Homemade Herbed Whole Wheat Pasta with Peas and Sunflower Sprouts

// A fulfilling and bright spring dish. The herbed whole wheat pasta adds a level of depth and heartiness while the peas and sprouts provide essential lightness and nutrients. If you have never made homemade pasta, I encourage you to give it a go. It is relatively simple and is a totally different experience from its dried counterpart.


Homemade Herbed Whole Wheat Pasta with Peas and Sunflower Sprouts

Serves 4

125 grams all purpose flour

125 grams whole wheat flour

3 tablespoons finely chopped herbs

3 large eggs

Pinch of salt

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1.5 cups peas, frozen or fresh

Large handful of sunflower sprouts

Juice of a lemon

Grated parmesan

Salt and pepper as needed

In a medium bowl, sift and measure out the all purpose flour and the whole wheat flour.  Mix in fresh herbs, this can be a combination of oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley, etc. Dump flour and herbs out onto a clean surface and make a large well in the center. Make sure that the walls of the well are high enough to support three eggs in the center.

Crack all three eggs into the center of the well and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.  Now, you are going to very careful whisk the eggs with a fork.  Be gentle as it is easy to create a giant mess here.  Once the whites are incorporated in with the yolks, begin to combine the flour with the eggs.  To do this you want to use your fork to pull a small amount of flour from the walls into the center.  As you do this you want to use your opposite hand to support the sides of the well by continuing to build it up with flour as you work around the well, so that the eggs do not spill over the edge. If this does happen, all is not lost.  Just ditch the fork and use your hands to combine. Once you have incorporated flour from the circumference of the well, gently whisk it into the eggs and repeat until the mixture in the center is very thick.  Set your fork aside and get your hands in the dough and work until the eggs and flour are fully combined.  The dough shouldn’t be too sticky or too dry, and it should form a cohesive ball.  If you find that it does not and it is falling apart because it is too dry, then I would suggest to break an additional egg into a small bowl.  Whisk it and combine just the smallest amount into the dough.  If this does the trick, stop here, if not, just add a small amount each time until it comes together.  Any dough is about feel, and as you get use to making homemade dough you will get to know instinctively what it should feel like.  The original three eggs should do the trick, but if not, you now know what to do.

When you are satisfied with the consistency, lightly flour your work surface.  Now, you are going to work.  Knead the dough for 6-8 minutes. When you are done kneading, form a ball with the dough and pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the dough.  Massage over the whole round.  Place the dough under a clean towel and let it rest for 30 minutes. Do not skip this step!

Here is where your method may differ from mine.  If you have a pasta roller and cutter, use these to make your pasta.  It is easy and the best way to get a super thin pasta.  Use the fettuccine setting on the cutter. I went old school this time, rolling the dough out with a rolling pin, getting my whole body into it for a good ten minutes to get it as thin as I possibly could, but not as thin as a rolling machine would.  Then I proceeded to cut the pasta by hand, meaning, I took a really sharp knife and worked it down the length of the dough at fettuccine width.  I know, I need to invest in more efficient tools, but it is sometimes nice to do things the long way and that was of greater value to me this time around. The result is slightly plumper noodles, and it was still great.  

Set the pasta aside and bring lightly salted water to a boil in a medium pot. Once at a boil, drop the pasta in.  This will only take 3-4 minutes to cook, so do not walk away.  When finished, drain the pasta.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Add in peas.  If the peas are frozen allow them to cook for 3-5 minutes to thaw.  Dump pasta into the skillet and squeeze the juice of one lemon over the pasta and peas.  

Plate the pasta onto 4 plates.  Top each plate with a small handful of sprouts and grated parmesan.  Enjoy!

//Cook’s Note: Two things. First, I wasn’t intending on using specifically sunflower sprouts, but I happened to find them at the farmer’s market that day, and they worked well.  Use whatever kind of sprouts that you find in your grocery store or local farmer’s market.  Second, buy a scale.  If you are interested in making doughs, pasta, or baking in general, a scale is essential as it is much more accurate than simply measuring with cups.