Last Tuesday, my little family had Emily and her husband (my brother) and my other brother over for dinner. My dad decided to make a meaty cannelloni, which sadly excluded me from the mains. All was not lost, however. I decided to make some braised vegetables to stick inside the tubes for myself. I’ve made this before and it is one of my staple sauces. All it involves is slicing up some garlic, chilli and anchovies and sauteeing these for a few minutes. You then add some grated zucchini and whatever vegetables you like and cook covered for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft. I usually use broccoli and cauliflower. It’s a great way to use up any old vegies which is our favourite challenge at the moment.
Emily is always very accommodating with me in regards to my non-meat eating practices. Whenever I go to her place for eating, she always has something there for me. I realised on Tuesday at the last minute that we didn’t have any non-wheat canelloni for her and I felt bad. Ahhh. The trials of freakatarians!
I decided to whip up some quick cannelloni shells using the spelt flour that I had in the cupboard. (I think it was wholemeal spelt but that was unintentional.) I had some dough left over the next day and decided to make fettuccine for lunch. I also had plenty of braised vegie sauce left over. Too easy; too tasty.
Ingredients for simple spelt pasta
120g spelt flour, plus extra for dusting (substitute with 100g wheat flour)
1 egg, lightly beaten
- This quantity is for one large serve – adjust as necessary. (Actually, once I read that you should serve 1.5g of pasta per kilogram of body weight. Take from that what you will!)
- Sift flour into a bowl and make a well.
- Add egg into well and use a fork to combine. Use a dough hook on an electric mixer or your hands to knead for about three minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Wrap dough in plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 1 hour for gluten to develop.
- Remove from fridge and roll very thin using a pasta machine or rolling pin. Use LOTS of flour to prevent sticking. I have a suspicion that spelt can be extra sticky.
- Use a pasta machine to cut into ribbons or just cut thinly with a sharp knife.
- Leave to dry over a broom handle/chair back/clothes horse etc.
- Cook in boiling salted water for one or two minutes and serve nice and hot.
This probably isn’t the definitive pasta recipe but it is nice and quick and runs rings around dried supermarket pasta. As I said, I served my version with the braised vegetable sauce. Of course, the options are endless… (My personal all time favourite is John Lethlean’s suggestion of aglio et olio.)