May 28, 2011

Spelt Pasta

As runners, A & I try to follow some generic pre-race mandates: hydrate the day before, solid night of sleep, coffee and pancakes two hours before the start. In terms of "carb loading," we're both a bit hesitant to use a race as an excuse to load up on bagels and white pasta. We generally have a pretty hearty intake of "good" carbs, so no real need to make changes leading up to race day. However, experimenting with an unusual type of flour somehow led me to make spelt pasta to fuel up for a 10 miler. We both enjoyed it so much, it's now become a new installation in our pre-race rituals!

Ingredients (makes 2 large or 3 moderate servings)
1 & 1/4 cups spelt flour
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 T olive oil
Note: You can also make this recipe vegan by replacing eggs with cold water.

1. In a small bowl, whisk eggs with oil. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt and mix well.

2. Make a "well" in the bowl of flour and pour in the egg mixture.

3. Using a spoon, start to add flour into the egg mixture in a circular motion around the egg pool. Continue to do this until most of the flour and eggs are combined- it should look crumbly.

4. Use your hands to "knead" the rest of the dry and wet ingredients into a solid form. Depending on the size of the eggs, you may have a bit of extra flour in the bottom of the bowl that doesn't want to mix in- you can discard this or add water a teaspoon at a time until the dough comes together. On the other hand, if it seems a bit too sticky, sprinkle in another couple tablespoons of flour.

5. Wrap your pasta dough in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for twenty minutes.

6. Using a Silpat or a clean, dry counter surface sprinkled with a bit of flour, press the dough out with your hands into a rough square shape.

7. Roll out the dough as thin as you can- you may want to break your dough into two batches if you're using a Silpat as my entire surface was covered and my dough was still not quite as thin as I would have liked. In this case, the thinner the dough, the better.

8. Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut the dough into thin strips. I was going for a linguine type size, but you could also make lasagna noodles or, if you're talented, a flat spaghetti.

9. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Separate the noodles from one another- sprinkle with a bit more flour if it seems sticky, though I didn't run into any issues here.

10. Boil the pasta for 4 to 5 minutes. Since mine was a little thicker, I left them in for 6. The pasta will puff up considerably, which is why you really want to roll it out thin.

11. Drain and serve! For this rendition, I made a spinach pistachio pesto while the dough was "resting." A roasted broccoli, zucchini, and grape tomatoes and sauteed a few shrimp. Topping with a bit of grated Parmesan completed the meal.

12. If you don't want to eat all of the pasta immediately, refrigerate uncooked pasta in a sealed container or Ziploc for up to two to three days.

This pasta is completely different from your standard store-bought boxed crap pasta- a nutty depth of flavor for those of you who enjoy an intense whole wheatiness. The texture has a bit of a grain to it as well and the linguine size has a substantially firm bite. Overall super hearty and delicious. And who knew- making your own pasta is absurdly easy!


  1. looks amazing, will have to make this one.

  2. Can you use the Kitchen Aid electric pasta attachment to get the very thinest dough?

    1. If you're lucky enough to own a Kitchen Aid, definitely!