What Is Vegan Pasta and How is It Different than Regular Pasta?Blogger
Did you know that many pasta brands use eggs or egg whites when making their noodles? Just because you are vegan doesn’t mean you have to ditch your favorite pasta dishes! Today, we’re going to blow the lid off of vegan pasta and explain how it’s different from regular pasta and give you a few recipe ideas, too!
Does being a vegan mean you can’t eat pasta?
Not at all. Most non-vegan foods have similar vegan options, and pasta is no exception. In fact, finding vegan pasta is a lot easier than finding other vegan alternatives.
Take a look at this guide to learn how you can find and make your own vegan pasta.
Can Pasta Be Vegan?
There are a lot of different kinds of pasta out there that are 100% vegan. In fact, most boxed pasta is usually vegan (with a few acceptions). It’s the homemade pasta you have to watch out for.
Homemade pasta tends to have eggs in it.
But again, there are many safe pasta options that are egg free. To get a better idea of vegan pasta, let’s first look at the typical ingredients you can find in most traditional pasta.
What Is Pasta Made Of?
The four main ingredients in pasta are flour, salt, water, and eggs.
Most pasta consist of either semolina or durum, both different types of wheat flour. But you can make pasta with many other kinds of grains, including things like spelt, rice, quinoa, corn, and kamut. These less traditional grains tend to produce a softer and stickier pasta.
For people with wheat allergies, these other grains make good alternatives to normal wheat flour.
You can also find pasta made of whole grain wheat. This flour gives the pasta a darker complexion, but it also makes the pasta more nutritious.
So What’s the Difference Between Traditional and Vegan Pasta?
It’s the eggs that make the pasta either vegan or non-vegan. All you have to do is take the eggs out of the mix, which is an easy thing to do.
Any pasta that doesn’t include eggs is completely vegan safe.
How to Make Sure Your Pasta Is Vegan
Buying vegan pasta isn’t a big job that takes a lot of work. You just have to read the ingredients list on the pasta you choose (which is something you should be doing with your food anyway).
As a general rule, packages pasta, like spaghetti and rotini, won’t have any eggs. But always check. Sometimes pasta has egg whites, which can be a hidden non-vegan ingredient.
You’ll also want to avoid egg rolls. Some might have faux eggs, but egg noodles are almost never going to be vegan-friendly.
What If I’m Eating at a Restaurant?
Restaurant pasta gets a little trickier. Remember, homemade pasta is the type that usually has eggs. But that doesn’t mean you should skip the pasta next time you’re eating out with the family.
Egg is a common allergen, so most waiters/waitresses will know if there are eggs in the pasta or not. If they aren’t sure, most are happy to ask the chef for you.
You might be able to get an alternative if the pasta does contain eggs, and if it doesn’t, you’ll be able to eat your dinner with peace of mind.
How to Make Your Own Vegan Pasta
Though eggs are traditionally included in pasta, they aren’t a necessary ingredient.
So why are they there in the first place?
Aside from adding extra nutritional value, eggs improve the quality of the pasta. In other words, they make the dough soft, resistant, and elastic.
But other than the texture of the dough, there’s not much of a difference if you decide to keep the eggs out. That means you can make your own delicious, vegan pasta at home.
Don’t worry. It’s doesn’t take as much work as you’re thinking.
So here’s a quick and simple vegan pasta recipe if you want to try making some of your own.
Homemade, Vegan Pasta Recipe
To start off with, you’ll need some basic ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need.
- 1 2/3 cups of pasta flour
- 1/2 a cup of water
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1/2 s teaspoon of salt (plus more for the cooking water)
That’s all you need. You most likely already have most of these ingredients sitting in your kitchen.
Each of these steps is easy, but pasta definitely isn’t something you can make for a last minute dinner. So if you want to make your own pasta, remember to plan ahead.
Step One: Mixing the Dough
To start off, mix all the ingredients (flour, water, salt, and olive oil) together in a large bowl. It’s definitely easier to mix it all together with your hands, so make sure they’re clean.
Step Two: Kneading and Resting the Dough
Flour a surface and knead the dough for about five minutes. Then wrap it in cling film and leave it in the refrigerator for at least an hour. If you have more time, leave it in for a few more hours for better results.
Step Three: Rolling the Dough
Once you take the dough back out of the fridge and remove the cling film, divide it into four even sections. Lightly flour a surface, and, working with one section at a time, roll out the dough until its about 1/16 of an inch.
Make sure you turn the dough over after every few rolls to keep it even and consistent.
Step Four: Shaping the Pasta
You can shape your pasta however you want, but for the sake of this recipe, we’re going to stick to basic tagliatelle.
Dust your dough with more flour (so it doesn’t stick to itself) and roll it up. Cut the rolled up pasta into strips. The wider you cut the strips, the wider your pasta will be.
Step Five: Cooking the Pasta
Bring a pan of water to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Put the pasta in the boiling water and cook it until it starts to float. This shouldn’t take any longer than five minutes.
Try not to overcook your pasta. You’ll end up with some sloppy tagliatelle if you do.
Step Six: Serve and Enjoy
As soon as your pasta cooks, it’s ready to eat. Pair it with your favorite vegan sauce and serve.
Understanding Vegan Pasta
Vegan pasta is pretty common. If the pasta is packaged, it most likely doesn’t contain any eggs. The only thing you have to do before buying it is to double check the ingredients list.
But if you don’t want to eat store-bought pasta, you can always make your own vegan pasta at home. All it takes is a few simple ingredients and a bit of planning ahead.
Do you have a wheat intolerance? Make sure you check out some of these gluten-free pasta recipes.