Rye Pasta Recipe
A rustic rye pasta dough made with my little, hand-cranked, Mercato Atlas pasta machine.
My little Marcato Atlas pasta machine has been out on the counter for the past couple of weeks. It is compact, stout, heavy for its size, and manual. I've had it for more than ten years, but perhaps less than fifteen. And it teaches me lessons about making pasta that I forget and have to relearn each time there is an extended gap in our time together (of which there are many). I like to use the Atlas to make egg pasta - "00" flour enriched with an impossible number of electric yellow egg yolks, good for fettuccine and tagliatelle. But I've switched things up the past few days and have been rolling thin rye pasta. It's a nice option for the winter months, it freezes well (so I can make a lot in one go), and you can drop tangles of the noodles into a range of restorative winter broths.
These rye noodles boiled, then tossed with a big spoonful of salsa verde, splash of cream, and toasted almonds made a respectable ten-minute lunch topped with a poached egg. They were also good with lemon verbena infused olive oil, roasted crescents of delicata squash, and toasted hazelnuts (left over from this).
And while a pasta machine makes easy work of a task like noodle making, there's no reason you can't roll this dough out by hand. Be sure to allow the dough to rest, then roll it thin on a surfaced floured as lightly as you can get away with. If your dough is at all sticky, dust it with semolina flour to prevent sticking, but avoid over flouring. Fold it over on itself a few times, and slice with a sharp knife. Perhaps aspire for a noodle wider than the ones you see pictured here. They'll be a but more rustic, but certainly tasty.
Thanks to each of you who left comments last week. You're a big part of why I enjoy sharing and exploring ideas and recipes here. I am so very appreciative of each of you. -h
Rye Pasta Dough
1 cup rye flour
1 cup semolina flour
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 large egg, whisked
1/4 cup cold water, plus more as needed
special equipment: spray bottle filled with water, pasta machine
Making pasta takes a bit of patience and practice. It's more about developing a feel for the dough, versus following a precise recipe. With this dough, you're after a specific consistency, not too wet, not too dry. Before rolling out, the dough should be taught and elastic, similar in consistency to the palm of your hand. You get there through a process of kneading and adjusting. Let's give it a go.
To make the pasta dough, start by combining the flours and salt, turning it out onto a large (preferably wood) cutting board. Form a well in the middle of the flour (see photo above). Use a fork to gradually stir the flour into the egg yolk, little by little. Do your best not to breach the walls or the egg will run out. If this happens, simply work that egg into the flour. Drizzle the water across, and stir again. I like to use a dough scraper and/or my hands at this point in the process. Work the mass into a ball, kneading a couple of times if possible. You want to add as little water as possible beyond this, but enough that the dough comes together into a cohesive mass. To accomplish this, spray with water (or drizzle), and knead another few times. Repeat, adding more water, until you're set.
At this point you're going to transfer the dough to a clean surface and knead for a solid five minutes, even better if you can hold out for ten. You'll sense when then dough is happy, it develops a nice shine and elasticity. Better to err on the long side versus short at this point in the process. When finished, form into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic, and allow to rest, at room temperature, for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. If you have an extruder, this makes a nice dough for extruded pasta shapes, but rolls out into noodles beautifully as well. This is the approach we're going to talk through today.
Rolling pasta starts by slicing off a segment of dough, perhaps a bit larger than a golf ball. Immediately re-wrap the remaining dough to prevent it from drying out. You can either roll the pasta dough out by hand, and then slice into noodles, or start running the dough through a pasta machine's widest setting. In either case, after the dough has started to flatten and stretch out (say, the middle setting on the pasta machine), fold the pasta strip on itself every 3-4 inches or so, aiming for three or four layers. Now, roll the pasta to its desired length and thickness. If you're using the machine rotate the dough 90 degrees so the open edge of the pasta is feeding directly into the rollers. If at any point the dough gets too tacky, simply rub it with a bit of the flour you used in the dough.
Once the dough is at the desired thickness, run it through the cutting rollers on your pasta machine, or loosely roll the pasta into a tube, before slicing with a sharp knife. If you're cutting by hand, you really want to make sure the dough isn't going to stick, dust with just enough flour to ensure this doesn't happen.
Transfer the noodles to a flat surface dusted with semolina flour. With a light touch, fluff the noodles with your fingertips, incorporating a bit of the flour if the dough is sticking at all. Form into little nests. At this point you can cook the pasta in boiling, well-salted water, hang it to dry, or freeze it for later use.
