Fresh whole wheat pasta recipe

STEPS 5 INGREDIENTS 4 TIME 25 MINS

If you love succulent fresh pasta but don't want to miss out on some of nature's best nutrients, this fresh whole wheat pasta recipe is definitely one you should try.

Did you know that the process used to make white flour removes most of its healthy components? Take vitamin E say (it's good for the bones and immune system*): white flour has 95% less vitamin E than natural brown or whole wheat/wholemeal flour. The exact same stat is true also of fiber, with iron, viatmin B-6 and calcium not far behind.

whole wheat pasta

Similarly impressive stats apply to all kinds of other biological goodies, from Vitamin B-1 to protein and many more**. All of which begs the question - if you love pasta and like to give your body the best, why wouldn't you include as much whole wheat in there as possible?

The whole wheat pasta recipe below uses 50% brown flour and 50% white, the reason being that were it all made from the grainier, sturdier brown stuff, you'd have one heck of a time folding and rolling it. This way the white gives it flexibility, while the brown flour jams in all the nutrituous good stuff. (This recipe also features more eggs than I usually use, which also helps with its flexibility.)

And the other good news? The process of making it is really quite simple. Why of course!

Tip: if you have a pasta machine, I recommend using it in place of Step 5's rolling (simply roll your pasta a little by hand to start, then when it will fit, let your big bad machine rollers take the strain!).

* Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_E
** Reference: Food Revolution, The: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World, John Robbins, Conari Press 2001, ISBN: 978-1-57324-487-9

Serves 4

Ingredients:

250g/8.8oz whole wheat flour

250g/8.8oz general purpose/plain white flour (ideally superfine '00' double zero type)

6 eggs

Salt

STEP 1 - First, mix your two flours well in a mixing bowl.

- Tip out this half-and-half flour mix onto a clean work surface or pastry/pasta mat.

- Use your (clean) hands to form this flour into a large bowl shape.

- Crack the eggs into the center of the bowl and cover each orange yolk with a sprinkling of salt.

wholemeal pasta

STEP 2 - Use a flattened fork to whip this central mixture into a smooth paste.

- Be sure to make sure there are no sections of orange yolk remaining.

whole meal pasta recipe

- When smooth, drop in a few handfuls of excess flour from the bowl's walls. Whip some more. Do this once or twice until the mixture thickens.

- Then use the side of your hand to thin the walls - moving excess flour to one side (we will use this for flouring the worktop/mat later) until the walls are just 1cm/half-inch thick.

STEP 3 - Now the messy/fun bit!

- Push the walls into the center and use your fingers/hands to mix the flour and liquid together.

- Move it around until it begins to form a dough (keep sprinkling over a little extra flour if it continually sticks to your hands).

wholemeal pasta recipe

- When you can form a rough dough ball without it completely sticking to your hands, you're ready to fold (below)!

STEP 4 - With your worktop liberally floured first, flatten this dough ball firmly with the palm of your hand.

- Now fold it back over itself in half, flatten again and turn 90-degrees.

- Repeat this process for at least 5 minutes - this adds tiny air bubbles into the dough.

whole wheat pasta

- When you can cut the dough ball in half and see lots of these tiny air bubbles, your dough is ready.

- Form it back into a ball and leave covered for 5 minutes to breathe.

STEP 5 - With your surface again floured, flatten the dough ball once more with your hands, then start rolling it with a rolling pin.

- Roll it into a rough circle, turning it around as you go. You can flip it every so often too.

make whole wheat pasta

- You are aiming to make this pasta dough an average of 1-2mm thick (or as thin as possible if making ravioli/pasta parcels).

- Expect to roll it for around 10 minutes or so. At first the dough will keep springing back, but after a few minutes it will lose its attitude!

Tip: if you love fresh pasta but want to reduce this somewhat pesky rolling process, I heartily recommend grabbing a pasta machine. With one of these, you only need to roll your dough for 30 seconds until you can chop off a section thin enough to fit through your machine's rollers at their widest setting. This easily saves you a few minutes, plus you usually get long pasta cutters as standard too.

whole wheat pasta

Done - you made whole wheat pasta!

Now all that remains is to chop your pasta shapes...

• Want to make short pasta? Try the guides on this page.

• To make long tagliatelle (shown below):

- Take your flattened pasta and fold it over itself into one folded strip approximately 7-8cm/3-4 inches wide.

- Starting from one end, cut this into 1cm/half-inch ribbons.

- Open our these ribbons and consider chopping them in half if very long.

- Store your tagliatelle on a lightly floured shape until cooking (boil in lots of salted water until they rise, then a minute or two more).

whole wheat pasta

And served with a nice primavera sauce (see pic at top of page)...



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