Over the past month, I have discovered that cooking for one presents several interesting challenges, not the least of which is managing to create a healthy dinner meal without ending up with a mile of leftovers. Earlier I covered a basic fermented pickle recipe that is perfectly scale-able for one person or many. And today I will be sharing a simple method to make homemade pasta, with no special equipment or experience necessary.
This homemade whole-wheat pasta recipe takes a maximum of one hour from starting to dining. It makes two servings, so you can have left-overs another day (awesome baked) or have a friend over to show off your pasta-making skills. If you have equipment, like a pasta machine, you can scale up the recipe to make more servings.
Home-made Pasta Ingredients:
These measurements are all approximated as I used a tea-cup for a cup measure, the palm of my hand for smaller measures, and the egg was the only thing that was actually a unite. So, as long as you have these ingredients and know what a smooth dough feels like, you should be fine. 🙂
Roughly one cup of whole-wheat flour (or half and half white and whole-wheat).
A pinch of salt
One whole egg (medium or large)
a splash of water
More flour for rolling the dough
A touch of olive oil
Methodology for Homemade Whole-Wheat Pasta :
Step One: Pour your flour and salt into a mixing bowl, or any shallow bowl. Make a well in the center and crack the egg into it. Then, whisk the egg and flour together until it forms a ball, add a splash of water if needed. Kneed with your fingers, and add more flour until it makes a smooth elastic ball of dough.
Step Two: Rub the ball of dough with a little olive oil to prevent it from drying out. Set aside and let rest for ten to fifteen minutes. While the dough is resting, you can start preparing your pasta sauce. An easy sauce is to take commercial tomato sauce, about half a cup and add a bit of water, a small onion, and some garlic cloves and bring to a boil. Set the sauce aside in a heat-proof container, and let’s go back to the dough.
Step Three: Divide your dough into smaller balls, either three or four, and roll into a long strip with a rolling pin, as thin as you can get it. This may take several repeats of rolling and resting to get it as thin as you can. This is also the most physically involved of the steps.
You can hang the pasta over a cupboard door in between rollings, you want it to dry out a little. A clean tea towel, piece of plastic wrap, or clean plastic bag over the top of the cupboard will keep your homemade pasta from sticking.
Step Four: Accordion fold your long pasta strip down longwise onto the counter. Take a smooth bladed knife, that is sharp and non-serrated, and cut your folded strip into noodles. You will be cutting across the length to make long noodles, hence the accordion folds to help the pasta not stick to itself.
Step Five: After cutting, open up your homemade pasta noodles and hang them back over the cupboard door.Let them dry while you prepare the water.
Note: Steps four and five are easier with a pasta machine. But as long as you have a knife and a rolling pin you should be fine.
Cooking your homemade whole wheat pasta:
Set your water on to boil with a touch of salt and a touch of oil. At this point your sauce should have boiled and been set aside in it’s pot (or poured into a heat-proof container if, like me, you only have one pot that is the right size). Bring the water to a rapid boil, and dump that lovely pasta in.
Bring back to a boil and cook for 3-5 minutes. Cooking time will depend on how much bite you like in your pasta, how thick you cut the noodles, and how thin you managed to roll them. My fairly think pasta took 6 minutes at a simmer.
Scoop your pasta straight onto your plate, add cheese and sauce and enjoy your healthy dinner.
Other Pasta Options:
Leftovers (aka the second serving if not used) can be set aside, with the sauce and cheese on it, in an oven-safe container. Keep in the fridge or freezer until wanted and then re-heat in the oven. Baked homemade pasta is awesome!
Other options for your homemade pasta include:
Skip cutting the pasta, and instead turn the strips into lasagna noodles. Just layer with your lasagna ingredients and bake, you don’t need to pre-cook fresh lasagna noodles.
Make a filling and make filled square pastas, pinching the edges closed and letting it dry a little before cooking. Or you can freeze them for later.
Back To You:
What did you think of the recipe? What suggestions would you make for someone only cooking for one? How else might you use homemade pasta?