How to Make Marbled Pasta Dough
Recipe and photos by Emilie Pullar
I think successful things in the kitchen are often happy accidents, I mean surely butter came about because someone just churned some milk for too long right?!
That’s how I feel about this marbled pasta dough.
I have to admit that with pasta scraps sometimes I am lazy and throw them away. But one particular afternoon I had some different colored doughs, so as a bit of fun, at the end of the pasta session I rolled the scraps together to see what would happen. Because the dough gets pressed so hard through the roller the two colors merged and marbled together so perfectly. What I love most about this method is not knowing how it is going to look – it’s a surprise every time.
Here I am giving instructions for a green marbled dough, made with spinach, but I have successfully used beetroot and squid ink too, so feel free to just use the same technique and do any color you like. I suggest using a higher ratio of the non-colored dough color because, as you’ll see, the green can overpower the finished look. This is why there is a smaller quantity of the green dough in this recipe.
To create this marbled look, you effectively roll dough out and cut or tear the sheets into ‘scraps’ to then roll together through a pasta machine. There is no right or wrong way to do it, just have some fun. Shape the pasta however you like, it will work for anything but my preference is a handkerchief pasta so you really let the pattern shine. The ratio of flours in the spinach dough might seem strange but I find spinach doughs are super elastic making them slightly trickier to handle, so adding in more semola gives it some structure.
Marbled Pasta Dough
Prep time: 2 Hours
Cook time: 0 Minute
Brass fluted pasta wheel or adjustable pasta cutter (optional)
For the non-colored pasta dough:
1 batch of fresh egg pasta dough
For the spinach pasta dough:
150 grams fresh spinach (I use big bunches, not baby spinach)
125 grams 00 flour
125 grams semola flour (aka semolina rimacinata)
70 grams eggs (about 1 whole egg and 1 yolk)
To prepare the pasta doughs:
Make the fresh egg pasta dough and then the spinach dough (instructions below) and rest both for a minimum of 30 minutes (but I do recommend at least an hour at room temp).
Blanch the spinach in boiling water for 20 seconds then immediately drain and run under cold water. Transfer to a blender, adding enough water to get it blending freely, and blend until smooth. Alternatively, blend in a bowl with a stick blender. You’ll need to add up to a ¼ cup of water to get a nice smooth puree.
Mix 70 grams of the spinach puree with the eggs and make the dough as you normally would an all egg dough with the egg/spinach mixture in the well. Freeze the remainder of the puree to use another time.
To form the marbled pasta:
Once both doughs have rested, divide each into quarters and work a quarter at a time. Roll the non-colored dough quarter through your roller as you normally would until you get a 1-mm thick sheet (I used setting 6 on a Kitchen Aid roller, the equivalent to setting 6 on a Marcato Atlas 150 machine). Pop the rolled sheet to the side, resting under a damp tea towel if you are worried it will dry out. Roll the green dough quarter to the same thickness.
Rip each sheet apart however you like! Use your hands or a knife to create different shapes and then bring all the scraps together into a ball trying to alternate the colors as you bring it together.
Squeeze the ball nice and tight then flatten with a rolling pin to be able to roll through your roller.
Roll through each setting of your roller as normal but don’t worry about folding the sheets at the start as you have already worked the dough enough. It is so fun seeing the pattern emerge and every sheet you do will be different!
Either cut into wide pappardelle or handkerchief (I did 15cm x 15cm squares) and use a fluted pasta wheel to create pretty edges on two or all of the sides.
Repeat for the remaining dough quarters until all the dough has been used.
Emilie Pullar is the home cook behind Burnt Butter Table. Based in Auckland, New Zealand Emilie runs her own clothing label by day but turns into a pasta chef at night. Happiest when kneading pasta dough and browning butter of course!