Intimidated by making fresh pasta at home? Don't be! Sourdough Discard Pasta is one of the best ways to use up a lot of sourdough discard and it's easier than you think. Adding sourdough enhances the flavor, texture and adds the magic of fermentation to homemade pasta.
Nothing beats the taste and texture of homemade pasta, make it once and you'll realize it's totally worth the effort. With only a few simple ingredients, and a little bit of time, you can treat your friends and family to the delight of fresh pasta that's sure to leave a lasting impression.
Cooking with sourdough discard
Not only does sourdough discard add a delightful tangy flavor to your Sourdough Pasta, but it also enhances its nutritional value and aids in digestion when given a longer fermentation time.
Wheat contains phytic acid, also known as phytates. Our bodies don't naturally produce the enzyme phytase, necessary for digesting phytic acid, which can block the absorption of vital minerals like magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iron. Extended fermentation helps by breaking down phytic acid through enzymes, allowing our bodies to absorb these nutrients more effectively.
Since we don't need our pasta dough to rise, you won't have to activate or feed your sourdough starter for it to be effective in this recipe. You can use sourdough discard straight from the fridge!
What you need to make Sourdough Pasta
- All-purpose or 00 flour - Pasta is traditionally made with 00 flour, a low-protein flour that's milled very finely. 00 flour can be purchased at most specialty grocery shops or online. But if you don't have any on hand, I've used all-purpose flour with great results.
- Semolina flour - Semolina flour is made of Durum Wheat, a harder type which gives this pasta a nice bite. If you don't have any in your pantry, feel free to substitute with all-purpose or even whole wheat!
- Sourdough discard - If you don't have any discard on hand, feel free to use active sourdough starter or just add 36 grams of water and 36 grams of flour to your dough.
See recipe card for detailed ingredient information.
STEP 1 Make the dough: Start with a mound of flour and create a well in the center with high walls to prevent the eggs and starter from spilling from the sides (image 1). Beat the eggs to make a thick paste and begin incorporating the flour from the sides. Incorporate all of the flour into the dough using your hands or cut the ingredients together with a bench scraper (image 2).
TIP: I like to use a butcher block or wooden cutting board to make my pasta dough. It allows me to mix and knead my dough right on the board without making too much of a mess.
STEP 2 Knead the dough and ferment: Knead the mixture thoroughly until a cohesive dough forms, wrap the dough in plastic and let the dough rest for 30 minutes (image 3). Turn the dough out on a clean surface and knead until completely smooth (image 4). Wrap it in plastic and let the dough ferment 2 hours at room temperature or up to 48 hours in the refrigerator before using.
STEP 3 Roll out and cut the dough: Divide the dough into two portions. Working with one portion at a time, use a rolling pin to flatten out the dough into a long oval (image 5). You can choose to cut your pasta by hand or using a pasta machine.
How to cut pasta dough by hand: Get the dough as thin as you can, preferably enough so you can see the outline of your fingers through the sheet of pasta. Starting at the shorter end closest to you, fold the sheet of pasta into a 2 to 3 inch long rectangle. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into your desired width (image 6).
How to use a pasta machine: Roll the dough into a narrow rectangle (about 6 inches wide) using a rolling pin, then feed it through your pasta machine at set at its thickest setting. Continue passing it through, adjusting to thinner settings until you achieve your desired thickness (image 7). Choose your preferred attachment and cut it into your desired shape (image 8).
TIP: Generously flour the pasta dough before using the pasta cutter to prevent the noodles from clumping and sticking together.
STEP 4 Cook: Cook pasta in a large pot of heavily salted boiling water. Let the pasta boil for 60 to 90 seconds, or until the pasta floats and is tender.
- For the best results, use gram over volume measurements. Measuring by weight is more accurate than measuring by cups or tablespoons.
- Different brands of flours absorb moisture differently, if your dough feels too dry, add a little bit of water, teaspoon at a time until your dough no longer feels dry and unmanageable.
- Allowing your dough to rest will allow the gluten to relax and make the dough easier to knead and roll out.
- Let the dough rest for at least 2 hours before rolling it out and cutting or shaping.
- Fresh pasta cooks quickly so don't walk away as its boiling. Overcooked pasta will become soft and mushy.
My favorite way to serve this pasta is with simple sauces like pesto or this roasted tomato sauce.
Absolutely! The flavor will be different, however this recipe will still work. Simply add 38 grams of flour and 38 grams of water to your dough.
Whole wheat flour contains bran which can prevent dough from building a strong gluten network. This can lead to your pasta becoming too fragile and breaking apart as it cooks. If you'd like a little whole wheat flavor, it's best to combine it with all-purpose flour.
It's best to cook fresh pasta in a large pot of heavily salted water at a rolling boil. Cook pasta for 60 to 90 seconds, or until it floats to the surface and reaches your desired texture.
Absolutely! You can use this pasta dough to make any shape of pasta, you can even add fillings to make ravioli or tortellini.
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- 120 grams all-purpose or 00 flour
- 40 grams semolina flour
- 6 grams salt
- 2 egg
- 75 grams sourdough discard
Click US Customary to view volume measurements
- Make the dough: Place flours and salt on a butcher block or large plate and create a mound with tall walls and a large well in the center. Add eggs and sourdough discard in the center of the well.120 grams all-purpose or 00 flour, 40 grams semolina flour, 6 grams salt, 2 egg, 75 grams sourdough discard
- Using a fork, break the egg yolks and stir in the sourdough discard. While keeping the walls intact, begin incorporating the flour into the egg and discard paste until a majority of the flour has been mixed in.
- Work mixture until all dry bits of flour have been hydrated. This may take a while, but don't worry the ingredients will be integrated eventually. Knead the dough until smooth.
- Allow the dough to rest: Wrap the dough in plastic and allow it to ferment at room temperature (75 F / 23 C) for at least 2 hours before using.
- Ferment dough (optional): After 2 hours, place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 48 hours to ferment.
- Cut and roll pasta: Cut and roll your pasta by hand or using a pasta machine.
- Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the pasta into the water while gently separating the strands. Cook the pasta for 60 to 90 seconds, this pasta cooks very quickly so make sure you watch for doneness.
- Serve and enjoy: Drain the pasta, toss with a little olive oil to prevent from sticking and serve with the sauce of your choice.
These recipes were developed and tested using grams for precise measurements. To increase your chances of success, I recommend investing in a kitchen scale. I've included rough volume estimates (in tablespoons and cups), but they might not be totally accurate.
Remember all ovens are unique, these recipes were tested in my oven which runs cooler than others. You might need to lower the temperature if your bake appears to be browning too quickly. Monitor your bake closely and make adjustments if needed.