OK, I hear you saying, "what is a wheat berry?" It's just the term for wheat that has been separated from the hull but is otherwise unprocessed. In other words, it's whole wheat. In my posting on July 7, I showed you how to thresh and winnow the grain to yield these wheat berries. In this posting, I'll show you how to grind the wheat and make it into pasta.
Once you have your wheat berries, you need to grind it into flour. There are a number of different devices on the market that allow you to do this ranging from hand cranked grinders to dedicated grain mills. If you want to know more about the subject, check out my previous posting Flint Corn & Grain Mills Used to Grind Corn, Wheat and Other Grains. I have a KitchenAid mixer and the company makes a variety of attachments including a grain grinder and a pasta roller/cutter. That's what I used to grind my grain, but you can use whatever grinder fits your budget.
While the KitchenAid is a good appliance, trying to grind from wheat berries to flour in one pass is not a good idea. It puts too much stress on the motor and I've read plenty of posts about people who destroyed their mixer. The best approach is to grind the grin in three or four passes. Start by doing a coarse grind and then progressively grind the grain to a fine powder. On the KitchenAid grinder attachment, you do this by rotating the dial on the front of the grinder. I did four grinds and ground a pound of flour in about 10 minutes. One other tip...put small amounts of grain into the hopper at any given time or you'll clog your grain mill.
Once the flour is ground, use 3 large eggs and 2 cups of flour for as much pasta as you would like to make. Beat the eggs and incorporate them into the flour. Then lightly flour a cutting board and knead the dough for about 5 minutes. You want to keep the flour from sticking to the board so add some flour as needed, but try to use as little as possible as this can lead to tough pasta.Once the flour is kneeded, set it aside in a bowl for 15 minutes. You're now ready to make the pasta.
I used an attachment on my KitchenAid mixer to flatten the pasta. I set the roller attachment for the widest setting and ran the pasta throught the rollers. I then turned the adjustment knob to a narrower setting and ran the dough through again. There are a number of settings that go from very wide to very thin. Choose a setting that corresponds to a pasta thickness you like. You would use the same proceedure if you have a hand-cranked pasta maker. If you are going all manual on this, roll out the pasta to your desired thickenss with a rolling pin.
I then changed the attachment on my KitchenAid, replacing the rolling attachment with the pasta cutter attachment. I then ran the pasta through this and let the pasta "noodles" fall onto a floured cutting board.
If you intend to cook the pasta immediately, you don't need to worry about the noodles sticking together. They can be seperated with a spoon when you drop them into boiling water.
However, if you plan to use the pasta at a later date, you might want to place the noodles on a pasta drying rack so they stay seperated.
If you don't have a KitchenAid pasta maker attachement or a manual pasta machine, you can lay the rolled pasta onto a cutting board and cut the noodles with a knife. The pasta wont' be as uniform if you do this, but don't worry; it will taste just as delicious.
Fresh noodles cook in just a few minutes. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Drop in the noodles. Cook for for 2 or more minutes till done. The cooking time depends on the thickness of the pasta, so just taste it as it cooks and find the right time for your tastes. Serve immediately and dress with pasta sauce, butter and parmesian cheese, pesto, or whatever is your favorite topping.
Whole wheat pasta is brown, not white. Don't let the color fool you. Whole wheat pasta is really yummy.