Fresh Pasta, Egg Free

Fresh Egg-free pasta specked with black peppercorns and air driedIn each of our previous posts, we have preached the simplicity of the ingredients that go into our fresh pasta: flour & eggs. Well, believe it or not, it can actually be simpler– fresh pasta, made without the eggs. It started as a gift idea. Rachel wanted to give away a batch of pasta as a Christmas gift, but wanted a product with a longer shelf life that could be decoratively packaged and stored without refrigeration. To do this, she substituted a combination of water and extra virgin olive for the eggs (both variations make up the liquid portion of the pasta), and used the same measurements of all-purpose and semolina flour (the dry). I happen to be a huge fan of the eggs in pasta– the way the yolks add a beautiful yellow tint, the added protein, and the rich, authentic taste– but after Rachel’s success and the suggestion of a mom whose daughter has an egg allergy, I thought I would give this egg-less pasta a shot. I mixed the dough with part white whole wheat flour, part semolina, tepid water, extra virgin olive oil and a large pinch of kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Thanks to the rich yellow-green hue of the olive oil, the color of the dough looked much like its egg-added counterpart. It also added a wonderful “sitting at an al fresco table on the cliffs of Cinque Terra savoring  freshly baked foccacia” aroma (read: smelled great). After rolling out the dough as I would with any pasta recipe, I simply laid the individual strands flat across my kitchen table and left them to dry. Several hours later, the pasta curled slightly, but was perfectlly dry and ready to store. A fun advantage to egg-free pasta? You can taste test it right out of the roller, no cooking needed. Check out the photos below to see how flour and water can truly be transformed into an italian delicacy.

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