More pasta, please

I’m happy to announce that our pasta making adventures continue, and I have a recipe for you.  While searching for whole wheat pasta recipes for our first attempt, the mention of using alternative flours*, such as spelt and farro, caught Matthew’s eye.

We bought spelt flour from the bulk bins  of a natural food store, and we were on our way to some delicious pasta.

Recipe

  • 2 1/2 – 3 cups spelt flour (you could substitute whole wheat flour)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 t. salt

Mix flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the center.  Beat the eggs and oil in a separate bowl, then pour into the well and slowly incorporate the flour.  Add more flour as needed, 1/8 cup at a time, if the dough is too sticky.  Once the dough becomes firm, switch to using your hands (if you weren’t using them already) to knead the dough for 10 minutes.

Cover the bowl, and set the dough aside for at least 30 minutes.  Use this time to prep the rest of your meal!

After the dough rests, cut it into four chunks — you’ll repeat the next steps with each chunk.  We don’t have a pasta maker, so we use a rolling pin and our pastry cloth to roll the dough out as thinly as possible.  Roll it very thin, until it’s almost transparent (I still need some practice on this step, but Matthew’s got it down).

Now it’s time to cut your noodles.  If you used a pastry cloth to roll out the dough, carefully transfer the dough to a cutting board and cut the rolled dough into strips — ours usually end up between 1/8 and 1/4 inch wide.  We just use our pizza slicer for this, but as we continue our pasta making, we may upgrade to something with multiple wheels that would allow us to cut more than one noodle at a time.

Drape the finished noodles over the edge of a colander or large bowl to dry slightly while you work with the rest of the dough.

To cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Depending on the size of your pot, you may want to cook these in two batches.  If you rolled your pasta dough very thinly, the noodles will cook in as little as 2 minutes — you can test at this point and see if they need another minute or two.  Set a timer and don’t go anywhere, or you’ll have a soggy mess!

Drain and toss with a bit of olive oil, then top as you wish.

Topping suggestions

  • Spinach, garlic, and red bell pepper, sauteed in butter and olive oil (pictured below)
  • Sauteed mushrooms and garlic
  • Your favorite red sauce
  • Olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese — simple and delicious!

*Here are some links where you can learn more about spelt and farro, which are ancient forms of wheat.  They contain more nutrients (and flavor!) than our everyday, bred and engineered for maximum output variety of wheat:

Pasta! Pasta!

When I requested pasta with pesto as an easy weeknight meal (extra easy because we made the pesto earlier in the week), I certainly wasn’t expecting to come home to this.

Homemade whole wheat pasta made from locally grown wheat!

We’ve been talking about making our own pasta for awhile now but feared that we would not be able to get the dough thin enough without some fancy pasta maker.  The full pasta-making kit attachment for our stand mixer costs about as much as the mixer itself, not to mention that you’d be buying some tools that do just one thing — make pasta.

So Matthew found a recipe for whole wheat pasta, pulled out our lovely made-in-Missouri rolling pin, and got to work.

No pasta maker?  No problem.  Matt still wants to tweak some things, but I thoroughly enjoyed our first homemade pasta venture — whole wheat fettuccine.

Green features:

  • 99% local ingredients (flour, water, and eggs) — only the salt was non-local
  • Avoids packaging of store bought pasta