I’m taking a quick break from our sugary treats with this one. Remember my post on Fresh Egg Pasta? Well, the thing about using raw eggs in making pasta is that you can’t really store them for long periods, unless you want to eat noodles à la stomach bug. Yes, you can store them for about a couple of weeks in the freezer, but that should be the longest you store it for.
This time, I wanted to make pasta that I could air dry and keep for longer periods in the pantry. That means NO EGGS. I looked around the world-wide web and came across a recipe for whole wheat pasta. Whole wheat? Well, guess who’s got a ton of whole wheat flour lying around? Me! (Well, not really lying around. That would be messy.)
I also took the opportunity to try to make some pasta shapes other than tagliatelle. See my results below. 🙂
- 3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 to 1-1/4 cup cold water
- 1 tsp dried basil leaves
- 1 tsp salt
In a large bowl, lightly whisk together the flour, dried basil and salt to combine them. Make a well in the flour mix and pour in the cold water. Using a wooden spoon, slowly incorporate the flour into the water, mixing until you form a rough dough.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 15 minutes.
The dough will start out sticky. It will stick less as the kneading progresses. Refrain from adding to much flour during the kneading to prevent drying out the dough. Limit yourself to 1/4 cup additional flour.
Cover the dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes to relax the gluten.
On a generously floured surface, shape your dough. Dust the finished pasta with flour and lay out on a cookie sheet. Air dry overnight, preferably with a bit of ventilation.
I decided to get a bit creative when I cut and shaped my pasta. I cut my dough ball into 4 equal pieces and made 4 different shapes from them. Below are the steps for each one.
- Rolling pin
- Pizza cutter or knife
- Bench scraper or knife
Farfalle (Bow Tie)
Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/16th of an inch thick, a.k.a. really thin. After rolling out the dough, use a pizza cutter or a really sharp non-serrated knife to cut the dough into 1-inch x 2-inch rectangles.
To get the classic bow tie shape, gently pinch the rectangle in the middle section of both long sides, curling them towards the middle. Do this while pushing the middle of the rectangle from behind. Crimp the middle of the rectangle to retain the bow tie folds you just created.
Orechiette (Little Ears)
Form a log that is 3/4 inch wide from your dough. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut the log into 1/2-inch wide pieces. Lightly flour each piece.
To start, place a piece of dough cut face up on your surface. To get the scalloped “little ear” shapes, lightly flour your thumb and use it to press down on the dough piece, while simultaneously pushing your thumb away from you. You will notice that the dough will curl towards your thumb as you are pushing it away.
These will be really good with thick, chunky sauces. But give these guys more time to dry out because they’re not as thin as the other pasta shapes. The last thing you want is to get molds in your cupboard.
Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/16th of an inch thick, a.k.a. really thin. After rolling out the dough, use a pizza cutter or a really sharp non-serrated knife to cut the dough into 3-inch x 6-inch rectangles.
Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1/16th of an inch thick, a.k.a. really thin. After rolling out the dough, use a pizza cutter or a really sharp non-serrated knife to cut the dough into 1/4-inch wide strips.
I’m making different dishes with each pasta shape I made with this recipe. For now, I have my air-dried pasta just waiting in the cupboard. 🙂