Monday, July 14, 2008

Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta

There's a pasta machine with my name on it. It's in storage at my parents' house, along with the table that it goes with. (Pasta machines don't usually require special tables, but this is an old one, with a clamp on it, and the clamp fits neither my table nor the one my parents currently have in their kitchen.)

My mom made homemade pasta with that pasta machine when I was growing up. My role was to catch the noodles as they came out of the pasta machine, and carry them over to a rack to dry. I had assumed that I would not make my own pasta again until I lived in a place large enough for the table that fits the pasta machine's clamp. But, after reading about making homemade pasta without a machine at Sugarlaws and in Cooking Light, I decided to attempt machine-less pasta.

I followed the Cooking Light recipe this time, because I liked the idea of a whole wheat blend and the idea of using olive oil in the dough. My only "stray" was to assemble the dough by hand (or, by whisk and wooden spoon) -- it didn't seem necessary to fire up (or clean) the food processor for this one.

After the dough has set for a bit, it is rolled out, folded and cut by hand with a knife. While I like the chunkiness of hand-cut noodles, it is a bit tricky to keep the noodles separate. With a pasta machine, it's easy to keep the noodles from clumping because the ribbons of dough are caught as they come of of the machine, and can easily be kept separate after that. When using the hand-cut method, the noodles must be unfolded after they are cut - a task which is trickier than it sounds because the noodles are very very sticky.

Partway through the process, I started sprinkling flour on top of each layer of dough as I folded it to be cut, which helped a lot. In the end, I had half clumpy and poorly separated noodles, and half lovely ribbons. (See the photo up top!)

No matter how it looks, homemade pasta tastes great. It's also amazing how much more quickly it cooks than the dry stuff (less than two minutes)!


I Can't Keep Up said...

I have made pasta sans machine too. I even froze it and ate it later. Also packaged it and put it with a jar of homemade sauce a holiday gift. That was such a fun project!

Beatrice said...

How did you package the homemade pasta? Did you dry it (or freeze it) before gifting it?

It was fun to make and actually took a lot less time than I'd expected.


I Can't Keep Up said...

I wrapped the pasta around parchment paper and then put it in a ziploc bag. Also made fancy labels for it on nice cardstock and stapled over the top of the bag.

Katrina said...

Do you think the recipe you have would work with quinoa flour? I am inspired by this post to try to make my own pasta!

Beatrice said...

Hi, Kat!

I haven't yet used quinoa flour, so I'm afraid I'm not much help on this issue. I did a google search for "gluten free homemade pasta recipes," and found several, some of which seemed similar to the recipe I used here (except they used a gluten free flour blend). None of them specifically referenced quinoa flour, but that doesn't mean it won't work. Let me know how it goes...

Good to hear from you,


Anonymous said...

I would like to offer my experience for packaging frozen foods. I bought a vacuum sealer. I have found that meats and fresh fruits loose moisture or natural juice if vacuum packed "fresh". But if frozen first and then placed in the bags to be sealed, the foods are vacuum packed with all of their natural juices. Dine With Donna

Beatrice said...

Donna's blog can be found here.