Eggless Pasta Dough


This traditional pasta dough often used in southern Italy and Sardinia with no eggs gives a lighter, more chewy pasta which tends to be cooked with sauces to full absorb flavours.

This can be used for a variety of traditionally shaped pastas – I use this for

Follow the links above to show how to shape this pasta

Traditional recipes use only semolina – my semolina is a bit too coarse so I use a mix of 2 parts semolina to 1 part OO pasta flour

I prefer to mix the dough in a food processor – not only is this faster but I believe it makes it easier to establish how much water is needed.  You don’t want a wet, sticky dough – just enough to bring the mix together into a ball.  You can mix this on a clean surface, adding the water to a well in the centre.

To cook, boil in salted water for a few minutes.  It won’t be as soft as egg pasta, and should always be finished by cooking in the pasta source to absorb more flavour

This makes enough for 4-6 people.  Anything that’s not needed right away can be frozen.  When cooking from frozen, do not defrost but expect a few more minutes on the cooking time

Ingredients

  • 300g Semolina
  • 150g OO Pasta Flour
  • A little salt
  • approx 300ml warm water

Method

  • Add semolina, flour & salt to a food processor and blitz for a few seconds to mix
  • With the food processor running, slowly add the water until the dough starts to clump together.  Add more, a few drops at a time until a single ball is formed
  • Tip out onto a dry surface and knead the dough well for 5-10 minutes until a smooth, dry dough is formed
  • Cover in clingfilm and set aside for 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax before shaping

Now shape your pasta!

Pici

A traditional pasta of Tuscany, we had fun making this on our holiday in a farm around Lucignano.  Often served with a wild boar sauce, this is a spaghetti-type

  • Take a chunk of the dough and roll out with a rolling pin until about 4mm thick
  • Use a sharp knife to cut into strips about 4mm wide
  • Take each strip at at time and roll between the surface & hands to form a long, even thread
  • Set aside on a tray dusted with semolina to dry for about 20-30 minutes before use

IMG_7409

Orecchiette

‘Little Ears’ can be shaped in a variety of ways and often seen served with Broccoli

  • Take a chunk of dough and roll into an even rope about 8mm across
  • With a sharp knife cut into slices, approx 8mm wide
  • Take a piece of dough and place a blunt table knife on the top edge.  Drag the blade towards to you, causing the dough to roll up into a kind of shell
  • Unroll the ‘shell’ with your fingers to reveal the Orecchiette
  • Set aside on a tray dusted with semolina to dry for about 20-30 minutes before use

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Cavatelli

‘Little Hollows’ are shell-shaped pasta made in a very similar fashion to the Orecchiette without the final unfolding, they can be rolled on a gnocchi board or textured mat to give a ridge to help catch the sauce

  • Take a chunk of dough and roll into an even rope about 8mm across
  • With a sharp knife cut into slices, approx 8mm wide
  • Take a piece of dough and
    • place a blunt table knife on the top edge.  Drag the blade towards to you, causing the dough to roll up into a kind of shell.  OR
    • use your index and middle finger, pressing down and pulling towards you to create the ‘shell’. OR
    • repeat the above, but on a gnocchi board or clean textured mat to create a ‘shell’ with a ridged outer surface
  • Set aside on a tray dusted with semolina to dry for about 20-30 minutes before use

Trofie

A thin, twisted pasta from Liguria in Northern Italy, often served with pesto.  Generally overlooked in the UK

  • Take a chunk of dough and roll into an even rope about 8mm across
  • With a sharp knife cut into slices, approx 8mm wide
  • Take a piece of dough between your hands and rub together to create a thin piece of pasta about 3-4 cm long, thinner at the ends than in the centre
  • Lay the pasta piece in front of you and with the blade of a sharp knife on the left hand side held at 45°, draw the knife forwards and to the right, which will roll the dough and create the ‘twist’ effect
  • Set aside on a tray dusted with semolina to dry for about 20-30 minutes before use

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