Anyone can be "the family chef". You just need good recipes and techniques! Chef Amy Fothergill shares her best recipes with you for quick and easy dishes with an emphasis on gluten-free.

Get information here about her cookbook, The Warm Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fresh Whole Wheat Pasta

I don't make pasta as often as I should but when I do, I love it. It helps to have the KitchenAid attachment but if you don't, you can roll this through a pasta roller or even with a rolling pin. I've only made semolina pasta but finally got the courage to try whole wheat. It came out just as good, if not better. I might have to try gluten free one of these days!

I served the pasta with a tomato-olive-artichoke sauce topped with feta. I will provide that recipe later. For now, let's talk about the whole wheat pasta. I didn't try all whole wheat flour but I have seen recipes for this. You might have to adjust the water or flour, though. And, remember this is a process; a good weekend project and even more fun with company, i.e. someone to help. Just give it a try; it's worth it and worth the money. Yes, the pasta roller is an investment but you can have fresh, delicious pasta for about $.75 per pound.

Whole Wheat Pasta

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 Tbl olive oil
4-5 Tbl water

1. In the bowl of a stand up mixer, place flours and salt. Mix together with a paddle attachment. In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the eggs, water and oil. Turn the mixer on, with the paddle attachment on, and the flour in the bowl. Slowly pour the water-egg-oil mixture into the flour, over the course of 30-60 seconds. Feel the dough; it should be tacky but not sticky. Add more flour if necessary or water if it feels very dry.
2. When the dough is formed, switch over to the dough hook and knead for 3-4 minutes.
3. Take dough out and form into a disk. Cover with a damp towel and leave on the counter to rest for at least 30 minutes.
4. Using a knife or pastry scraper, cut the dough into 8 wedges. Working with one wedge at a time, shape into a rectangle and place through the roller at the lowest setting. Fold the dough over once and run it through a few times.
5. Change the setting to 2. Run it through a few times. Repeat with #4 and #5 setting, depending upon how thin you want it.
6. Once you have the sheets done, use the cutting attachment to make either linguine or fettucine. You can also use it for lasagna or cut your own wide noodles for pappardelle. Make sure to keep the pasta well floured so it doesn't stick. Use a pasta drying rack (I love this one) to let pasta dry out while you are rolling and cutting. It helps to have another person for this part.
7. When you are ready to cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 Tbl, yes a Tbl, of salt to the water. Add the pasta all at once, using a spaghetti fork to stir. You don't have to add oil to pasta water; you just have to make sure you have enough water. That is what keeps it from sticking.
8. Cook the pasta 2-3 minutes. Drain and serve immediately. This recipe will make enough pasta for 8 servings. You can cook part of it and save the rest for another day. Keep refrigerated or freeze.
9. Mangia!


Ali said...

Thanks for the writeup and pictures.

Does the pasta have to rest/dry after its made or can you just cook it directly?

The Family Chef said...

You can cook it right away but the chance of it sticking will decrease if it's drier. If you can, I would suggest waiting at least 20 minutes from when the last piece of pasta is cut. By that time, the other pieces will be dry enough. If you boil the water when you are done cutting the pasta (remember, a big pot filled 3/4 water is always best), the timing should be perfect.

Ali said...

A few more Q's.
1. For short pasta's how do i let it dry/rest without it sticking.

2. I am making a tomato based sauce, any recommendations on putting herbs in the pasta?

3. Do you put any salt and/or oil in the boiling water when cooking fresh pasta?
Thanks for the quick replies!

The Family Chef said...

You are welcome. No problem! Here you go:

1. For short pasta's how do i let it dry/rest without it sticking.
-On the counter; make sure there is plenty of space and put flour down before.

2. I am making a tomato based sauce, any recommendations on putting herbs in the pasta?
-I posted a blog entry called "Weeknight Tomato Sauce". You can search in the top left corner of the blog. It's simple and delicious. For the basil, you can buy chopped basil some times in the produce section of your grocery store. Keep that in the freezer and use about 1 tsp.

3. Do you put any salt and/or oil in the boiling water when cooking fresh pasta?
-You don't need oil; just plenty of water and a good amount of salt when it comes to a boil. Check step #7.

Ali said...

Thanks for you help.

What I meant was putting herbs in the actual pasta. Not the sauce.

The Family Chef said...

Sorry about that! I personally prefer a plain pasta with tomato sauce; otherwise the flavors can compete. You might want to try an herbed pasta with a cream or butter sauce. You can use fresh herbs which would taste better as well. Some times dried herbs can get caught when the pasta is being pushed out. Hope that helps.