Homemade freshly ground whole wheat pasta is all new to me. I’ve never had freshly ground flour as that is almost too homestead for me. Writing this blog has changed me forever and my cooking has evolved to a level I never thought possible. Grinding my own flour is no longer a remote possibility. This incredible flour was actually milled by my friend. She told me that her children never get sick and she thinks it’s because she’s been baking her own bread for years, milling her own flour. This is called Prairie Gold found here at Wheat Montana. I begged her to grind some for me and let me taste the difference.
This is a beautiful flour. It’s nutty, lighter and sweeter than all purpose, stripped down white flour. I decided to try it as a pasta, just to see how it might perform. Normally I like to use semolina flour which is grittier than all purpose flour because I like the life and bite it brings to an egg pasta.
All homemade pastas are usually egg-based pastas, very different from store bought boxed pasta. I don’t think homemade is necessarily better because both types of pasta have their place, depending on what the dish is.
Papparadelle is an egg pasta that looks like ribbons, and is best when it’s homemade. It’s hard to find it packaged and any quality papparadelle is quite expensive, usually $5-$8 for 16 ounces. Homemade is the way to go.
I thought I might make bread with the flour, but I had this craving this week for homemade papparadelle and thought I’d give this the Prairie Gold a go. Surprisingly, it performed very similarly to a semolina pasta. It has its own sweetness, but enough body to stand up to the sauce. Papparadelle is pairs well with chunky sauces such as a bolognese.
You can make this pasta with any whole wheat flour (or even semolina flour if you want). This heartier flour absorbs the liquid of the eggs rapidly, so don’t overdo the flour. You can always add in flour, but you can’t help dry pasta dough. I ran it through a pasta machine and then hand cut it. Prior to cutting, I dried it out for about twenty minutes to prevent sticking, when rolling up to cut. That’s an important step. I used a Kitchen Aid Pasta roller to roll it out. You can roll the pasta with a rolling pin.
This pasta was used for a chunky tomato sauce and prosciutto dish, which I’ll be posting in full assembly soon.
Tell me, have you had a good homemade pasta lately, and have you ever milled your own flour?
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons water (you may not need)
- Take the freshly ground wheat and put a hole in the center. Add the eggs, and mix with a fork one at a time. If the pasta appears too dry, add in a little water, just a little at a time. Flour hands and form pasta into a dough by kneading. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Once rested, roll pasta out, as thin as you can with a rolling pin or take through a pasta roller on a Kitchen Aid. Once you have the pasta strips, allow to sit out on a cloth to dry slightly, up to 20 minutes. You want the pasta hard enough so that it doesn't stick when you cut and soft enough that it doesn't crack.
- Fold strips in half and roll up and cut in one inch strips. Place in nests on the cloth. These can dry or you can cook immediately.
- Fill a large pot with salted, boiling water. Cook about 3 minutes.