Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta - No Machine Required
I've been wanting to make my own pasta for a while, but throughout the first trimester, The Wife had an aversion to pasta of any kind. Then I had a dinner last week and came home to find she had actually made pasta for herself.
Maybe pasta could once again grace our kitchen. One a lazy and rainy Saturday afternoon I began scouring the web and came across this recipe, and the blog Sugar Laws by searching wheat pasta on Tastespotting. The Wife's sister works in fashion in Manhattan, so I was intrigued by the blog and the recipe looked exactly like what I was looking for. I needed a recipe that didn't require a pasta machine and looked simple enough. This was it.
The recipe couldn't be simpler. Flour, salt and water. With this recipe I was able to make the most delicate, soft and light pasta I've ever had - and it garnered The Wife's approval.
2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 eggs - I added one extra egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon of salt - I was closer to a whole teaspoon
Water as needed.
Forget trying to do this without making a mess. Just throw that idea out the window. Your hands will get doughy, your counters will get messy. But it will be worth it.
Place your flour on the counter, and make a well in the middle large enough to hold the eggs.
Using your fingers, break the yolks and start swirling the eggs around the well. With your other hand, start spooning in more and more flour. Slowly the dough will start to form, until you've gone from mixing to kneading. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until your dough is no longer sticky. Now - I should let you know this is not your typical bread dough. It will not be soft and fluffy, it will be stiff and hard and at times you will feel like you are kneading a brick, but it will come around towards the end. It will never be bread dough soft, but it will start to show a little elasticity.
Continue to knead the dough for about 5 minutes - I found that our KitchenAid stand mixer and her trusty dough hook were no match for this dough. I had to do it by hand.
After kneading, let the dough rest for about 30 minutes. After resting, cut the dough in half and you can work with a smaller more manageable amount.
Lightly flour your counter top and begin the rolling process. If you've kneaded properly, your dough won't shrink back after each roll, and the glutens will have developed enough that you'll be able to get paper thin dough with no holes.
Roll your dough as thin as you would like your noodles.
At this point there are several ways you can go about slicing your noodles. I preferred (much to The Wife's dismay) the pizza roller on the counter style. However, you could also roll your dough up like a jelly roll and cut into spirals.
Lightly toss your noodles with flour to keep them from sticking. You can cook immediately or let dry.
Freshly made pasta will cook much faster than store bought pasta - it will only need between 2-4 minutes. You'll know it's ready because it will start to float.
I tossed mine with caramelized red onion, roasted garlic and butter - and shaved Parmesan over top and tossed to combine.
I actually found that this recipe made more than enough for two separate servings, and put half of the pasta dough in the fridge for another day. The noodles from just half were more than enough for two people.