Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Look what I got up to ...

A few days ago while I had a pot of spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove, I decided to try something new - homemade pasta. I am a huge pasta fan, so this was a very exciting endeavour for me.

I found a recipe for whole wheat pasta posted by Sugarlaws and that is what I used as my basis although I did a bit of improvising and adjusting based on some other recipes and suggestions I had read. So, here's what I did...


2 cups 100% whole wheat flour
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt (I used less)
Water (about 5-6 tbsp worked for me)

Place flour in a mound on a clean work surface. I used my counter and it worked really well for the mixing but I had trouble transferring the dough to a cutting board. Next time, I will try mixing on a surface that I can also cut the dough on.

Sprinkle the salt onto the flour and mix.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mound.

Crack eggs into the well. Using a fork, begin beating the eggs, gradually pulling the flour in. Mix together.

Add water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough comes together, but is not sticky. I found I needed about 5-6 tablespoons, but I added a little more later on by patting it onto the dough as I was rolling it out. ...Sorry no pictures here. I started mixing with my hands which limited my ability to snap photos. But as a sidenote, I do recommend taking off any rings you might be wearing before starting this process ... still picking dried up dough out from between my diamonds!

Once mixed, let your dough rest for 30mins to one hour (confession - I was too excited and I skipped this step which probably wasn't a good idea).

Roll dough as thin as you can, forming a rectangle.

Throughout the rolling process, stop a number of times and let the dough rest for ten minutes. Be sure to keep your surface floured so the dough doesn't stick. (I didn't skip this step - I think I let my dough rest 3 times for 10 minutes each time). You can tell it needs to rest when it starts feeling tough.

Once you get the dough to your desired thinness (which should be really really thin), you are ready to cut. I used Sugarlaws tip and rolled the dough into a jelly roll and cut it into thin slices and then unrolled them into long noodles. Next time, I think I will try sticking with the flat sheet and using my pizza cutter to slice. I think it would have the same effect and I found that I couldn't get them as thin as I wanted to this way.

Toss your noodles in flour and place on a baking pan to dry.

I didn't dry my noodles because I wasn't planning on keeping them for long term storage. If you are interested in drying your pasta, read this. I also read that you can freeze the pasta, which is what I would be more likely to do if I made a bigger batch. For my first attempt, I just made enough for our meal.

To cook, boil water with a small amount of salt, place pasta in boiling water. Boil for about 4 minutes, until pasta comes to the top and is done to your liking.

The finished product

The verdict? This pasta was absolutely delicious! WAYYYYY better than any storebought dried pasta I've ever eaten. I was afraid that the hubs wouldn't appreciate the fine culinary experience he was having because the noodles were quite thick but he was impressed and is highly interested in starting a pasta making factory...or maybe just eating more homemade pasta? The only downfall here was that without a pasta maker, I'm limited to the type and size of noodles I can make. I obviously cannot make spagettini noodles or penne or anything. The noodles I made were much more akin to fettuccine, which was fine by me. But, I have a feeling if I get used to this pasta making thing, I might have to look into a machine for more options.

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