When you go gluten free you start to miss things, like good bread (still yet to master), cakes and pasta. Now store bought gluten free pasta is expensive and hit and miss on quality. The texture can be funky and the taste God awful.
So just before Christmas, on a Sunday evening I spontaneously decided I wanted some nice fresh pasta. I found a recipe (which I have since lost), grabbed my bog standard gluten free flour, some eggs and olive oil and made pasta. Pro tip, kneading and rolling pasta is hard work. It took me hours to knead, roll and fill my ravioli. But it was worth it. So so so worth it. It tasted like the pasta I remembered. Silky, light and delicious. This was test 1, and seeing as I lost the recipe, it is completely useless to you guys and so we head to test 2.
Then come Christmas morning I was opening my gifts and there was a pasta machine! Thanks mum and dad!
It wasn’t until last weekend that I got a hankering for pasta again, and looked at my machine and thought why not. Only trouble, no bog standard flour, only some spelt or some rye, spelt it was. I googled and googled until I found a recipe (which I have pinned for future reference!) and set to work. Now I used wholemeal spelt, so my dough was a bit grainy and needed a lot of kneading, but it got that smooth silky texture eventually. I should have used the mixer and dough hooks to make it easier, oh well.
I also adjusted the recipe a bit, well a lot. I was feeding 5 so I tripled the recipe so I had some for lunch the next day. I also only added egg yolks after the initial whole egg, using 1 egg and 4 yolks in total. This gives the pasta a richer flavour if you ask me and is what I read previously about making any pasta, add yolks. I also used olive oil to help with binding so I didn’t add too many eggs, about 3 tablespoons in total.
Then the pasta machine.
It was amazing! Made the rolling and cutting ridiculously easy (once I worked out how to clamp it to the kitchen counter that is). I ended up with loads of the stuff! I dried it out for an hour or so in little piles, more like noodles in a packet than long strips of spaghetti, as I had no drying rack (a problem I have also found a solution for, bamboo skewers and a plastic bottle, genius!).
They tasted amazing, they had that wonderful nutty flavour the spelt has, which combined with the tomato sauce I made was just superb. Even my sisters boyfriend enjoyed it, and he doesn’t like anything wholemeal or a lot of vegetables, winner!
Now I took no pictures because I fail and forgot, however this weekend I am conducting another pasta experiment. One that I am going to make up as I go along with the knowledge of eggs and olive oil. It will involve bog standard flour this time, oh and the help of my 2 cousins who are 9 and 10 years old. What could go wrong? But they will be getting their hands dirty meaning I can take pictures.
Now the recipe below please don’t follow to the letter, you need to judge this yourself. Pasta dough should not stick to your hands, if it is add a bit more flour. It should end up silky (a bit grainy if using wholemeal) after plenty of kneading, it’s a good workout. Just keep adding egg yolks until you get breadcrumbs and try and form a ball of dough, still struggling add another yolk until you’ve used four yolks and one whole egg, you shouldn’t need more than that. If you only need it a little wetter add a drop of olive oil. But honestly just keep handling it, you’ll know if it isn’t feeling right.
- 360g spelt flour
- 1 whole egg
- 4 egg yolks (add one at a time until no more needed to bind together)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (add small bits at a time)
- 2 cans tinned tomatoes
- Sweet peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Large bunch of basil
To make the sauce sweat the onions in the pan until turning golden then add the tins of tomatoes with half a tin of water added as well. Tear up the basil (I’m too lazy to chop) and add that. Pop on a lid and let it simmer for 15 minutes or so. Then add the sweetcorn, sweet peppers and cherry tomatoes whilst you boil the pasta for 2-3 minutes then serve.