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How To Make Whole Wheat Pasta



Recently, we were asked for help with making Whole Wheat Pasta, and we thought,
"Gee, we bet a lot of our customers could use help with that!"
And so, what better place than here to share our Westonian knowledge on the subject...

Why Whole Wheat?
Whole Wheat flour is unrefined - it uses the entire wheat seed. Your body burns extra calories working to process the fiber found in Whole Wheat. It is lower in calories and fat than Semolina-based pasta, and also heartier, making you feel fuller, and - theoretically - causing you to eat less of it. It is still pasta though, and we are not, by any means, nutritionists or health experts, so you should do some of your own research about the potential benefits and drawbacks of Whole Wheat.

What You Will Need
Ingredients
(Serves 6-8)
3 cups Whole Wheat flour
3 eggs
1/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon salt
 

Dough
Use Whole Wheat Flour (we use Hodgsons Mill or Bob's Red Mill, but of course, brand availability will vary).

You're still going to knead, roll out, and cut the dough the same as you would pasta of the Semolina variety.

If you're using a Roma Tube Pasta Machine by Weston, you can skip this section. Just throw your ingredients into the machine with the mixing kit inserted and crank the handle. The machine's paddle will do all of the mixing and kneading for you.

Make a pasta dough volcano - form the flour into a mound on a Baking Mat, with a crater in the middle, to be filled with a lava of egg and water  (or wine, which is what we like to use).

From there, you break the egg yolks and collapse the volcano into itself, folding the flour into the central liquid until you have a consistent dough.

The dough should be elastic, but not sticky. As logic would suggest, if the dough is too dry, add just a little water or wine. Too wet? Add more flour. Do so sparingly though in both cases - the texture of your pasta dough will change with surprisingly little work.

 Note that the dough will be grittier than its smooth Semolina counterpart. Still, do your best to integrate the flour and wet ingredients into a homogenous dough.

Knead the dough by feeding it through the pasta machine's thickest setting a few times.

Noodle Cutting

Use the Roma Traditional Style Pasta Machine (for a wide variety of cuts), Roma Electric Pasta Machine (for no-crank Fettucine & Spaghetti), or Roma Tube Pasta Machine (for extruded, tube-style pasta) to form your noodles.* Use a Roma Bamboo Pasta Drying Rack (eco-friendly!) to string the noodles on as you go.

*Tip: Pat the sheets with the flour with each pass through the pasta machine. It helps to keep the dough from sticking. Often, there is excess moisture inside the sheets that gets exposed as the dough is expanded through the rollers, causing it to stick to the stainless steel finish.

Cooking
Boil a pot of water. Once your water is boiling, add salt for flavor, and a little olive oil to avoid sticking.

Fresh pasta takes less time to cook than store-bought. Cooking times will vary on the type of noodle you cut and the flour used. Intuitively, thinner noodles like Angel Hair are going to take the least time, Fettucine will take slightly more time, and then tube shaped pastas like Penne tend to take the longest. Whole Wheat Pasta takes longer to soften than Semolina, and Semolina takes longer than All-Purpose (which isn't the best for pasta anyway - but still certainly usable). And yet still, going back to the start, it's fresh pasta, so we're still only talking about a matter of minutes.

Your homemade Whole Wheat Pasta should be taking anywhere from three to six minutes. Be sure to continuously stir the noodles. Once cooked to your desired firmness, drain and toss with your sauce immediately. You can also toss it with a little olive oil to ensure the noodles don't stick to each other. Alternately, you can rinse the pasta with cold water, but this rinses away the starches that bind the sauce to the noodle.

Preserving
Sometimes you have oodles of noodles - More than you and your family can eat in one sitting.

One option is to use a Weston Dehydrator to dry them out completely. You can also let them dry on the pasta drying rack, which will take a little more time. Be sure to dry them completely, or they will mold. Then, you can store the dry noodles in an air tight container for several months.

They can also be frozen. Lay them out on parchment, wax, or butcher paper and slide them into a plastic bag. They can be stored for several months, and they will cook just as fast as be for and taste nearly as fresh.

If you're storing in the short term - for a week or so - you can refrigerate the pasta noodles in an airtight container or bag.

See also: Whole Wheat Pasta with Pineapple Cream Sauce  (Cooking With Weston)
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Norton
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