Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Vegan Fresh Pasta Dough

Finally:
A Vegan Fresh Pasta Dough Recipe.
Freshly cut vegan pasta dough, out of the pasta maker and ready to boil.
There is something special about fresh pasta. It scratches a certain kind of itch that dried pasta just can't reach. When you're eating vegan, fresh pasta and its traditional egg-y goodness is pretty much off the table. Before getting a pasta maker I'd made more than a few attempts at hand cut pasta. The dough never quite came together right, always too stiff or too soft, leaving my fresh pasta craving unsatisfied.  Finally, after years of trial and error (and frustration), this recipe was born. I've used it both with and without a pasta maker. While the pasta maker certainly makes the rolling and cutting process easier, this dough is workable enough where it can be rolled and cut by hand. The key to this dough is flour, flour, flour, and more flour. Did I mention flour?  Make sure your dough is very well floured when rolling out and especially when cutting, the more the better, to prevent sticking. I like to have a shallow aluminum baking pan with a layer of flour in it at my disposal when rolling our the dough. This way I'm not making a horrendous mess flinging flour everywhere but can easily get some on my dough when needed. 

Double recipe of fresh pasta dough, resting.
Prepping the dough requires either
a strong stand mixer or  a strong shoulder and a bit of elbow grease, as the dough should be kneaded for a solid 10 minutes. The final result is a dough that is light and holds its shape perfectly. A pinch of turmeric added to the flour mix gives the it an egg-y appearance, minus the actual egg.  I like to make my pasta with straight up all purpose flour. Its inexpensive and I always have it on hand. When I'm lucky enough to have semolina flour in the pantry I use one cup in place of 1 cup of the all purpose. The texture of the dough with the addition of the semolina flour is slightly heartier, though the all purpose only dough is pretty outstanding on its own.

A quick piece of advice: don't spend a ton of money on your pasta maker! We have a relatively inexpensive model and it gets the job done more than adequately. Granted, it doesn't extrude perfectly formed play dough fun factory shapes like the KitchenAid attachment, but it makes great linguine and spaghetti.


Without further ado:
"Finally" Fresh Vegan Pasta Dough Recipe:

2 3/4c all purpose flour (more as needed)
3/4c water (more as needed)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp olive oil

If mixing by hand:
Combine dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.
Create a well in the center, add water and olive oil.
Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
Using your hands, knead the dough in the bowl until all of the ingredients bind together and it forms into a ball.


The dough should not be sticky, and should also not be so dry it doesn't hold together.
If you find the dough to be too dry at this point you can add a bit more water.
Do this VERY gradually, no more than a 1/4 tsp at a time,
until the dough is more workable.
Conversely, if you find the dough to be too moist and sticky, add a pinch of flour at a time, until dough is a workable consistency.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead, with floured hands,
for 10 minutes until dough is smooth.
If you find dough too sticky, sprinkle in flour as needed.
Once kneaded, form dough into a ball and lightly flour the surface.
Allow dough to rest, covered with plastic wrap or a clean towel, for 10-20 minutes.

If using a stand mixer:
Place dry ingredients in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached.
Add water and olive oil.
Mix on medium speed until dough begins to form a ball.
Stopping mixer from time to time to scrape down any dough stuck on the hook or sides of the bowl.
If dough seems too dry, add a couple of drops of water at a time.
If dough is too wet, add a pinch of flour at a time until it becomes more workable.
Dough should not be sticky and should become smooth and workable after 6-8 minutes in the mixer.
Once dough comes together, remove from bowl and form into a ball.
Follow above directions for resting the dough.


Your dough can also be stored for a couple of days in the fridge before cutting. 
Just allow the dough to rest, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. 


After dough has rested:
On a floured work surface, use a sharp floured knife or a pastry cutter to divide your dough ball into 5 or 6 equal parts.
Roughly form these cut pieces into discs, generously flouring each side.

Fresh pasta dough, cut and ready to be floured and formed into discs. 
If cutting by hand:
On a floured work surface, roll dough disc as flatly as possible, constantly flipping and
making sure each side is very well floured.
Roll from the center out, then flip and do the same for the other side, rolling your
piece of dough into a long and narrow shape, rather than a round shape.
Try to get your dough down to between 1/8" and 1/16"  thick, if possible.
Thoroughly flour each side, then roll dough up and make cuts along roll to your desired width.
Unroll noodles and place on drying rack or on well
floured baking pan before cooking.
Repeat with each dough disc.

If using a pasta maker:
Pass your well floured dough disc through the roller part of your pasta maker,
first of the thickest setting, then going down 1-2 notches at a time
to your desired thickness.
My pasta maker goes from 7 down to .
I start on 7, pass the dough through twice, then go down 1 notch at a time
to the 3 setting.
Add more flour in between rolling if needed.
Once dough is rolled to desired thickness you are ready to cut the pasta.
Thoroughly re-flour both sides of the sheet.
Roll dough sheet through the cutting mechanism of your pasta maker.

Place cut pasta on a drying rack or on a cookie sheet that has been floured so noodles do not stick together.

You can dry this pasta on racks for 10-15 minutes and store
 in the fridge for a few days.

But who wants to wait??

Boil for approximately 3 minutes, or until pasta begins to float to the surface.
Drain and eat eat eat!!

12 comments:

  1. Thanks for the post making a batch now! :)

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  2. Going to try tonight for vegan son, will let you know how it goes, using 180 mm pasta maker for first time!

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    1. Hope your son was happy with the recipe! I'd love to hear how it turned out!

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  3. Wow. I cannot believe how fantastic the dough came out! Very firm. Great instructions. This made our night, THANK YOU!!

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    1. So glad you enjoyed it!! Thanks for the feedback! :)

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  4. This looks delicious! I was hoping to dry out the pasta and put in cellophane bags to give as gifts - how long would the dried pasta last?

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    1. Hi Erin! I've never completely dried the pasta for storage, but it does keep very well if you allow it to dry slightly and then refrigerate. This Williams-Sonoma guide might be helpful: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/tip/all-about-fresh-pasta.html. Good luck! I love love LOVE the idea of fresh pasta gifts. :)

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  5. Thanks for the recipe! It works great!

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    1. You're quite welcome! So happy you enjoyed the recipe. :)

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  6. This recipe blew me away... I will definitely going to try and make them. :)

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  7. Yay thanks so much! Have just made it, and it's currently drying. Looking forward to trying it tonight!

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