March 04, 2016 How to Make Fresh Flax Pasta Noodles

Source: Dorothy Long, Home Economist   |  Category: Health & Nutrition, News, Recipes & Cooking

We are so excited to partner with Professional Home Economist and Pasta Specialist - Emily Richards to develop this Fresh Flax Pasta Noodle recipe.  Emily replaced the eggs usually found in most pasta recipes with ground flaxseed. Replacing the eggs with ground flaxseed adds fibre to the fresh pasta and also makes it suitable for a vegan diet!  To make these noodles gluten free, simply replace the all purpose flour with gluten free flour.  As there is no gluten in the gluten free recipe, the noodles are more fragile and extra care must be taken when rolling out the dough and making the noodles.  Rather then using the noodle cutter we used a knife to hand cut our gluten free noodles. 

Step by Step Guide to Fresh Flax Pasta Noodles:

1. Gather the Ingredients:
•    1/4 cup (60 mL) ground flaxseed
•    3/4 cup (175 mL) warm water
•    1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
•    2 tsp (10 mL) canola or flaxseed oil
•    1 3/4 cups (425 mL) all purpose flour (approximately)

2. Gather the Equipment:
•    small bowl
•    large bowl
•    plastic wrap
•    knife
•    pasta machine
•    clean tea towels

3. Make a Flax Egg: In a small bowl, stir together ground flax, water, salt and oil. Let stand for 10 minutes to thicken.

4. Make the Dough: Measure flour out onto work surface or in large bowl and create a mound with a small indent in the centre. Pour flax mixture into flour and using a fork start stirring the flour into the flax mixture. Using your hands bring dough together and start to knead dough incorporating more flour if necessary, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) at a time until dough is soft but no longer sticky. 

5. Let the Dough Rest: Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Note: At this point the pasta dough could be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Be sure to allow it to come back to room temperature before rolling.

6. Divide Dough: Cut dough into 4 pieces. Knead each piece gently with flour if slightly sticky. Keep dough well floured to prevent sticking as you begin to make the noodles. 

7. Rolling out the Pasta: Using pasta machine, flatten dough and feed into the press one piece at a time. Start with the first (thickest) (usually marked 1) setting.  Fold the dough in half or thirds and feed through the press again. Repeat one or two more times. Lightly sprinkle with flour if sticking. You may want to roll the dough through each setting twice. This step develops the gluten and helps hold the pasta together when cooking. 

8. Thinning out the Pasta: Continue rolling the dough through the roller reducing the settings gradually as you go. Roll dough through each setting two or three times.  Do not fold the dough during this stage. If it becomes too long to manage cut it in half. Continue rolling until you have a smooth, thin pasta sheet formed. For linguine or fettuccine, we continued rolling to the 5 or 6 setting. As you finish thinning the dough, lay each sheet of dough flat on floured surface then cut into 12 inch lengths; dust with flour and cover with a clean dish towel. Continue with rolling remaining dough.

9. Cutting into Noodles: Switch the pasta machine to the desired noodle cutter attachment. Run pasta sheets through pasta cutter (we used a fettuccine cutter) to form noodles. Toss the noodles gently with more flour, roll or gather into loose baskets. Set aside and cover with clean tea towel. 

10. Cooking, Drying or Freezing:  To cook pasta immediately while fresh, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta noodles for about 3 to 4 minutes or until tender but still firm (al dente). Drain well and toss with your favorite sauce. To dry, lay pasta over a clothes drying rack, back of chair or even coat hangers, and allow to dry until completely brittle. Store in an airtight container for several weeks. To freeze, arrange noodle baskets on a baking sheet and freeze over night. Then place in an airtight container and freeze up to three months. Note: that dried or frozen noodles may take a minute longer to cook. 

11. Serve Pasta with your Favorite Sauce:  Or try one of these recipes create by Emily Richards especially for the Fresh Flax Pasta Noodles:

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 3 to 5 minutes

Yield: 1 lb (500 g)

Half Batch Yield: 1/2 lb (250 g)
Nutritional analysis for half batch of noodles. Flax serving 2 Tbsp (25 mL) 

Calories: 470
Total fat:  11 g
Saturated fat:  1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium:  590 mg
Carbohydrates: 81 g
Fibre: 6 g
Sugars: 4 g
Protein: 13 g 

Quarter Batch Yield: 1/4 lb (125 g)
Nutritional analysis for 1/4 batch of noodles. Flax serving 1 Tbsp (15 mL) 
Calories: 230
Total fat:  5 g
Saturated fat:  0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium:  290 mg
Carbohydrates: 41 g
Fibre: 3 g
Sugars: 2 g
Protein: 7 g