This month’s Sourdough Surprises challenge was to make pasta. I have to admit that I did wonder about the point of adding a leavening agent to something that is usually unleavened, but the result was quite an eye-opener! I basically replaced one of the eggs in my usual recipe with an equivalent amount of starter, but the change in texture and flavour is quite wonderful. The pasta was ever so slightly tangy and so silky, with a perfect bite! It’s a great use for starter discard.
I served it with a wild garlic Alfredo sauce… only to discover that 3G doesn’t like wild garlic… now that was disappointing!
300g Type 00 or all-purpose (plain) flour
2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
60g mature 100% hydration starter
Put the flour in a mound on the bench-top or in a wide, shallow mixing bowl and form a well in the centre.
Pour the beaten egg and the starter into the well and slowly incorporate into the flour with a fork. At this stage, you may need to add a touch more flour or a teaspoon of water to form your dough – it depends on the size of your eggs, humidity etc. The dough should be quite stiff.
Knead the dough on the bench until it is smooth and springs back when lightly pressed, about 10 minutes. Wrap well in plastic and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough into 4 pieces, leaving the others wrapped in plastic while you work with one. Flatten the dough out a bit with your hands, lightly dust it with flour, then either use a pasta roller or rolling pin to form sheets.
On the widest setting, pass the dough through the roller five or six times, folding it into thirds and very lightly dusting with flour each time, until it’s satiny and smooth. Now turn the dial one place and (without folding the dough again) pass it through again. Repeat this process (dialling down/up, depending on the numbering system on your roller, and rolling) until you get to the second-last setting on the dial. The pasta sheet should be about 1mm thick by now. If the sheet gets too long to handle, just cut it in half with a knife.
Using either a cutting attachment on your pasta roller or a knife/pizza cutter, cut the dough into strips the desired width, drape over a broom handle/back of a chair/whatever your preferred system is and let the pasta dry for a couple of hours.
Cook pasta in plenty of well-salted boiling water until al dente. The cooking time will depend on how dry the pasta is, but I usually find about 4 – 6 minutes to be sufficient.