I’ve read all the books about how evil flour and gluten are, and I think I even buy in to some of it. But not entirely. Besides, sometimes a guy just wants to sit down with a big bowl of fresh pasta and enjoy the moment, maybe with a glass of wine, and some good company. Like my wife and two kids.
Maybe it’s a trade off I’m willing to make, sinful flour dressed up as delicious pasta that might wreck my digestive system in exchange for a pleasant evening eating and drinking with people that I love.
Or maybe… there’s a way to have my pasta, without inflicting great bodily harm to myself. Who says I can’t have my pasta, and eat it too?
For the record, I haven’t visited pubmed.com myself to read through all of the various studies damning gluten, or maybe even a few that conclude that it’s not the demon child that it’s made out to be in our popular press. What I have done is read lots and lots of books and blogs written by people who have read the actual studies published on pubmed, and I think I am settling on my own personal gluten philosophy.
- First, I am convinced that today’s manufacturing and processing companies do not care one ounce about the health of the American public, so I certainly will not be taking their word on what I should be eating, or not eating.
- Second, I strongly believe that what we call “wheat” today is a very different plant from what used to be called “wheat” 100 years ago, and certainly very different from the wheat that was grown thousands of years ago.
- Thirdly, unless you are wildly active and exercise frequently, most people consume way too many refined carbs for their activity level.
- And fourth, there is plenty of published evidence to suggest that the biological consequences of eating modern wheat are very damaging.
I don’t have Celiac disease, and neither does anyone else in my family, so we are unlikely to forever give up eating anything that contains any form of gluten. But given the four points above, I do think it would be wise to eat less gluten than I did years ago. And when I do choose to eat wheat, I should try to use an older variety that will spare me the biological consequences so often associated with modern wheat.
That is why my daughter and I were excited to try homemade fresh Einkorn wheat flour pasta. We don’t make pasta very often, more often like a special weekend, but we wanted to try with an heirloom variety of wheat, which is why we choose Einkorn wheat flour.
The process for making the pasta itself was exactly the same as with fresh pasta made with white flour. Once we figured out how much liquid we needed for a suitable amount of flour, the whole recipe came together quite easily.
It also turned out to be one of the easiest pastas to work with, just the right amount of dryness and moisture in the noodles, easily rolled through the pasta roller, and the noodles didn’t even stick together, it was great!
My daughter insisted we use some basil leaves when making the noodles, both to color it up and for aromatic purposes. I have to say that the noodles smelled great when we were rolling them out, but I can’t honestly say that it made a huge difference in the final taste of dinner that night. Using herbs in the fresh pasta is totally optional.
And the taste? Great, no complaints at all, I’m a big fan. I can’t say that we felt better after eating our Einkorn wheat flour pasta, since we never got sick before eating traditional pasta. But I do feel better knowing that we are making more informed decisions about what to eat, and what not to eat.
Einkorn Flour Pasta
- 2 1/2 cups Einkorn wheat flour
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Place all ingredients into a food processor
- Use the pulse button and thoroughly combine until it starts to look like wet sand
- Roll dough onto floured counter and gently squeeze into a flat disc
- Cover with plastic wrap and in your refrigerator for about 45 minutes or an hour
- Divide fresh pasta dough into two pieces for ease of handling
- Have loose flour on hand in case your pasta gets a little sticky, you may need to sprinkle some flour on it
- Working with one piece at a time, pass dough through pasta roller at widest setting
- Fold pasta dough into thirds and pass through roller again
- Repeat folding and rolling three or four times until dough is nice and smooth
- Run each noodle through the roller on the next widest setting, on my machine that would be "0"
- Continue reducing roller settings and passing noodles through until pasta is at desired thickness, for me that means going from the "0" setting to the "4" setting, we like our pasta a little thicker
- The pasta noodles will get very long and you may want/need to cut in half to make more manageable
- Once pasta sheets are to desired thickness, pass through cutting blades of pasta roller
- When ready to cook the fresh pasta noodles, place into boiling water, and cook for only 2-3 minutes, drain, and serve