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Straw & Hay Pasta



I heard from an awful lot of you after I posted "Making Fresh Pasta" last month. Many of you tried making fresh pasta for the first time and I was so happy about that.  I think the video that was in the post showed how easy it was and some of you got out your pasta rollers for the first time.  

As promised, here is a recipe that uses both spinach pasta and plain pasta.  It's a classic Italian dish called "Straw and Hay".  I always love combining two different colored pastas in a dish.  It's delicious with the salty prosciutto, sweet peas and cheese.  

Straw and Hay Pasta


for a printable recipe, click here

makes about 14 ounces of fresh pasta.  


for the pasta doughs: 

  • 2 ounces fresh spinach
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups flour

for the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 ounces prosciutto, diced
  • 3/4 cups frozen peas
  • 1-1/2 cups Half-and-Half
  • fresh thyme
  • freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese 




Make the pastas

For the spinach pasta: Steam the spinach lightly and squeeze out all of the water in a towel.  Chop very finely.  

Place 3/4 cup of flour on counter and create a well.  Break one egg into the well and whisk with a fork.  Add spinach and whisk into the egg well.  Slowly start bringing in the flour with the fork and mix until most of the flour is incorporated.  Use a pastry scraper to help scrape up the dough.  Add more flour, a little at a time and knead until a nice dough forms that is not too sticky.  Wrap in floured plastic wrap and and let rest on the counter for at least 20 minutes.

For the plain pasta:  Repeat recipe above, omitting the spinach.  The plain pasta will take a little less flour than the spinach pasta.  Just add enough flour to make a nice dough that is not too sticky and not too dry. 

After the doughs have rested, run the dough through pasta rollers until you achieve your desired thickness and let the pasta sheets dry a little on a floured countertop, turning once *.  Flour the sheets well and run through the fettuccine cutters on your pasta machine.  Lay the pasta on a sheet pan and toss gently with flour. Refrigerate, covered with plastic wrap, if you are not immediately cooking them.   When you do cook them, boil them for only about a minute and a half.  Drain well before you toss with this sauce. 

Make the sauce

In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in pan and add prosciutto and peas.  Warm gently in the olive oil. Add the half-n-half, thyme and pepper and simmer gently for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.  Adjust seasoning for salt and pepper to taste. 

Toss with freshly cooked, drained pasta. 

* For more details and a video on making fresh pasta, see my post on "Making Fresh Pasta"

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Reader Comments (12)

Marvelous recipe! Love the fresh pasta!

December 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

sounds lovely, but what is half and half?? I'm from Holland (Europe).

December 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMonique van der Hoeven

From The Italian Dish:

Monique: Half and half is a dairy product here in the U.S. that is simply half whole milk and half cream. You can make up this combination yourself easily. It's just a little lighter than using all cream.

December 4, 2011 | Registered Commenter[Elaine]

Homemade pasta is on my short list of "must accomplish" tasks before 2011 becomes 2012… you may have just inspired me to S or get off the P with this recipe. Delicious!

December 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMeister @ The Nervous Cook

Your homemade pasta recipe is crazy good. My family and I went to Italy last spring while we were living in Germany. My mom and I took a cooking class while in rome and made pasta among other things. When we got back from vacation I tried your recipe and it was right on but much easier. I am excited to try this recipe and know my three little kiddos will love it!! Thank you! Oh, I have also tried several of your other recipes on this site and they have not let me down!

December 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristie

I do adore this dish and have never made my own spinach pasta. Now that the outdoors no longer calls to me - I have more time inside (a blessing and a curse) and this will brighten my day! You are an inspiration!

December 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterClaudia

This looks delicious, I'm going to try it with my son who loves pasta of any kind.

December 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRhianna

I love how everything looks so fresh... :)

December 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJesica @ Pencil Kitchen

A very appetizing recipe and a wonderful presentation. Congratulations for the recipe and your blog. See you soon.

December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVeronique Eat Well 101

Made this tonight--my first time making fresh pasta and it was fabulous! I found the flour at a little local Italian deli nearby and used a pasta roller a friend rescued for me from her grandmothers basement. I love to cook, but have never had a desire to try my hand at homemade pasta until I watched your video that made it look so simple. I LOVED making it--the dough is lovely to work with and I had so much fun rolling it out and cutting it. So rewarding! Thank you for presenting something that seemed so difficult to me in such a simple was so that I could learn it and have it to enjoy!

December 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

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January 2, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterchoosing

hi I have received a pasta making set for Christmas, i was reading you pasta making instructions , i must say they look very easy, so looking forward to trying this. I would like to ask if you have a recipe for making chili pepper pasta , we had found some spaghetti noodles in a local store that were made with chili pepper spice in them , so i was hoping to find a recipe for making my own as the noodles we had bought are no longer available
thanks for your help

December 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSandy

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