Suppose you're like me and grew up with a box of store-bought spaghetti noodles in your pantry. Making your own pasta might seem daunting. But it turns out that making semolina pasta dough is relatively easy. If you aspire to be a budding pasta maker, I'm here for you! Grab your pasta roller, and let's do this!
While semolina pasta is not as standard as egg or wheat-based pasta, it has a long history and is still popular today. It's an excellent alternative for diners who prefer to avoid eggs in their cooking.
What Is Semolina?
Semolina flour is made from durum wheat. It's also known as farina in Italy and makam in Greece, but regardless of its name, semolina has a distinctive white color and coarse texture that makes it easy to tell apart from other flours like whole wheat or all-purpose. Semolina can be used for making pasta and bread doughs, but it also has another culinary use: fine-grinding it into couscous!
Semolina flour is produced from durum wheat (also called macaroni wheat). Durum wheat grows best in dry climates with little water to produce large kernels with high protein content. They're then cleaned through "bolting," which involves shaking them vigorously until all the trash falls off. The resulting grain is ground into coarse flakes known as semolina flour—and used by cooks everywhere to make delicious dishes like this easy semolina pasta recipe!
- Food Processor
- Stand Mixer
- Pasta Machine
- Rolling Pin
- Semolina 1 cup: You can buy semolina (also known as semolina flour) in the baking section of your grocery store, near regular all-purpose flour.
- Salt 1 teaspoon
- Cooking oil two teaspoons
Making semolina pasta dough is a two-step process. First, a food processor mixes the semolina and water into a thick paste. Let the dough rest for at least 1 hour before rolling out on a floured surface.
Semolina pasta is a lot easier than you think it is. Here are some tips to help you make your semolina noodle dough:
Use the right ingredients! Semolina flour, olive oil, salt, and water should be all you need for this recipe. A good quality olive oil will help enhance flavors and give it a lovely golden hue once cooked.
Make sure not to use too much water in your dough. Otherwise, it will get sticky and harden into an almost brick-like consistency when rolling out onto a sheet pan after the resting period has elapsed.
More water results in there needing to be more moisture content present, which prevents proper hydration. If there's not enough moisture within the mixture, those nutrients aren't going anywhere when they start heating up during cooking.
Double-check both ends before deciding whether more needs to be added or less taken away!
The rest period passes and allows the time needed for gluten proteins trapped under surface layers to become activated by humidity introduced by kneading it. Letting the dough rest allows gluten bonds to form and makes it easy to use; otherwise, it'll crumble.
How to Measure Semolina Flour
Use a measuring cup or scale to measure the semolina flour. You can use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup, or if you have one, you can dust it with semolina flour and then use that to scoop out the right amount.
Measuring cups usually come in ¼-cup, ½-cup, and 1-cup measurements. If you don't have any specific reason for using a particular size other than what's called for in your recipe, I recommend using this as your guideline:
|2 tablespoons||= ⅛ cup|
|4 tablespoons||= ¼ cup|
|8 tablespoons||= ½ cup|
|16 tablespoons||= 1 cup|
Let the Pasta Dough Rest
This is important because letting the dough rest allows the gluten strands to relax, making it much easier to roll out. It also allows the flour to hydrate fully, which helps create a nice, tender pasta.
The time you should rest your dough will depend on how humid or dry your kitchen is and how thickly you rolled it out. If it's warm and humid in your kitchen, let the dough rest for a shorter period.
If it's cold or dry, you can go longer before needing that break. On average, let your rested dough sit for 10 minutes (or as long as 45).
Perfecting Your Semolina Pasta Dough
You'll want to use the dough hook attachment to make semolina pasta dough with a stand mixer. This will allow you to knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes, an essential part of making pasta from scratch.
Suppose you don't have a stand mixer, no worries! You can still use a food processor—mix everything in a large bowl and knead it with your hands until it forms a smooth ball that doesn't stick to your fingers. (The most straightforward way I've found is just smearing some oil on my hands before I start.)
After it's mixed, the dough will be incredibly soft and sticky. You'll want to let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes before rolling out your noodles. This allows the flour to absorb moisture, making the dough easier to handle.
Next up is using a rolling pin or pasta machine —you can buy one at any hardware store—to roll out your noodles and cut them into whatever shape you desire; I like the widest setting, personally.
Once they're all cut, cook them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat and drain well before serving with melted butter or olive oil on top.
Store leftover fresh pasta in an airtight container for 1-2 days before using or freezing. If you are looking to
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Once you know how semolina pasta dough is easy to work, you'll be making chewy, golden-yellow spaghetti or fettuccine in no time.
- 2 Cups Semolina Flour (Semolina is a coarsely ground durum wheat; it provides pasta with some color and flavor)
- 2 Large Eggs
- 4 Large Egg Yolks
- 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- Step 1: Combine the semolina flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir them together.
- Step 2: Blend the eggs, egg yolks, and olive oil in a separate bowl, whisking until you achieve a unified mixture.
- Step 3: Gradually introduce the egg mixture to the semolina flour. Start using a fork to integrate the flour with the eggs until you get a crumbly blend.
- Step 4: Form the dough collectively with your hands. Add a dash of olive oil in case the mixture seems excessively dry.
- Step 5: Relocate the dough onto a surface sprinkled lightly with flour and exert mild pressure while kneading it for approximately 10 minutes until you observe a smooth and stretchy texture.
- Step 6: Secure the kneaded dough in plastic wrap and let it settle at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Step 7: Once it's well-rested, unwrap the dough, and using a hand crank pasta machine or a rolling pin, flatten it into thin sheets. Proceed to cut it into shapes as per your preference.
- Step 8: When you're ready to cook, bring a sizable pot of water to a full boil, add salt, and then the pasta. Being fresh, the pasta should be cooked within a time frame of 2-3 minutes.
- This recipe should yield enough pasta for 4-6 servings. Relish the experience of crafting your personal homemade, fresh Semolina Pasta Dough! Enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 345Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 260mgSodium: 511mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 3gSugar: 0gProtein: 17g