I absolutely loved this sourdough pasta challenge! Thank you Sourdough Surprises and Happy Anniversary! I would never have thought to try sourdough in homemade pasta. My grandmother used to make the best beef and vegetable soup and on rare occasions she would make some homemade noodles for it instead of using barley. They were so delicious and I can remember her hand rolling and cutting the pasta, it seemed like magic at the time. The way these noodles came out reminded me so much of hers and made me very happy.
The dough was easy to put together, just a combination of a couple of eggs, some flour and my white 100% hydration starter. A quick blitz in the mixer with the dough hook was all it took to combine the dough into a ball. I let the dough rest, covered, at room temperature for 7 hours. I would have let it sit longer, but it had already doubled and was threatening to overflow the bowl. I guess this means my starter is pretty happy!
The dough was easy to roll out even though it was a bit sticky. I needed to be careful to keep moving it and tossing flour underneath as I rolled. I was able to get it really thin, and it did tear a little in a few places. Fortunately, a few tears don’t matter to the end result. Because the dough was sticky, I decided to use my pizza cutter to cut it lengthwise into noodles rather than folding it up and slicing through with a knife. I also had to be careful to not stack them as they stuck together. In retrospect, I think I probably should have trimmed the dough into a rectangle and then cut the pasta horizontally. Next time!
A quick bath in some well-salted boiling water and I had pasta! The sourdough flavor was barely detectable in the plain noodle but was pleasant, kind of like having wine in a sauce. I think the flavor would have been better had I been able to let the dough rest overnight. After tossing the cooked pasta with butter, garlic, parsley and Parmesan, the sourdough flavor was undetectable but the pasta was still delicious. The texture was addictive, very slightly chewy but tender at the same time.
I loved this recipe so much that I made it twice more. The second time I tried it with my whole wheat starter for a healthier noodle. This time I dried the pasta so that I could use it later. The dried whole wheat pasta had a stronger sour note and, like store-bought dried pasta, took a lot longer to cook. It also didn’t cook as evenly with the thicker areas staying more uncooked than I would have liked. I paired it with sauteed sausage, roasted tomatoes, garlic and spinach. While the dish was tasty, I think I’ll be sticking with the pasta made from the white flour starter most of the time.
My third time I made a variation on the plain pasta by adding the zest of one lemon and lots and lots of freshly ground black pepper. I tossed these noodles with butter and parsley again and the subtle lemon and pepper flavor of the noodles was a nice addition. This was probably my favorite of the three pastas I made. I’m looking forward to experimenting more with pureed spinach or some herbs added to the dough. I think that making pasta is going to become my favorite way to use the discard starter!
- ½ cup sourdough starter (100% hydration)
- 1.5 cups flour
- 2 eggs
- Pour the starter into your mixing bowl.
- Add the flour and egg, and mix until it forms a ball.
- Allow the dough to sit on the counter for a few hours, up to overnight.
- Dump the ball out onto a floured counter.
- Roll it out as thin as you can possibly make it.
- Slice the noodles into whatever shape you like.
- You can now either boil them immediately to eat, or allow them to dry out on the counter.
Be sure to check out what other Sourdough Surprises members have done!