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March 09, 2010

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Dawn Marie Darretta

I am so happy to see you do a segment on grains. I grind my own wheat for baking and bread and would love to see more recipes for the other grains you mentioned ( you should do a book on grains!). I have durum that I have ground and would love a recipe for making pasta w/ it. I've cooked and made a warm salad w/ hard red winter wheat (added chopped carrots, red pepper, scallions and balsamic vinegar). But, would love to learn more too do w/ them. Now, I had read that spelt is so close to farro that most cannot tell the difference. Is this true?

mary ann esposito

Ciao Dawn,

I am so impressed by dedication to grains. To answer your question on spelt being farro and vice versa, there is much discussion and controversy over this; I like to play it safe by saying that farro is an ancient strain of wheat that may be related to spelt but is not exactly the same thing.

Durum wheat is hard wheat that is best for making short cuts of pasta like rigatoni and fusilli; this is usually done by extruders because this flour, unless ground very fine is hard to work with.

I have made fresh pasta using a fine grind of semolina (durum) in a ratio of 2 1/2 cups of the flour to 4 eggs. It is hard to give an exact recipe since all flours react differently but use this as a guide. Hope this helps. Mary Ann

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