1.22.2008

Whole Wheat Pasta - Part 1, The Dough

The day before the day before xmas, the wife, kid and I were a mighty ravioli machine. I'd roll pasta, the wife made the cheese filling and she and Frankie filled the pasta, gently sculpting them closed. For some reason, I loved rolling the dough this year. I was in the zone. This flour and eggs product is challenging to prescribe quantitatively. I once tried making pasta dough in a bread machine and destroyed it. It can be tough stuff.

E.g., I start with 2C of flour and 1/2 t salt and add 2 eggs and 2 t olive oil. Forming a well in the middle of the flour, the eggs are beaten lightly and flour is incorporated as much as the beaten eggs will allow to obtain a loose clay-like consistency (this'll make about 1 lb hydrated pasta, ca. 4 servings). Leave the remaining flour incorporation and kneading until the dough gets rolled out.

whole wheat pasta, part 1

Tonight's experiment stems from our recent conversion to whole wheat pasta (dried). We love it. It has a bit more depth of flavor and the kid likes it as well. I think food science has improved this product immensely in recent years. It's also about 2.5 times the fiber per serving. Win-win.

How about fresh whole wheat pasta? The concept's been stuck in my head since xmas eve. I have a container of flour composed of equal weights spelt, rye and whole wheat flour. I use the mixture in grainy breads. It's handy. 1 C of this grainy mixture was combined with 1 C unbleached white, 1/2 t salt and 1/4 C flax seeds (flax seeds are yummy - too much for pasta? - we'll find out) and mixed. Here's the mixture with a couple eggs broken in to it (plus a squirt of evoo).

I whipped the eggs lightly and slowly incorporated the flour mixture, then folded the soft clay-like lump with my trusty spackle knife until it wasn't too sticky, incorporating as much flour as I needed to keep it from being sticky, but soft. I used another egg on the remainder of the flour. The combined mass was split into 3 balls, flattened and put in the fridge.

whole wheat pasta, part 2

The dough only needs to rest about 30 minutes before rolling, but it's stable for days.

I whipped these up in about 15 minutes with no mechanical equipment. I have pasta rollers and attachments for the Kitchen Aid, etc. I've found the more complicated the setting is to get something done in the kitchen, the more likely I'll never do it.

So, toss some flour on the counter, whip some eggs in the middle and start whisking and kneading.

Next, I roll it out paper thin and cut it into noodles. Stay tuned for the mysterious whole wheat/flax seed pasta.

1 comment:

Clam said...

Can't wait!