Use for Too Much Starter -- Budelletti Pasta

(bengoshi) #1

So, I really hate throwing away perfectly good, gooey, alive, levain, so I have been searching for new uses. One that struck me is using my starter to make pasta.

In Italia there has always been a tradition of making yeasted pasta, with theories being that it was a way of utilizing leftover bread dough. There are a number referenced in the Encyclopedia of Pasta (Oreta Zanini DeVita), including cecamariti and budelletti from Le Marche region. Over at A Serious Bunburyist blog, there is a great discussion of all of this and a recipe for budelletti made with yeast. I have replaced the yeast with starter to great effect, in fact far more tang. The noodles puff up and rise a bit, they are chewy and my wife says similar to Asian noodles, like Udon, a view with which I agree.

My recipe adds a percentage of whole wheat flour, freshly ground from a Komo Mill, and whole wheat starter. My sauce was based upon that traditionally served in Ascoli Piceno, in Le Marche (a great place to visit, famous for its Oliva Ascolana – fried stuffed olives). That sauce is usually guanciale or pancetta, I went with pancetta and some braised/roasted pork belly I made a few days before. No tomatoes, but it would go great with an Amatriciana sauce as well.

This is not difficult, give it a whirl…

Ingredients for Pasta:

250 grams 00 Flour
100 grams whole wheat milled fine
1/4 cup (100 grams or so) whole wheat and white starter mixed, more will not kill it
160 grams or so of water

Ingredients for the Sugo (by feel):

Pancetta or Guanciale, diced
Braised Roasted Pork Belly (if you have some!) diced
Onion (I used a spring onion)
Herbs, Parsley
Olive Oil
White Wine
Calabrian Chili Paste or Chili Flakes

Make the Pasta

*In a KitchenAid type mixer, add the flours and salt and mix to combine.
*Float the starter in the water, stir it up, and pour into flour on low speed, slowly to let it absorb
*Dough will form a ball pretty quickly, remove and knead until smooth, but its not for bread so don’t go crazy. It will weigh about 550 grams
*Wrap in plastic, let sit and rise just slightly, for an hour
*Roll out using a rolling pin. No need to use a pasta machine crank roller, this rolls out much easier than normal pasta. Roll out so its thin, but still a bit puffy. You should see some bubbles from the starter
*Cut into 4 or 5 inch wide by 12 to 15 inch long strips (no need to be precise here) – See Photos
*Using a sharp knife, cut short ribbons of pasta on the wide side (each will be around 4-5 inches long). You may need to separate – cut hard, they are not like normal pasta
*Dust noodles as necessary, separating into strands

  • Lets sit a bit, they will puff up a bit, but don’t let grow too big
  • Boil in salted water and use a spider to remove into sauce


In a wide frying pan large enough for the pasta, heat some olive oll
Add the pancetta or gunaciale, fry until crisp, remove to plate lined with paper towel
Add diced onion, more olive oil as necessary, fry until translucent
Add Sage, other herbs
Add wine, cook down
Add chili sauce or flakes
Return fried guanciale or pancetta to pan
Add water to thin a bit
In separate cast iron pan, fry up slices of pork belly until brown and crisp but still soft. (Optional)
When pasta is done, spider into the sauce, keeping a bit wet. Add some cooking water as necessary to moisten
Top with fried pork belly, pecorino cheese, parsley and black pepper
Serve hot

(Melissa) #2

WOW - so much good stuff here. Thank you for sharing the info and the pictures. Beautiful!

Coincidentally, I made my first sourdough pasta about a week ago. I did my customary pasta recipe but added a big spoonful of starter. After kneading and wrapping in plastic, I left it at room temp for a few hours and then in the refrigerator for 7-8 hours. I de-gassed it a little before cutting and using the pasta machine to make spaghetti. I’m not sure I tasted a difference but it was the kind of night where I so hungry I have no memory of the first plateful lol

So this pasta doesn’t have egg? A flavor/texture choice? For this sauce or in all your pastas?
You said chewy - I love chewy. Is that from the starter and gluten development, or related to the lack of egg?

