One of the first types of wheat to be grown as a crop during the Neolithic era was einkorn. 12,000 years later, this ancient grain is being cultivated again and in this case made into pasta. Nutritionally, it’s very similar to the whole wheat pasta I usually buy, but einkorn is touted to have twice the antioxidant capacity of durum wheat. I received samples of einkorn pasta from Jovial and was curious about the flavor and texture. Mushrooms always work well with the nuttiness of whole wheat pastas, so I had a meal plan in mind. I had just brought home some mushroom paté made by Kocurek Family Charcuterie which sells at our farmers’ markets. I stirred the paté into the pasta and topped it with some sauteed, sliced creminis. I’m easy to please with a plate of any sort of pasta with mushrooms, but this was a particularly good combination.
The Kocureks make their paté with mushrooms, almonds, onions, butter, thyme, sherry, and salt and pepper. It’s a smooth and fragrant blend with a nice nutty, woodsiness about it. Another suggested use for the paté would be in stuffed chicken breasts. I added texture to the dish by topping it with sliced creminis that I sauteed in olive oil with minced shallots. Once on the plate, I added just a little freshly grated parmigiano reggiano and chopped parsley.
With some whole wheat pasta, I don’t notice much difference in flavor from regular white pasta. Other times, there is a more noticeable wheaty flavor that I’ve come to appreciate. This einkorn pasta did deliver in wheatiness and was fitting with the mushroom paté. While I might want a simpler pasta flavor for more delicate dishes like something with shellfish, I think this would pair very well with all of fall’s vegetables.