Whole Wheat Linguini ~ @Savory Simple #recipeWhole Wheat Linguini served with olive oil, garlic and parmesan.

I come from a very large family, especially on my mother’s side. We’re all over the place but many of us reside in either Maryland or New York. Every 10 years my cousins organize a large family reunion and our most recent gathering was held about a year and a half ago at a campground near the Maryland/Pennsylvania border. Jeff and I were newlyweds at the time and he graciously agreed to be subjected to over 75 members of my family for an entire weekend.

There were non-stop events planned for the reunion so no one would be bored. During one of the evenings we all gathered in a large sitting room for a slideshow of family photos followed by a game show. Fun fact- my brother, Dave, has a side business as a traveling game show host and he brought his entire setup to the family reunion. I’m pretty positive I firmly told him in advance that I would not be a contestant in whatever games he brought. I try to be supportive but standing in front of large crowds isn’t really my thing.

So we’re all seated in the room and my brother heads to the front and asks for volunteers for his version of The Newlywed’s Game (was this a setup or what?). My not-so-newlywed cousins Ken and Michelle volunteered and then Jeff raised his hand. Before I could yank it down my brother called out to us and up to the stage we went.

Jeff and Ken stood on the left side of my brother with dry erase boards while Michelle and I took our spots on the right. We were playing for $5 Starbucks coupons. One of the first answers Michelle and I had to write down was our favorite movie. I confidently wrote down Lost in Translation, knowing we had it in the bag. Jeff knew that was my favorite movie. He bought me the DVD as a birthday gift and HELLO, it’s listed as my favorite movie on Facebook. We nodded at each other with a total “oh yeah, we got this” look. Michelle leaned over to me and whispered “Ken’s never going to get this” and showed me her movie: The Sound of Music. I could already taste the Starbucks coffee.

“Ken,” asked my brother “what is Michelle’s favorite movie”?

Ken cleared his throat and leaned into the microphone. “Working Girl.”

“WHAT?” yelled Michelle. “Whose favorite movie is Working Girl?”

“And Jeff,” asked my brother “what did my sister write down as her favorite movie?”

Jeff leaned into the microphone. “Xanadu!” he proudly stated as everyone roared with laughter. “NO!” I yelled, showing him my dry erase board. And then I clearly heard my father in the back of the room yell “Oh COME ON, Jennifer, even I know your favorite movie is Xanadu!”

Whole Wheat Linguini ~ @Savory Simple #recipe


Look, I get why people think this is a stupid movie.  The acting and plot leave… a bit to be desired. But I don’t care.  Oh, and um, spoilers:


Honestly it’s embarrassing how much I still love this movie and many of my friends tease me about it. I get texts when it comes on TV. When I was little we had several movies on VHS and I would watch them over and over again. The Neverending Story. Explorers. The Goonies. Xanadu was by far my favorite. I thought Olivia Newton John was the most beautiful person in the world and I wanted to be her. I wanted to dance on rollerskates with Gene Kelly and be adored by Michael Beck. Little girls don’t care about bad acting and plot holes. They believe in neon lights and magic muses.

Whole Wheat Linguini ~ @Savory Simple #recipe

I’m a bit of an 80s nostalgia junkie. I love anything that reminds me of my childhood. A time before life became more complicated. What can I say, Xanadu takes me back to that place. Yeah, if you see someone driving down the road blasting the Xanadu soundtrack and singing Electric Light Orchestra at the top of her lungs it’s probably me. At least I’m not singing the soundtrack to Working Girl, am I right?


Should I stop rambling about Olivia Newton John and my childhood and perhaps talk about whole wheat linguini? I suppose that’s why you’re here. I love homemade pasta. It’s very easy to make and you probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen. And while I use an Imperia Pasta Machine, you can technically make it without any special equipment aside from a rolling pin. Roll the pasta as thin as possible and then use a knife (or even better, a pizza slicer) to slice thin strips of pasta.

You can use any ratio of whole wheat to all purpose flour here. 100% whole wheat linguini will be very toothsome and a bit grainy but still tasty. If you visit my recipe for pumpkin ravioli with brown butter sauce you’ll see a few more photos of the pasta making process.


Whole Wheat Linguini
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup all purpose flour (or use all whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • semolina flour to prevent sticking
  1. Sift/whisk together the flours and salt. Place on a clean surface and make a well in the middle. Add the egg and olive oil.
  2. Beat the eggs and olive oil in the well with a fork and begin slowly incorporating the flour with a swirling circular motion, eventually switching to a bench scraper or your hands. Start forming a ball and squeeze the dough together with your fingers. You want the dough to be a bit tacky. Not quite sticky, but not too dry either. If the dough feels sticky, a bit more flour may be incorporated.
  3. Once the dough is formed, wrap in plastic and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Either by hand or machine, roll out thin strips of pasta. Use the linguini attachment or a pizza slicer to create thin strips of linguini.
  5. Set aside to dry on a rack (a hanger also works well) and bring salted water to a boil. Cook for 3-5 minutes, testing frequently. Homemade pasta cooks much faster!


