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Make spaghetti night healthier with spelt
Spelt pasta
You can mix up your own splet pasta with floor and eggs. - photo by Stock photo

• 8 eggs, brown or cage free
• 4-1/2 cups whole-grain organic spelt flour
• 1/2 teaspoon natural sea- salt

Pile flour on a clean work surface, making a well in the middle. Crack eight eggs and add salt to the well and begin to mix in the flour with a fork, slowly gathering the flour from the sides of the well and being careful not to break the walls of flour. Mix until the dough begins to come together then work the dough by hand, adding flour as needed, until the dough is smooth. Form into a ball and wrap in plastic. Let it rest at least one hour.
After resting, cut the dough ball into 10 pieces, flattening each by hand slightly. Process each piece on its own and cover the others with plastic wrap or a towel while not in use. Using a pasta machine, manual or electric-powered, roll the pasta into sheets to your desired thickness.
To do this, set the rollers of the pasta machine to the widest setting and start to feed the dough through with one hand while guiding it out with the other. Once it is through, flour the dough lightly, fold it in thirds and feed it through the roller again. Continue to feed the dough through the rollers, setting the rollers closer together on each pass until you reach your desired thickness. Lay the dough on a table or tray on a clean kitchen towel to dry for 10 minutes.
Once dry, run the pasta through the machine again, using a pasta cutter to create spaghetti or linguine. Feed the dough through with one hand and catch the finished pasta with your free hand as it comes out.
If you do not have a pasta machine, you can process your dough using a rolling pin to flatten it to your desired thickness.  Then, once you let it dry for a bit, use a pastry wheel or pizza cutter to cut pasta into strips.  You will need to go with a thicker linguine-style pasta with this method, but it will still do the trick.
Whatever method you use, once pasta is cut, twist or twirl each bunch of spaghetti into small nests on a floured, clean, kitchen towel on your table or on a tray (use a tray if you intend to freeze some for later). Allow it to dry for at least three or four hours.
Once the pasta is dry, it can be cooked. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta for 10-11 minutes or until desired consistency is reached.  
Drain well, top with your favorite sauce and enjoy. Garlic bread is a nice accompaniment.

I came across spelt when doing some research on wheat alternatives.  I once read that spelt flour made great pasta, and since my pasta machine had been sitting idle in my cupboard for Lord knows how long, I decided that it was time to give spelt a try.
Spelt is an ancient grain that, although popular throughout Europe, has seen a resurgence in the United States during the past several years. A distant cousin to modern-day wheat, it is a whole grain high in protein and B complex vitamins. It’s high water solubility make the nutrients within it much more easily absorbed by the body. Spelt typically is seen as a healthier alternative to traditional wheat.
Although spelt flour can be substituted for wheat flour in just about any recipe, it makes especially tasty pasta dough. Because it has a heartier texture than flour, pasta made with spelt will be a little denser, giving it a rustic appearance and texture when cooked. It has a mild nutty flavor that pairs well with many sauces.  
Spelt does contain gluten, although it is a different type that what we’re used to. If you have an sensitivity to gluten, such as Celiac disease, you may be able to tolerate spelt; however, dietary specialists encourage gluten-sensitive people to talk to their doctors before trying to cook with spelt.
I found this recipe on, which is a great resource for healthy Italian-style cooking.  
This recipe will make enough pasta for two large family dinners. Extra dried pasta can be stored in an airtight bag and frozen until needed.  If you don’t want to make extra, simply cut this recipe in half and follow the same preparation instructions.

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