Friday, June 5, 2020

Playing with Dough: Palatable Pasta

Homemade pasta shapes, sizes, thicknesses, colors, flavor and even the nutrient content remain unique as the maker. Adding cooked vegetables shifts the color, texture, flavor and nutrients even more.

This 4-flour mix has a medley of color and nutrients. Two of the flours are whole grain-whole wheat and Kamut.  Semolina and Kamut lend a golden yellow tint. Kamut is a high protein grain, strengthening the dough as well as the nutrient profile.

The butternut squash is sweet, orange and rich in vitamins. This vegetable and the matching spice-nutmeg- add sweetness to the dough.

As to the uniqueness of the maker-I continue to learn the art of pasta making. The shapes of my noodles will never be uniform. That's okay-I can make lasagna with the different dough widths. And why worry about the bits and pieces of spaghetti and fettuccine-they may not be photo worthy yet we'd be cutting it before placing in our mouths anyway.

I've learned to make the dough in the morning and refrigerate till the afternoon before rolling and cutting.

The food processor is a great tool for dough making. I add the semolina flour first (it's a coarsely ground flour) and pulse it about 30 seconds.  The squash in this recipe adds enough coarseness. 

Basic Recipe for Pasta Flour 

1/4 pound whole wheat flour
1/4 pound Kamut flour
1/4 pound semolina flour
1/4 pound all purpose flour

Butternut Squash Pasta Dough

(4 meals-8 servings)

In bowl of food processor, pulse together flours and nutmeg.
3/4 pound pasta flour mix
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Add squash and eggs, mixing until all of squash is pureed and mixture forms a ball.
1/2 pound cubed, peeled and cooked butternut squash
3 eggs
Wrap dough ball in greased plastic wrap. Flatten into a disc and refrigerate one or more hours.

Remove dough from refrigerator. Divide in 4 pieces. Roll until dough is thin, adjusting roller thickness one notch thinner until dough thickness is achieved. Cut into desired shapes. I cut mine into spaghetti, fettuccine and lasagna noodle shapes.

At this point, I dehydrated the noodles by placing on parchment lined baking sheet and placing in a 150 F oven for 1 hour. That enabled me to freeze the various shapes to pull as needed for meals. 

For dinner, we covered our cooked pasta with cheese sauce. Yum!  

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