Homemade egg-free pasta
Of all the things I feel like I'm missing out of because of my allergies, fresh pasta is always high up on the list. I like carbs. A lot. And with an egg allergy, there are so many lovely kinds of carbs that I can't eat. I've been dreaming of making my own pasta for many months, researching different recipes and types of flour and equipment and devising grand plans for many elaborate dishes. In which, I realized that it must be easiest to start from the very beginning and make the simplest of pasta recipes because I am very much on the first line of my pasta making resume.
So, this is a recipe from Mario Batali via The Food Network. There are only three ingredients. Provided you're willing to give this your undivided attention for an hour, it's pretty darn simple. Even as a pasta making newbie it was simple. For this recipe, you'll need:
2 cups semolina flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 - 1 1/2 cups tepid water
1. Mound the flour in the centre of a large wooden cutting board or directly on a large area of kitchen counter space. Make a well in the centre of the flour and gradually pour in the water, stirring with your hands until a dough is formed.
2. As you continue to add water, try to maintain the shape of the well of flour by pushing the dough up along the sides, so the dough picks up more flour as it rolls. The dough will look like a bit of a mess, but keep going because all of a sudden it won't. I ended up using about 1 1/2 cups of water when I made this recipe, but the amount of water you'll need will vary depending on the humidity of the kitchen.
3. Once most of the flour is combined, start kneading the dough with both hands, collecting up any of the flour that didn't make it in't the dough before. Continue to flour the cutting board or counter as you go. Knead the dough until it is smooth and a little sticky. Mario Batali said that this would take about 6 minutes (with his arm strength, absolutely), though it took me about double that. Then, let the dough rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
4. For the rolling out, this can be achieved simply with a rolling pin, or with more specialized equipment like a pasta roller, or a mixer with a pasta-making attachment. I went for the full upper body workout and rolled the dough myself. Depending on the type of pasta you'd like to make, the dough may need a specific thickness, with the general aim is to get the dough as thin as possible. I floured the counter top and the rolling pin throughout the process until the dough was too large and thin for me to move without the sheet ripping.
5. I then folded the dough and cut off any of the top and sides that didn't overlap, using a sharp knife. Next, I carefully sliced the seam from the middle of the dough so it became two sheets of pasta. And finally I sliced vertically through the dough to create pappardelle noodles, using my thumb as a guide for the width. Gently pull the noodles apart.
6. Place the pasta in boiling, salted water and cook until al dente, or your desired consistency. Depending on how much pasta you've placed in the pot it should only take a few minutes so it's best to keep an eye on it.
7. Top with your favourite sauce and enjoy! Makes about four servings, and doesn't freeze well, so eating all in one go is ideal.
This pasta tastes oh so gluten-y and chewy, like a really great pizza dough. If you decide to make a thick pappardelle like this, the sauce sticks and is soaked up nicely by the noodles making every bite a messy and delicious one.
Have you ever made egg free pasta dough? Any tips or tricks you could recommend?