Eggless homemade pasta dough: using wholemeal flour
Time: prep. 20 mins
cook. 2-5 mins
rest min 30 mins
Difficulty: easy (manual pasta maker)
Yields: 2-3 portions
Cost : very low
What makes the holidays special?
The expensive gifts?
Overnight stays in 5-star hotels?
Lunches in starred restaurants?
Or time spent with loved ones accumulating indelible memories?
I am for the last option and in that sense I maintain that more than eating together, it is the preparation of the food itself that brings people together, making the atmosphere more joyful and warm.
Starting from this statement, today I have decided to share with you my recipe for eggless homemade pasta dough: however, there are also other, more solid reasons.
Preparing an eggless homemade pasta dough:
– remains a very inclusive activity, as both kids and adults can help in the preparation;
– it is easy to prepare (all right, for those who have a pasta maker; or those who have the knack of rolling out pasta by hand)
– the result is much more satisfying than the store-bought product;
– in this way, plastic packaging is eliminated;
– the quality of the food increases dramatically;
– choosing quality flour (organic, stone-ground and from ancient grains) also eliminates glyphosate residues;
WHY AND HOW TO REDUCE GLYPHOSATE AND PLASTIC FROM OUR GROCERY SHOPPING WITH AWARENESS
– shopping becomes more budget-friendly, especially if you have special preferences/needs;
– especially if you live abroad or on a boat that takes you far from civilization, learning how to make excellent fresh pasta without eggs becomes a must; especially if you are a lover or you love someone who is;
– being able to turn a mixture of simple flour and water into something to lick your lips, will make you feel at peace with the whole world: being self-sufficient is a wonderful feeling.
Apart from the holidays, my husband and I enjoy this activity 1-2 times a month, in generous quantities. In this way we can portion and freeze the surplus and relive the moments of taste and pleasure when and as much as we like; of course, every time I warmly thank my mother-in-law who wanted to give me her faithful pasta machine: in fact, I wouldn’t even venture out without it, as I am terrible at rolling out!
Eggless homemade pasta is for all seasons or occasions, it allows the preparation of various delicacies including tortellini, lasagne, tagliatelle, fettuccine, ravioli and much more; always under the common denominator CHE Food Revolution (Cheap – Healthy – Ethical).
But you may be asking yourself “why eggless?”
The not-so-scientific answer is “because I can!”
You don’t need eggs to make homemade fresh pasta; and they don’t add (apart from color) any particular flavor or incredible enhancement to the texture of the pasta sheet; and since I have become good at cooking without fresh eggs during my live-aboard life (the desire for particular foods comes when you least expect it, probably miles away from the last port you visited) I have retained this skill (and habit).
On the other hand, it must also be said that for several Italian regions, the introduction of eggs in fresh pasta recipes is a relatively recent fact (a century or so), thanks to abundance, not supported by quality.
Can you freeze fresh eggless homemade pasta?
Eggless homemade pasta (also with eggs) can be frozen perfectly.
So when you have time on your hands, you could prepare your fresh pasta in bulk, dividing it into portions to be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
The only thing to keep in mind is not to put the fresh pasta directly into a bag: contact must be avoided during the first freezing of 2 hours (once frozen, there is nothing to fear in this regard), otherwise during thawing (or cooking) the parts remaining attached will cause the pasta to break.
To facilitate spacing out, arrange the pieces separately from each other on a tray and wait until completely frozen before placing them back into the bags or airtight containers; for long pasta such as fettuccine or tagliatelle, prepare nests to place on the tray that will go into the freezer; for short pasta, adopt the same strategy, spacing out the individual pieces on the tray.
200g organic wholemeal flour from ancient grains (or a mix of 100g wholemeal flour and 100g remilled durum wheat flour or for a traditional (less fiber) texture 150 g 00 type flour and 50 g semolina / durum wheat flour)
approx. 50g extra flour for dusting
approx. 120 -140ml lukewarm water*
1 tablespoon of evo oil
a pinch of salt
a pinch of turmeric or saffron: optional (they are only needed to give the eggs color)
*when it comes to giving accurate measurements for a dough containing water and flour, I always find myself in difficulty; because the quantity is almost never precise and depends on various factors (the moisture of the flour, the protein content of the flour, the temperature and humidity of the ambient, etc.). My advice therefore is to always add water as you go, so you never get it wrong.
The process is easy; just make a well in the flour, pour water, oil and salt in the center and then mix the ingredients to form a homogenous dough.
Even if you follow my tried and tested recipe for eggless homemade pasta to the letter, the dough will probably be either too wet or too dry: how do you avoid this?
Simple, you have to handle the water carefully, waiting for the flour to completely absorb the added portion.
Then pour in (if needed, a little more water) the extravirgin olive oil and the pinch of salt, until a soft dough is obtained: such that it does not stick to your hands, but does not crumble either.
Mix first with a spoon; then, using your hands, make a smooth, even ball.
Sprinkle the ball with very little semolina flour underneath and on top, cover it with a wet cloth or a bowl like a lid and leave it to rest for half an hour (mostly to allow the gluten to create a heat-resistant matrix).
Now divide the ball into several parts and using the machine (or if you are able with a rolling pin) roll the dough into the desired shape, giving free rein to your culinary creativity.
Cooking eggless homemade pasta is very quick: boil water, add salt and put the pasta. You should normally wait for it to rise to the surface. If you roll it out thinly, 2-3 minutes will suffice: however, test it before straining.
Eggless homemade pasta, when served with a light condiment with veggies or plant based proteins, rich in dietary fiber and vitamins, can constitute a complete meal; while remaining still healthy and scrumptious; and above all, no child will dare refuse it.
Due to the considerable amount of carbohydrates present, I wouldn’t recommend a dessert; instead a big yes to a mouth-watering salad of vegetables or a side dish rich in antioxidants; or festive meatless balls, or a protein rich and cozy lentil salad. These options can help us to reduce the glycemic index thanks to the presence of fiber and organic acids.
Regardless of the occasion you have in mind to enjoy eggless homemade pasta, I wish you all happy holidays and good revolution