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 having it 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.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Spelt flour: note that whole grain spelt does absorb a bit more water than light spelt, so you’ll have to go by feel. You can also do a mix of spelt and another flour type like einkorn.
- Water: not only is it cheaper and vegan friendly, water-based pasta is often easier to work with for beginners. Egg pasta is stiffer and a bit trickier to roll out, but you can’t argue with the flavour or end texture.
Step by Step
More time consuming than difficult, anyone can make their own pasta as long as you get the right texture nailed down. The dough can’t be too soft or it’ll tear rather than roll through the machine. Read through everything carefully to make your own low-waste pasta from scratch!
1. Mix the dough: Start by measuring flour out into a bowl 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.
2. Knead: 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.
3. Rest: let the kneaded dough rest, covered, for 20-30 minutes. I use an inverted bowl over the dough.
4. Roll: once the dough has rested, cut the dough into quarters and add flour to the outside, then flatten between your hands. Roll through 0 on your machine.
5. Continue rolling: 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.
6. Cut: 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. Cook or dry for later.
Making Pasta 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.
Serve with Pasta
If you’re making your own pasta, you really must make your own sauce, too. Try a hearty lentil bolognese or easy dairy free pesto (as pictured below). If it’s in season, wild garlic pesto is the perfect accompaniment. If you don’t like saucy pasta, try a quick garlic spinach pasta instead.
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.
- Mix it in a bowl: you can mix the dough straight on the counter, but that’s more mess than I want. Starting in a bowl reduces some of the cleanup later.
- Dry it right away: 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. Otherwise it does tend to stick together.
- Don’t wait too long: fresh spelt pasta needs a couple of minutes to cook in well salted boiling water. Drain and add sauce or 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.
More Spelt Recipes
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- 400 grams spelt flour
- 200 ml 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.400 grams spelt flour, 200 ml water*
- 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.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This post was first published in July 2018. It has been updated with no changes to the recipe most recently as of January 2023.