If you, like me, did some spring produce impulse-buying and now find yourself wondering what to do with your haul (or even just the wilting herbs in your crisper), then it might be time to make fresh pasta. Using herbs, greens, and other wild plants is one of the simplest ways to impart color and flavor into pasta dough. In Liguria, at the first sign of spring, you’ll find dishes laden with borage (borragine in Italian), a mild herb that tastes faintly of cucumber. In Emilia-Romagna, ortica, or stinging nettle, is a warm-weather staple, used often in ravioli fillings and to make a tagliatelle-like pasta called strettine.
Even if you haven’t tried your hand at fresh pasta, or you’re in the early stages of your pasta-making journey, here’s the great news: Pasta dough is a simple combination of flour and liquid. And the method for making it—by hand, in a stand mixer, or in a food processor—is the same, no matter the type of pasta you’re making. Which means that once you have some basic measurements and a technique—like my master pasta dough recipe—the color and flavor “pasta-bilities” (I had to!) are endless.