to make, egg-free, hand-rolled pasta from Tuscany that will take you back to your Play-Doh days. Here I’ve added spinach to my pici for some colour, flavour and extra iron and served it with sweet roasted Mediterranean vegetables and pesto.
I do love making pasta from scratch. I find the entire process of kneading, rolling and cutting with the pasta machine to be extremely relaxing and calming after a long day. Obviously making your own pasta allows you to get creative with the shapes and flavours. Check out this pink pasta I made a while back.
Hand rolling and cutting pasta, conversely, would seem to be an arduous task. It seems like I can never roll the pasta thin enough as it has a habit of springing back on itself. Luckily I’ve discovered spinach pici pasta – thicker than spaghetti, it doesn’t need to be rolled out so thinly, and is really easy to make by hand.
I discovered pici pasta watching the new season of Jamie Oliver’s Superfoods. He did a spinach pici pasta recipe on the first episode and since I have a short attention span I had to try it right away. I’m not sure if you can argue with Jamie Oliver but I did change several things which I would consider improvements to his recipe.
Firstly, I added semolina flour. I’ve tried making eggless pasta with just regular flour before and it didn’t cook al dente. Also, a commenter on Jamie’s recipe called it claggy (which I think is like pasty or gooey), which is how I would describe the pasta I made without egg or semolina. So a ratio of two to one with white four and semolina worked great.
Secondly, rather than pan fry the veggies, I roasted them. It makes much more sense to just pop them in the oven and leave them to roast while you’re rolling out the pasta. A time saver there. Finally, rather than parmesan as a sauce I used a vegan pesto, which went great with the spinach pici and roasted vegetables.
Vegan pesto is really easy to make – simply replace the parmesan for miso to give it that same umami you expect from pesto. I usually make up a big batch and store it in small ziplock bags in the freezer for whenever I need it.
You’re probably thinking that making spinach pici pasta from scratch is going to take a long time. Sure, it’s a little more effort that opening a bag of dried pasta a tossing it in some water, but you’ll get the satisfaction of making it yourself using fresh ingredients. Once you get the rolling technique down, it actually moves along quite quickly. If you’re making this dish to serve just two, you can easily do it in under an hour!
With this spinach pici pasta recipe you can have fresh, homemade vegan pasta without a pasta maker! Pici is easy to make, egg-free, hand-rolled pasta from Tuscany. Here I’ve added spinach to my pici and served it with sweet roasted Mediterranean vegetables and pesto.
40 minPrep Time
5 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 1 red onion, cut into wedges
- 1 red pepper, cut into chunks
- 1 small zucchini, cut into rounds
- 1 small eggplant, cut into chunks
- A handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in two
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 150 grams (5 oz) baby spinach
- 200 grams (7 oz) all-purpose flour
- 100 grams (3.5 oz) semolina flour
- Water, as necessary
- Vegan pesto
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400F°). Try to cut the vegetables more or less the same size so that they cook evenly. Put the vegetables on a lined baking sheet, toss with a couple tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix well and roast for 30 - 45 minutes, stirring once, until the vegetables are browned.
- Meanwhile, chop the spinach in a food processor and add the flours until a dough ball forms. My food processor failed at this so I finished kneading it by hand for about 10 minutes. If the dough seems dry add water, a quarter teaspoon at a time, until you have a soft, springy dough ball.
- Divide the dough into four. Take one piece and roll it out into a rectangle about 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick. Cut into strips about 5 mm (1/4 inch) wide. Take a strip and roll it between the counter and your fingers, starting from the middle of the strip and moving your hands outwards. Here’s a video to show you what I mean. Continue until all the pici is formed.
- Boil the pasta in salted water for about 5 minutes. Drain, reserving some of the pasta cooking water. Toss the pasta with a couple tablespoons of vegan pesto, a splash of the pasta cooking water and the roasted vegetables.