Makes about 1 lb.
Prep time: 60 minutes - Cook time: 5 minutes
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This excites me a great deal! I have made fresh pasta seasoned with herbs or lemon, but I have yet to use rye flour. Are you cutting the pasta with the capellini attachment or something else? Also, to what thickness are you rolling the dough?
HS: Hi Kelsey - yes! I believe that's the one. But you could try another. I roll it out to the second most thin, I believe. Not the thinest.
Hello Heidi, You said you made this batch "thin" -- I'm curious what type/size of pasta machine attachment are you using here? Thanks!
I'm so happy you wrote this. I'm making rye pasta this weekend!
Love this idea! I've been using my Marcato Atlas machine quite a few times in the past month, and I love the idea of rye pasta! Now I just have to go google "making pasta with only two hands" because I swear a third one would be so helpful!
I've been intimidated by homemade pasta for no good reason. This incredible recipe might be just what I need to overcome the fear. Thanks for giving me hope that such deliciousness may be within my reach!
There must be something in the air: All I've been thinking of the past two weeks in homemade pasta. This dough, ravioli-style stuffed with wild mushrooms and a muscled wild green, like mallow. Wheels turning!
I've had one of those pasta machines for 35 years! I used to use it regularly, and it was always a big hit with my four kids when they were young, to hang egg pasta all over the kitchen and dining room to dry. Now we don't eat grains so it's just a lonely prop in my basement pantry. I don't suppose I can put my raw zucchini through it to make noodles, LOL?
Thanks for this....firstly, I must give rye pasta a go...and secondly, you've reminded me that I don't use my pasta machine enough! Need to get some friends around and we can all pitch in like here... htp://thinkingofthedays.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/pasta-pasta.html
Any serving suggestions? I've never had rye pasta and can't imagine what it tastes like. What kind of flavors would compliment it?
HS: Hi Brianna - I tried to thread a couple of ideas into the post up above. In addition I like it with lots of herbs, or an herby drizzle, tossed with pan-seared greens, punctuate with extra-roasted tiny pieces of winter squash, in broths.....
Hooray for the hand-crank - I've had my Marcato Atlas for more than 2 decades and I use it often (just last night, in fact, to roll out sheets for spaghetti alla chitarra). I like the idea of rye pasta. I'm betting it would be good dressed with a cabbage and caraway cream sauce, especially in winter.
I've made ravioli at home but since I don't own a pasta maker, I haven't tried spaghetti shapes or anything like that. The rye pasta sounds great. Thank you for the inspiration.
It's time to dust off my pasta machine. There's nothing like homemade pasta.
I want to try this! We all shoul make more homemade pasta, it is so,so satisfiying. Thanks for this inspiring post!
It's funny, I bake rye bread with a sourdough culture fairly often but it never occurred to me to make rye pasta! It's been a while since I've used my machine, but I'm going to have to pull it out and dust it off to try this recipe out now. Glad to hear the pasta freezes well too; I'll have to put some aside for those nights when I crave a fast and healthy dinner without much fuss :) Thanks for sharing!
This recipe made me jump with excitement (it really did!). Love it! Thank you for sharing it as well as pointing out that the pasta can be frozen. I'm making homemade pasta waaay to seldom, and I really need to get make some again!
I love make fresh pasta - but I use a rolling pin, I used my pasta machine to shape polymer clay, ehm - and add "strange" flours is one of the best ideas!
This looks fantastic! I have only had homemade pasta once at my uncle and auntie's, but it was the bomb! The pasta itself, humble, but so tasty, and much more filling than the dried store-bought one. I remember they served it with a thick and creamy onion sauce, it was divine! Thanks for sharing this recipe, I have been meaning to try and make my own pasta for some time now! Wishing you a lovely weekend x
Just lovely. I've never had rye pasta and can't wait to try!
I have the exact Atlas Pasta Machine. The best on Planet Earth, no doubt about it! Funny thing, I just picked up some organic Rye flour at the market with the intent of adventuring a little beyond the semolina and egg noodles classics. Then I saw your post, like the Universe just winked at me. Ha! Rye Pasta In My Future For Sure !
This looks marvelous- a reminder to myself that I need to use the pasta machine I received for my birthday in the spring...
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