Friday, April 2, 2010

Sourdough Pasta

Every Monday, I am gently reminded by Kim to make a menu and check for ingredients.  Every week I am determined!  So far, haven't gotten there.  So.... over the Easter holiday, we have relatives visiting.  This is not a surprise and I planned to have pasta today.  Our oldest son is playing Judas in a play.  We are going to the play - pasta seemed like a great idea.  There has been a big pot of pasta sauce simmering in the crock pot all day. 
  • Grass Fed Hamburger - lightly sauteed
  • Organic Pasta Sauce in a glass Jar
  • Cultured tomato paste from last summer
  • Sauted onions, spices, sesame seeds and vegetables

When I went to the cupboard to get the pasta, I suddenly remembered I had taken every bit of pasta I had to a church pot luck and apparently neglected to replace it.  We live 30 minutes from town. I have a big bunch of sourdough sponge bubbling by the fire.....   hmmmm
Although I have never in my life made pasta - or even contemplated it before about a month ago, this then seemed like a good time to give it a whirl.  If it is terrible, we can just put the pasta sauce over some sourdough bread, add a bit of Parmesan cheese and ta-da - Sloppy Joes!

I have been unable to find a sourdough pasta recipe, but took a recipe from my cousin and adapted it.  So, what is in the sponge that sat out overnight?
  • 3 cups each whole wheat and barley flour
  • 1/2 cup flax meal
  • 1 cup starter
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp cultured sesame seeds (I keep them in a jar in the fridge w/kefir in the jar)
  • 2 Tbsp Palm Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp organic cocoa powder (thanks Evelyn Fields for the idea)
  •  I think the blog on adding cocoa powder didn't ever get from point a to point b.  It does not taste like chocolate - it just gives the bread a rich taste and improves the texture.  It has been going into my sponge for about 10 days now and it is good.  It is totally an option... but it is good.
    This sponge became the base for the pasta recipe.  I made the dough up in the morning and left it by the warm stove until this afternoon, then began working with it.  Here is the recipe... although I doubled this:
  • 2 cups sponge
  • 2 cups flour (I used organic white for the gluten)
  • 2 Tbsp gluten
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I left this out since it was already in the sponge)
  • 2 eggs - beaten
  • 1 Tsp olive oil (again, I left this out since it was in the sponge)
  • 1/3 cup water
Using the Kitchenaid with the dough hook attachment, this all was combined into a very stiff dough.  The dough went into my bread rising bowl with a wet towel over it for several hours to continue culturing.  The dough is really beautiful and easy to work with.

Using a big wooden cutting board that my hubby unearthed from the shop after my purge of all plastic cutting boards   made the job go quickly and easily.  The dough was separated into baseball sized portions, rolled out with a rolling pin, cut up with a pizza roller, then laid out on the table to dry.

I cheated a little and snitched about 5 pieces of the first batch to boil up and try before it was served to everybody.  It surprised me how much the strips puffed up.  It took about 18 minutes and the results.... I am NEVER going back to that bland, tasteless pasta from the store again.  This was EASY!

Another processed food that can move off the shopping list.... this summer when the tomatoes come in the pasta sauce is moving off too!