(bengoshi) #3

I think your idea to add a little starter to fresh pasta is a great idea, it can always add a little something.

As to the budelletti, yes, this is a “just water” eggless pasta. And it is a good kind of chewy— sometimes pasta that is too thick can be “chewy” meaning not soft enough. This is more like a ramen or udon chewy, maybe “springy” is a better word. BTW, “Budelletti” means “little intestines” in Italian, which is a little how they look and maybe slightly chewy like tripe.

Its funny that I bought a Komo mill to make fresh pasta and then expanded to bread, finding this great website and forum. Hopefully some here go the other way and move into fresh pasta. On that point, I would suggest anyone interested in Pasta check out the Serious Bunbryist blog:

(volpinab) #4

Wow is that an interesting idea! Definitely will have a go at that. Lovely pictures. Thanks.


(Melissa) #5

I’ll check out that blog. Thanks for the recommendation.

I think we’re on the same page about chewy. One of my favorite Asian noodles is pad see ew ( broad rice noodles). Perfect springy imo.

I’m hoping to try your budelletti soon. This weekend will be a battle in my mind between pizza and pasta. Maybe both

(bengoshi) #6

I hear you. I just finished two loaves of Ken Forkish 100% Levain Pain de Campange (check the pictures!) and I have now bought his Elements of Pizza book, so its likely bread and pizza for me this weekend, with Pasta taking a break. That and a 10 Lb brisket smoked on my Big Green Egg. Meanwhile, some day I will get around to a few baguettes…

(Melissa) #7

Yes there will be a carcass of some sort on our grill this weekend too :wink:

I thought you might appreciate my dinner of store bought soba. I used a fast recipe for sauce from foodnetwork but added red pepper flakes

(bengoshi) #8

Oishii desu ne! Soba dai suki desu! Funny, I did the same thing Monday night, buying from Japanese Sunrise Mart in NYC, although I just used the packet of soba “tsuyu” dipping sauce that came in the package. Yours looks much nicer — sugoi desu…

(Melissa) #9

I made some sourdough pasta again - this time with about half the flour from home-milled chickpeas (suggestion of @easummers).

It was so tasty, and fairly chewy for half whole meal anything. A little delicate to roll, but doable.

Here are some pics.

80g starter in 530g flour, 5 eggs…etc before and after fermentation pic

A Lot Of Pasta :sweat_smile:

(bengoshi) #10

Sourdough pasta — its a thing! Looks delicious I’m going to try with farina di cecci like you

(Melissa) #11

Cool - let me know what you think. (I was surprised at how much I liked it. I haven’t been a fan of the other bean pastas I’ve tried.)

(chuck) #12

Great Idea for pasta. I’m going to try it soon. Rather than create a monster of SD starter. When you are going to bake, take 1/4C out of your large Starter container and feed it 3-4 T and same of warm water in a smaller temporary container. Then use that to bake with. It will be ready quickly since you are not feeding the larger container of starter. Also keep the bulk of your starter in a thick consistency, this allows it to remain in an almost ready condition in the fridge and keeps the total of your starter quantity relatively the same. Just feed the larger container more flour with little water to achieve a thick starter and put it back into the fridge. Best C

(nancy) #13

I take out my jar of reserved (unfed) starter, measure it, and feed it to get some life and rise back into it and get rid of the strong acids that accumulate when starter is left unattended in the fridge. (I pour off any hooch/liquid before feeding, as that it can impart strong unpleasant flavors!) Since my reserve triples after feeding, I usually end up with around 4 cups. I use this to make lots of pancakes and/or waffles which I then FREEZE with wax paper separating them. My favorite pancake recipe is found here: My favorite waffle recipe is found here:

I like these recipes because ALL of the flour is fermented overnight. I try not to use recipes that call for added flour just before cooking/baking, as then I am eating flour which has not been fermented.