We’re edging slowly but surely towards spring, and to celebrate, we’ve got a pasta recipe inspired by a colourful Italian springtime tradition: the Infiorata.
Infiorata translates to ‘decorated with flowers’, and it’s about as good a description of this centuries-old tradition as you’ll find. Each spring, in towns across Italy, local people come together to create stunning flower displays that carpet the streets. Using thousands of flowers, they create vivid displays that can reach up to a mile in length.
Inspired by the colour and artistry of the Infiorata, we’ve got a recipe for our own floral masterpiece: edible flower pasta dough. To make this dough, you ‘laminate’ (sandwich) flowers and herbs in between two layers of pasta dough – before re-rolling.
Once you’ve mastered this extra step, you can elevate your fresh pasta dough into something resembling the beautiful stained glass windows of Milan’s Duomo cathedral. So what are you waiting for, let’s put some spring in your pasta-making…
Choosing your flowers and herbs
Soft, leafy herbs and the petals of fresh edible flowers are best. Stay away from woody herbs like rosemary and thyme as they could puncture your pasta dough. If you’re using edible flowers, make sure you strip off any tough stems.
For herbs, some of our favourites are: sage, parsley, mint and basil. For flowers, we like the bold colours and subtle spiciness of nasturtium or calendula petals. You can also buy selections of edible flowers online, so see what you can find.
How to make flower laminated pasta dough
Prep time: 60 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Calories per serving: 272 kcal
- 400g 00 flour (plus more for your work surface)
- 4 eggs
- A generous handful of your chosen soft herbs and edible flowers
Chef’s Tip: Pasta is always 1 egg and 100g flour per person – so it’s easy to scale up or down.
- Rolling pin
- Wooden board
- Pasta cutter or knife
- Pasta machine (optional)
Step 1: Make the pasta dough
First make your pasta dough. You can use our ultimate guide or follow Chef Roberta in the video below.
Step 2: Rolling the dough
Using a pasta machine:
- Dust your work surface with a sprinkling of plain white flour.
- Cut your dough into 4 equal parts and loosely form one section into a ball (make sure you cover the rest of the dough with cling film, or it will dry out).
- Set the pasta machine to the widest setting (setting 0) and roll the ball of pasta dough through it.
- Click the machine down to the next thinnest setting (setting 1) and continue to roll the pasta through each setting until you get to setting 4.
Using a rolling pin:
Rolling by hand follows much the same process as the machine, albeit with a little more elbow grease, or olio di gomito, as the Italians say.
- Cut your dough into 4 equal parts and loosely form one section into a ball (remember to cover the rest of the dough with cling film)
- Lightly flour your rolling pin and begin rolling the dough as you would with a pastry crust, starting in the centre and rolling away from you to the outer edge.
- Turn the dough slightly and repeat, working your way around, until the sheet of dough is about the thickness of a 2p coin.
Step 3: Adding your flowers and herbs
Follow our simple steps, or let Chef Roberta walk you through the process in this video.
- Cut your thin sheet of dough in half into two equal parts.
- Cover one half of the sheet with a damp tea towel to stop it drying out.
- Take the other half and lay it flat on your work surface.
- Arrange your fresh herbs and flowers on your sheet in whatever pattern you like.
- Carefully place the other half on top, press down to seal, and smooth out any air bubbles by rolling over the two sheets with a rolling pin. If you need, you can brush the edges with a few drops of water to help the sheets stick.
Step 4: Re-rolling your pasta
If you’re using a rolling pin:
Carefully roll over the two sheets until they’re stuck together and you have a single sheet that’s about as thick as a 2p coin.
If you’re using a pasta machine:
- Dust both sides of your laminated pasta sheet with 00 flour, then put it back through the setting you were at before you added the flowers (setting 4).
- Turn your machine up to the next, thinner setting (setting 5) and roll it through once.
- Turn your machine to the thinnest setting (setting 6), and roll your sheet through one last time. Your sheet is now ready to be cut into your shape of choice.
Step 5: Choosing the right shape for your pasta
Once you’ve made your laminated pasta sheets, you need to decide what pasta shape to make. There’s plenty of options, but we think that simpler pasta shapes are best for showcasing the stained-glass looks of this special pasta dough.
Here’s how to make three shapes that we think would work particularly well:
Step 6: Cooking the pasta
With your floral fresh pasta made, all you need to do is cook your pasta and whip up a suitable sauce and you can have a meal ready in just 5 minutes. A fresh pesto or a simple butter sauce are both good options that won’t overwhelm the delicately flavoured dough.
Don’t worry if you’ve made too much pasta, simply check out our guide to storing fresh pasta.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, add a generous amount of salt.
- Add your pasta and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until al dente (taste a piece before you remove it from the water).
- Strain the pasta and mix with your chosen sauce, then tuck in. Buon appetito!
Chef’s tip: Save ¼-cup of the pasta water to add to your sauce. The starch and salt in the pasta water adds flavour and helps thicken the sauce.
At Pasta Evangelists, we bring a taste of Italy to your kitchen. Prepared using the freshest ingredients, our gourmet pasta dishes are perfect for those looking to enjoy restaurant-quality meals, delivered to your door, and ready in under five minutes. Order from our weekly menu today, and we’ll offer you 25% off your first delivery - simply enter the code BLOG25 at checkout.