DIY spelt pasta recipe
No dried pasta? No conventional flour? No eggs? No worries.
As the great UK flour and pasta shortages of 2020 continue with no end in sight, my partner and I scoured our local supermarket for plain, wholewheat and even semolina flour in an attempt to make our own pasta – all to no avail. Then we noticed the Holland & Barrett strapped onto the side of the store and thought we'd give that a shot instead.
Due to its numerous health benefits, spelt flour has been on health shop shelves for a while –and they still had a few bags left when we arrived. At £2.49 a kilo it wasn't cheap but, hey, extraordinary times and all that. Once home, I knocked up a batch of spelt pasta and it worked out well. Expect a pasta with a similar bite to wholemeal, although a bit more grainy.
Here's how to make and store your own spelt pasta, even if you've no eggs and no pasta machine.
- 500g spelt flour
- 285ml water
- 1 tsp salt
- Sift the flour and salt onto a work surface and make a well in the centre.
- Add the water into the well and bring in flour from the outside with your fingertips. Keep a tea towel or kitchen roll nearby to mop up any leaks.
- When all the water has been mixed into the flour, bring together into a dough that is soft but not too sticky. If it is sticky to the point of being unworkable, add more flour.
- Knead for 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth and springs back when prodded.
- Form into a ball, wrap and chill for 20 minutes in the fridge.
- Remove from the fridge and chop off a 1cm-thick piece to roll out. Ensure you keep any dough you're not working with covered to prevent it drying out.
- If you have a pasta machine, use as per its instructions from here on. If you don't, roll out the dough on a floured surface. Keep rolling out until you can hold the dough up and clearly see the silhouette of your hand through it.
- Chop into 2cm x 2cm squares and roll them around a pencil to create flutes, gently pressing the overlap to seal. If you don't want flutes, shape them into whatever you fancy.
- Repeat steps 6-8 for all of your dough, freezing any you don't use.
- If you're using it straight away, cook in a pan of salted, boiling water for 1-2 minutes, depending on the pasta's thickness .
- Alternatively, leave the shapes spaced out to dry on a floured board for at least 24 hours in a cool, dry place. Drying time will be altered by the pasta's thickness and the coolness/dryness of your drying area. Once dried, your pasta can be stored like the conventional, shop-bought stuff.
- When ready to cook, do so for 5 minutes in a pan of salted, boiling water. The pasta's thickness will determine the cooking time, so keep testing as you cook on the first go and adjust your timing accordingly.