June 09, 2016

Almond Flour & Whole Wheat Pasta made into Ravioli

In April I posted the first part of this post as I made homemade pasta (noodles) from this recipe. This morning I want to get the other part of it posted; ravioli. Cheese stuffed ravioli.  This particular recipe is almond flour based - but it's not completely 100% wheat free.  It's not as important to me to find one completely wheat free now that I buy my own non-gmo, organic wheat berries and grind my own flour.  After I stopped buying the store-bought flour(s) on the market, we found the digestive issues, bloating, pain, etc. disappeared.  It wasn't a gluten issue, it was the stuff that passes for 'flour' in stores today. That's a whole topic, post... novel for another day.

But my point is... we do eat wheat flour now - Not a lot of it, but I keep our pantry stocked with healthy, real wheat berries I grind whenever I want to make something with flour in it.

The only homemade low carb almond flour pasta I've been happy with so far  has about 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour in it.  You can use blanched or unblanched almond flour - For the photos in todays version I used unblanched almond flour so it has more specs of brown in it, is a little darker in color and it is firmer than when I made it using blanched. It has quite a bite to it when you use whole wheat and whole ground almonds.  It's very filling.  I like my pasta with just butter, salt and pepper on it but obviously you can top it with any kind of sauce you wish.

The carb counts depend on what products you use as they vary so much!  If you cook and bake lower carb often, you also know the brand you use makes a tremendous difference in whether or not your product turns out at all.  One almond flour does not equal another even if they look similar.  Same with whey protein powders.  It's frustrating, but true.

Almond Flour Based Pasta 

1 heaping c almond flour (blanched makes a whiter, softer product. I used natural, unblanched for this batch which is firmer than usual)
1/2 c plus 2 T unflavored whey protein powder (mine has 0 carbs and 0 sugar)
1/3 c vital wheat gluten
1/2 c whole wheat flour
2 t xanthan gum
1 t salt
3 eggs

Combine the dry ingredients in a  mixing bowl.  Slightly beat the eggs and pour into a well in the center of the dry ingredients.  With a bread dough hook attachment on your mixer, lower it and turn on low to behind to slowly incorporate the eggs into the dry ingredients.  It should slowly 'grab' the dry from the edges of the bowl and continue mixing until it forms a ball of dough itself.  If it's too dry and it absolutely is not forming together even after about 4 minutes, drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil or water onto the edges - only 1/2 teaspoon at a time.  If it's too wet for some reason and won't form a ball, sprinkle a tiny bit of almond flour or wheat flour or even whey protein powder until it starts to come together.  In the photos below you can see I don't need to add anything nor touch it.  I just let it mix on its own and it forms a ball.

Turn the ball of dough out to a parchment paper and work it with your hands a bit to loosen it  up.  It's a little sticky but you could add a tiny bit of whole wheat flour to dust if you need to.  Cover with a piece of plastic and let it rest about 15-20 minutes.  Divide the ball into half if you are rolling out with a rolling pin and roll between two sheets of parchment paper to very, very thin.  Slice strips with a pizza cutter to make noodles, use a ravioli mold for ravioli or slice into wider sheets to use for lasagna.  If you are using a pasta machine, divide your dough into 4-6 small balls and proceed as your particular machine requires.  Mine is a manual pasta machine.  Photos below.  For noodles, cook in boiling water until tender, drain.  Season.

Products I used to make my version are available online if you can't find them locally (I have to buy online too):
Marcato Atlas Pasta Maker, Stainless Steel
Isopure Whey Protein Isolate, Unflavored, 1 Pound
Honeyville Farms Blanched Almond Meal Flour, 5 lb
Natural Almond Flour - 25 Pound Bag
Hard White Wheat Berries - Non-GMO, 100% Non-Irradiated
Hodgson Mill Vital Wheat Gluten w/ Vitamin C - 6.5 oz
Bob's Red Mill Xanthan Gum, 8-Ounce
KitchenAid Classic Plus Stand Mixer

Eggs into the dry ingredients

Starting to mix - let it slowly incorporate itself

Didn't scrape down the bowl or force it to blend - just let it grab from the sides itself

It's forming a dough ball nicely

And it's a nice ball of dough

Stickier and harder to work with than wheat pasta... takes more time

Not as stretchy and smooth as flour based of course, but I got the job done

Putting together pieces into my ravioli mold

Filled with a basic egg, ricotta, garlic and parsley filling

Covered with more pasta and rolled to seal

Ready to freeze or cook in boiling water for a few minutes until done

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