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I am looking to make pasta at home, but all the classical pasta dough recipes I know of are egg-based. While I have no problem with eating meat and animal products from time to time, I would like to avoid eggs here.

Could somebody guide me to good vegetable-based substitutions to eggs (Oil?) that might work just as well in this context?

I would also like to experiment with adding vegetables to the dough (e.g. Spinach or carrots) - I'm not sure whether there may be additional issues with the dough's stability when not using eggs.

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5 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Here is a complete flax seed pasta dough recipe for you (on allergickid.blogspot.com).

It uses the only egg substitute I've used: ground flax seeds and water. I've used it in several breads and cookies, but not pasta. I've found several different ratios online, you so may need to play with them, depending on the flax you use, but basically:

To replace one egg: In a blender, blend 1 Tbsp flax seeds with 3 Tbsp water until thick and creamy.

You want the flax to be freshly ground, and it will add a nutty flavor.

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Sounds great, I've never heard of this! I will try it out and leave feedback. Thanks! –  Pekka 웃 Oct 3 '10 at 19:36
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I have had great results just leaving the eggs out of the recipe, which seems to be common, see here, for example. Keep in mind that most commercial pasta is just water and flour, so it's not too surprising that you don't need eggs.

That said, I don't doubt that flax meal would be good in the dough also, it's just not necessary in my experience.

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There are several things you can use for substitution.

  • yoghurt - 2 tbsp yoghurt for one egg
  • tofu - cut it, use 2 tbsp per egg, blend it well [I assume this means you have to make the dough in the food processor - ed.]
  • vegetable oil
  • buttermilk
  • pure water
  • gelatine. Dissolve 1/2 tbsp gelatine in 2 tbsp water and put in the dough.
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I edited these suggestions, preserving the author's original meaning, but I must say that I don't agree with most of them. Oil or yoghurt will produce a very different noodle from an egg noodle. But I am curious what would happen if you use gelatine. –  rumtscho Apr 29 '12 at 18:44
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Here in China, I have had gorgeous little ravioli -called jiaozi (jyow dzuh)- that are just a flour-and-water dough. One great variation is to add spinach or carrot juice for color. Advantage is knowing what lurks inside by the color-code!

Eggy rubbery fettucine is hard to replicate; perhaps softer flour? For anything else that can be a bit bite-ier: good 00, basta.

If mocha color belongs on your palate, a small amount of buckwheat flour makes a tender springy noodle. Look up Northern Italian recipes for this.

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Not all fresh pasta has to have eggs, for instance, orrechiette, pici or umbricelli are made with durum wheat flour and water alone.

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