Monday, March 1, 2010

Whole Wheat Pasta

With my last two posts featuring our deep fryer, it's time to turn the tides back toward healthy. My husband got me the pasta attachment for my KitchenAid mixer and I was excited to try it out with this whole wheat pasta recipe. My daughter was as excited to "make noodles" as I was, so I had an assistant for this kitchen adventure.

To begin, we placed 3 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 cup of all-purpose flour, and salt in a mixer bowl.

I turned the mixer on and had my assistant pour in the eggs and olive oil.

The recipe instructed to mix until large clumps form. This was not happening for us.

The recipe also said that if the dough was shaggy and dry and won't form a ball to add water, a teaspoon at a time. Well...I began by adding water a teaspoon at a time, and then resorted to using my tablespoon. I added a surprising amount of 4 or 5 tablespoons. I know that pasta dough should not be sticky, I've made just plain pasta a number of times before (see HERE for details). My problem wasn't sticky-ness. I just needed it to stick together. Maybe a contributing factor is that our house is so dry this time of year? Not sure. Eventually, with the addition of water, large clumps began forming.

I put on my dough hook and kneaded the dough in the mixer until it formed a firm ball.

Cover and let rest for 20 minutes before extruding. Isn't that a funny word? Extrude.

As instructed by my KitchenAid attachment manual, I cut the dough into walnut-sized pieces. I wasn't sure if this meant walnut-sized like the big green walnuts that fall off of the tree or the shelled version. I shot for somewhere in the middle.

Attachment in place, I turned the mixer to the highest setting and started feeding those "walnuts" through. This was the fun part. Like Play-doh factory for grown ups. Here it comes....

So cool! You're supposed to cut it or pull it away from the plate at a length of 9.5 inches for spaghetti. We let it go a little longer after the first few batches.

Such a fun kitchen activity for kiddos!

Separate the noodles and lay em' out to dry for a bit.

We cooked one batch for dinner.

And I bagged up the rest for the freezer.

I decided to let the mixer cool down for a bit after extruding the spaghetti. The pasta attachment manual specified that the mixer must rest at least one hour after extruding 2 consecutive pasta dough recipes. I only ran half of this recipe and my mixer smelled really hot and was very hot to the touch as well. The last thing I wanted to do was blow up my new favorite kitchen toy in the first month of ownership, so I let her rest.

One the mixer had cooled, we made the rest of the dough into macaroni. The weird thing is, that the mixture turned out the macaroni with ease. No burning smell. It must be easier to extrude than the more compact spaghetti.

At first I started cutting the macaroni as it came through the pasta plate. It looked like this.

Then I let the tubes of macaroni run long and laid them on the table to cut them.

However, when I cut them, it pinched the ends closed, so it didn't really look like macaroni. I ended up just breaking them up...or maybe a better way to put it would be that I pulled them apart to form the macaroni.

Mine look pretty rustic. No mistaking this for the store-bought variety. I ended up freezing about a pound of macaroni.

In the manual there are at least two bold print warnings about eating the raw dough if left un-refrigerated for more than an hour. You know, because raw eggs are bad for you and all. By the time that I ran the macaroni through, the dough had been sitting out for at least 2 hours and my toddler had gotten up from her nap. As I was extruding the last of the macaroni, I heard her saying, "YUMMY YUMMY! Mommy, YUMMY!" This is not an exageration, when I turned around to see what she was enjoying so much, my kid was shovelling the macaroni that was drying on the table into her mouth by fistfulls! I stopped her and directed her back into the playroom while I finished up. It didn't stop her from raiding the table with two more sneak attacks before I got all of that macaroni put away. The good news, she didn't succumb to salmonella poisoning. Yay! Also, she REALLY liked this pasta. Of course, she also eats Play-doh. : )

Here's the recipe from The Mixer Bible

Whole Wheat Pasta

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1 tsp. olive oil

1. Place flour and salt in the mixer bowl. Attach the flat beater and mixer bowl to the mixer. Set to stir and mix briefly. Add eggs and olive oil; mix until dough forms large clumps. Using your hands form dough into a ball. If dough is shaggy and dry, and won't form a ball, add 1 tsp. water at a time and mix until incorporated. If it's too sticky; add 1 tbsp. flour and mix until incorporated. If necessary, keep adding water or flour in small increments and mix until dough comes together.

2. Remove the flat beater and attach the dough hook to the mixer. Set to Speed 2 and knead for 2 minutes until dough comes together in a firm ball. Remove dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Let rest 20 minutes before rolling out or extruding.

Makes 1 3/4 lbs.

To print this recipe click here!


Julie said...

I've never quite worked up the courage to make my own pasta. It must be really good if your dtr was just eating it like popcorn! (or play doh as the case may be) It surprises me that the machine gets so hot. Glad it didn't over heat :)

Sook said...

Oh wow homemade pasta! One of my goals this year is to make homemade pasta noodles. Whole wheat pasta sounds delicious. Healthy and nutritious!

Chicago Mom said...

I don't know if I'll ever make homemade pasta, but it sure was fun to "watch" you do it!

Katy ~ said...

I have one of those hand crank pasta makers and haven't made pasta in ages. With 5 cats, there's no way I'm going to stop them from investigating or getting a pound of cat hair in the drying pasta LOL. But homemade pasta is soooo good!! Well done. I'm envious! Maybe when summer comes and I can throw the cats OUT for a while, grins.

Kim said...

Such a cute story about your daughter sneaking handfuls of raw pasta! That story made me chuckle out loud. Kids do the funniest things.
I haven't tried homemade pasta yet, but I do applaud you! It definitely looks like a lot of work, but the end result looks delicious:D

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