I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You know that pasta machine you’ve been coveting? The one that makes rolling and cutting pasta incredibly easy?
(Or, in my case, the one you looked at but figured, “I’m not going to buy it now when I have a wedding registry to put all the kitchen tools I’ve ever wanted onto”?)
Well, you don’t need it. Or, at least, you can get by without it. Like many kitchen tools that seem like necessities, you can make pretty darn good pasta without a special machine. The same way that you can make excellent (better, in fact) bread without a breadmaker, and you can core apples pretty decently without an apple corer, and you can separate eggs quite well without any sort of egg separator gadget.
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, beaten
2-3 tbsp of water
On a clean work surface, make a mound of the whole wheat pastry flour, all-purpose flour and salt. Mix together but end up with a mounded pile.
In the flour mound, make a deep well – make sure to make enough room for all the eggs and water.
Pour the water and eggs in slowly. If you go to fast, there might be a spill over it can create a massive mess!
Slowly start incorporating some flour from around the edges of the eggs. Once they are not runny, get your hands into it to form into a dough ball.
Once dough is combined, check for correct texture – it should be very slightly wet, pliable and smooth. If it’s too dry and crumbly, add a bit more water. If it’s too wet, knead in some flour – only a tbsp at a time for both!
Knead dough for about 3 minutes and then set aside on the counter to rest for at least 15 minutes. You can get the pasta water and sauce ready now.
To shape noodles, you can either use a pasta machine or a rolling pin. Read the directions on your pasta machine to see the exact procedures for making noodles. If using a rolling pin, divide dough in half and roll out each section as thin as possible. You should be able to see through it. Add about a tbsp of flour and rub over top of pasta sheet to help prevent sticking. Roll up pasta and using a sharp knife slice 1/4″ pieces.
At this point either cook pasta immediately or if you’re thinking about saving any leftovers, they can be frozen for up to 6 months or refrigerated for about 1 week (lay pasta out on a sheet try so it doesn’t stick together).
I’m always looking for more tips about homemade pasta – got any good ideas? Anybody have a good 100% whole wheat pasta recipe? Let me know!