A simple spelt pasta, made with whole grain spelt flour, a nutty ancient grain. Options for both vegan (made with water) and egg pasta.
Spelt pasta is my go-to for homemade pasta. As much as I love kamut pasta, it’s trickier to get khorasan flour here but spelt is easy to come by. One of my goals for 2020 was to stop buying pasta as I can only get it in plastic packaging, and I haven’t bought any yet!
By making it at home, I’ve also cut down on the amount of pasta we’re eating every week. We were doing at least twice a week, which is a lot of pasta, especially because it was my lazy meal only with vegan tomato sauce and usually no other vegetables.
You might notice that the pasta pictured is much less yellow or warm in colour compared to kamut. It’ll be more yellowish if you use eggs instead of water, but the greatest difference is due to the colour of the grain.
Just spelt flour and water, or spelt flour and eggs. You can use either whole grain spelt or a light flour (sifted or 630), or a mix of the two as you see here. See below for notes on using water vs eggs – the recipe card is the water version.
See below for step by step photos. Start by measuring flour out into a bowl – you can mix straight on the counter, but that’s more mess than I want – and add the water. Use a fork to mix from the middle outward, bringing in small amounts of flour from the edges as you go.
Once the dough becomes too stiff to mix with the fork, turn it out onto a clean, smooth surface and use your hands to mix and knead until a smooth, slightly hard ball of dough forms. If it feels soft, like bread dough, add more flour. The dough should be silky smooth to the touch but offering quite a bit of resistance when prodded with a fingertip.
Let the kneaded dough rest, covered, for 20-30 minutes. After that time, you’re ready to start rolling. (See below for what to do if your dough has softened after resting.) Cut the dough into quarters and add flour to the outside, then flatten between your hands. Roll through 0 on your machine.
Each time you roll through, add a sprinkling of flour to your piece of pasta. Move up by levels, flouring each time, until you reach about number 6. This will depend on your machine, but that’s usually as thin as I go for fettuccine.
Roll the thin dough through the cutting attachment on your pasta maker, or use the sheets to make ravioli or other shapes as you’d like. If making long pasta, immediately place it onto a wooden or metal drying rack (simply make from dowels) to dry until you’re ready to cook it.
Fresh spelt pasta needs a couple of minutes to cook in well salted boiling water. Drain and add sauce or whatever toppings and serve immediately. If it sits in the sieve, it will turn into a large lump. If fully dried, it needs about 12 minutes to cook.
Making it without a machine
It’s possible! You knead and rest as usual, then roll it out with a rolling pin. Roll it out paper thin, as thin as your arms can handle! I find water based pasta a lot easier to roll than egg based. It is a lot of work, be prepared.
I use a hand pasta machine, as you can see in the photos, but you can also get electric ones that also mix the dough for you. I prefer the middle of the road option here – kneading by hand, then rolling with a machine. That being said, though, the electric ones make homemade pasta an absolute breeze.
Tips and Notes
All flours will absorb water differently. Depending on if I grind my own spelt or use ground from the store, for example, the amount of water I end up adding varies quite a lot. You may need to add more flour than called for to make the dough stiff enough.
If, after resting, your dough has gone from a hard ball to quite soft and slumped looking, don’t worry! Simply add more flour before starting to roll the pieces through the rollers, and add a sprinkling of flour each time you fold the long pieces over before moving to the next level of thinness. By the time you’re done it’ll be the right consistency.
The general rule for using eggs in pasta dough is one egg per 100g of flour. I find that spelt flour works a bit differently, and I use three large European eggs for this recipe. You may or may not need to add a splash of water to your dough with that.
More Spelt Recipes
Sauces for your pasta!
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- 400 grams (2 1/2 cups) spelt flour
- 200 ml (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) water*
- Add the flour to a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the water. Using a fork, slowly bring the flour to the centre of the bowl and mix, always moving from the outside in.
- Continue mixing until a stiff dough forms. Once the dough becomes too difficult to mix with a fork, turn it out onto a clean worktop.
- Knead for about 5 minutes, or until a smooth ball of dough forms. It will feel quite hard but should be almost silky to touch.
- Wrap the dough in a tea towel and cover with a bowl. Let it rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. Alternatively, refrigerate for up to 24 hours and bring back to room temperature before rolling.
- Once the dough has rested, cut it into 4 equal pieces. Using your hands, flatten each piece to about 2cm / 1 in. thick. Generously coat the pieces in flour, then roll through the thickest setting on your pasta maker (usually 0).
- Continue rolling the dough, going through the thickest setting several times, folding a few times, before moving to the next setting. Add flour to coat as needed. I usually go to number 6 before moving on to cutting, but follow your machine instructions.
- Once the dough has been rolled out to the desired thickness, sprinkle the sheets with some more flour and then cut into your desired pasta shapes. Place the cut pasta onto a wooden drying apparatus while you cut the remaining sheets, or coat with a light dusting of flour and make nests to set aside.
- Depending on how you've cut it, the pasta will need different cooking times. Generally 2-3 minutes in well-salted water at a rolling boil will do it.
- To store the pasta, dry on a rack for about 24 hours, or until fully dry, and store in a sealed container for up to a month. I think it can be frozen but I've never tried due to lack of freezer space.
If you'd like to make egg pasta, use two large eggs in place of the water. You may need to add a splash of water if the dough is too dry.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 333Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 167mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 22gSugar: 3gProtein: 8g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.