Hand-rolled gemelli with baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts and dates

A simple, fresh pasta and sauce sauteed in olive oil with garlic and herbs, garnished with scallions and nutritional yeast. Gemelli is a fairly forgiving pasta, and is easy to prepare with a little practice.


For the pasta
1 1/2 cups semolina flour
1T dried Italian herbs, rubbed
1/2 cup water (room temperature)
1T olive oil
2 liters water
1t coarse sea salt

For the sauce
2T and 1/2T cooking oil, separated
1/4t coarse sea salt
2 scallions, minced (reserve 2-3″ scallion green for garnish)
1T dried Italian herbs, rubbed
1T minced garlic
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (dehydrated, not the kind packed in oil)
2T walnuts, chopped
2 soft dates, pitted and chopped (about 2-3T chopped)
3 cups packed baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste


Mix the herbs and the flour.
Mix the oil and water.
Mix the wet and the dry ingredients.
Knead for 2 to 3 minutes until the dough is smooth and consistency.
Cover and let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes, but longer than 1 hour.
Roll out on a floured board until in a rectangle until the dough is 1/8″
Slice width-wise in 1/4″ lines.
Roll the pasta on the board, loop in half (end to end), close the ends with a pinch, and then twist by rolling the folded pasta away from you with the right hand and toward you with the left.
Repeat until all the dough has been rolled.
In a large pan, bring the water and sea salt to a rolling boil.
Dust the strands of past lightly with semolina flour.
Then slice the strands in 1 1/2″ slices to make the gemelli.
Add the gemelli to the boiling water and stir lightly.
Boil the pasta for 3-5 minutes or until the gemelli are floating.
While the pasta cooks, start the sauce.
Bring 2T oil and coarse sea salt to heat on medium high.
Add the scallions and dried herbs and saute for 1 minute.
Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes and 1/4 cup of hte pasta water to the pan.
Drain and rinse the pasta, and let cool and dry for 2 minutes.
Saute for another 2 minutes, and then add the walnuts and dates.
Add the pasta and the spinach and toss to combine.
Saute for another 2 minutes.
Remove from heat, drizzle with the 1/2T oil remaining.toss with the nutritional yeast.
Season to taste and serve.


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