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 from there I have settled on my own personal gluten philosophy.
- First, I am convinced that today’s manufacturing and processing companies place profits before and above 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 is 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.
2020 UPDATE – One of the keys to making this pasta is to use a lot of egg yolks. I picked this up from a cooking class last year at Blackberry Farms in TN, and it has really changed my pasta game! No more dry crumbly pasta, or letting it rest in the fridge. This pasta is ready to go right when you take it out of the mixing bowl.
In my recipe, I get ready with two cups of all purpose Einkorn flour, but I don’t add it all to the mixer at once. Instead I add about 1 1/2 cups and then sprinkle in flour as needed. Most times I end up with a little bit left over, even after dusting my counter top and pasta sheets just a bit as needed, and have found that this pasta recipe works equally well for either noodles or ravioli.
Some nights my daughter will insist that 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 say that it makes a huge difference in the final flavor. Using herbs in the fresh pasta is totally optional, I usually opt not to simply because it is an extra step.
And the taste? Great, no complaints at all, I’m a big fan. And so is every person who has come through my kitchen who I’ve shared this recipe with. It does not taste wheaty at all, is a beautiful golden color, due to all of the egg yolks no doubt and no complaints of belly aches afterwards.
Einkorn Flour Pasta
- Stand mixer – optional
- Pasta roller attachment for stand mixer – optional
- 2 cups Einkorn wheat flour all purpose
- 1 egg
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Place all ingredients into stand mixer with dough hook
- Turn on to medium low speed and combine ingredients until pasta becomes smooth and shiny
- Roll dough onto floured counter and divide into halves
- Using your pasta roller, either a stand mixer attachment or hand crank, open rollers to widest setting
- Roll pasta out on counter with hand or rolling pin and then run through the pasta roller
- Fold rolled piece into thirds or halves and roll back through the roller
- Repeat this step a few times to really make the pasta smooth, lightly adding flour as needed to keep from sticking
- Repeat with the second half of pasta dough
- 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
- If you are going to make ravioli or other stuffed pasta, make sure to keep your pasta strips as wide as possible
- Once pasta sheets are to desired thickness, pass through cutting blades of pasta roller
- The pasta noodles will get very long and you may want/need to cut in half to make more manageable
- When ready to cook the fresh pasta noodles, place into boiling water, and cook for only 2-3 minutes, drain, and serve