More pasta recipes

Savory Simple – Pumpkin Pecorino Pasta with Dried Sage
Savory Simple – Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter Sauce
Cookin’ Canuck – Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe with Plums, Feta & Cumin Dressing
Foodie Crush – Meyer Lemon Fettucine
Aggie’s Kitchen – Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Broccoli and Cauliflower  

  • http://damndelicious.tumblr.com Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    Hahaha too funny, Jen! Is it bad that I’ve never watched Xanadu before?!

    Oh and love the homemade pasta. Jason made me a pasta rack last year but I still need to get the attachment!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      It’s a classic! I can always loan you my copy ;)

  • http://stowell.wordpress.com Roger Stowell

    Love the pictures, but whole wheat pasta just doesn’t do it for me. It’s too socks and sandals:-)

  • http://kirantarun.com/food Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    Love the styling and “mood” of this recipe :)

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks, Kiran!

  • Family Foodie

    This pasta and your photography are absolutely incredible!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thank you so much!

  • Kathryn

    This is simply stunning – what totally gorgeous pictures and a lovely recipe.

  • http://vintagekitchennotes.blogspot.com Paula @ Vintage Kitchen

    This is a funny story! And let me tell you in those days, O.Newton John WAS the most amazing woman on earth. I should make some homemade pasta, though I don´t know where my machine is. Whole wheat sounds fantastic Jen!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      She was truly the queen! I still love her. Such a voice!

  • Aggie

    Gorgeous photography and hilarious story. I love childhood favorite movies like that, can’t believe I missed Xanadu!
    I love homemade pasta too, my family made it often when I was young, I need to brave it on my own. Thanks for the link love!!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      You’re welcome! Xanadu is something to see, though I’m not sure anyone watching it as an adult will appreciate it the same way. It’s hard to look past the ridiculousness. But the soundtrack is pretty awesome!

  • http://84thand3rd.com JJ – 84thand3rd

    Too funny – I have to say I’ve never seen Xanadu but Grease, Grease 2 (horrors) and Footloose were on regular rotation! Oh, and now I want a big bowl of linguini with parmesan and butter!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Grease 2 was one of the VHS movies I watched a million time! Superman 4 as well. I don’t even know.

  • http://www.motherthyme.com Jennifer @ Mother Thyme

    Haha, I am a total 80’s junkie too. Nothing beats fresh pasta. This linguini is stunning!

  • http://littlekitchie.blogspot.com Little Kitchie

    Your fresh pasta is gorgeous!! I don’t have a pasta machine but would love to try this out with my rolling pin! :)

  • http://www.cookincanuck.com Cookin Canuck

    I love the story! Grease and Dirty Dancing are my childhood/teen guilty pleasures. Your pasta and photos are gorgeous!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      I still love both of those movies!

  • http://FifteenSpatulas.com Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas

    LOL! You crack me up. This linguini is awesome. Gotta make things whole wheat wherever we can.

  • http://www.crunchycreamysweet.com Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet

    lol Love this story, Jen! 80’s make me nostalgic too :) Gosh, homemade pasta, huh? I just know that once I try making it, I won’t be able to stop! Beautiful picture!

  • Bev @ Bev Cooks

    I want like, 71,000 bowls.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      I was only planning to make you 70,000 bowls. So close!

  • http://sallysbakingaddiction.com sally @ sallys baking addiction

    I’m a nostalgic junkie too Jen. :) I’m lucky to have grown up int he 80s and 90s. :) Kevin’s sister always makes homemade raviolis when she has us over, so I’ll have to send this recipe to her for next time. Your frsh pasta is gorgeous Jen!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks Sally! Have you seen this site? http://imremembering.com/ It’s an 80s/90s nostalgia lover’s dream!

  • http://www.fearlesshomemaker.com amy @ fearless homemaker

    Oh my goodness, that story is too funny! Love it. And I also love the looks of this homemade pasta. YUM!

  • http://kellybakes.com kelly @ kellybakes

    Oh I’m right there with you on this; I thrive on nostalgia. My favorite movie choices are embarrassing ones from the late 80’s/early 90’s (Can you say David Bowie ala The Labyrinth?). I’d say that I blame this on older siblings, but there’s no shame or blame. I own it! These photos are seriously seriously gorgeous, lady! I’ve had a pasta roller since I was 12 that I don’t use nearly as often as I should. Time to bust it out to try this!!

  • http://www.astackofdishes.com Gail @ A Stack of Dishes

    Jen- what a beautiful post, and what delicate looking ww pasta. Really love your blog- I am now a subscriber!

    Too funny about Xanadu!

  • http://www.yumveg.com Arminda

    HILARIOUS! Not TWO DAYS AGO I was talking with my boyfriend and the Electric Light Orchestra came up. I know, right? Who brings up ELO in a conversation? We do, apparently. And I immediately started singing the Xanadu soundtrack because wasn’t the only purpose of that movie to showcase Olivia Newton-John and ELO? Pretty sure it was, and I love every single horrible line of dialogue and bad acting for it! Best movie ever? No question. :-)

  • http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts

    Loved your story and your photos, Jen!

  • http://thecreeksidecook.com Donalyn

    I can’t say I share your affection for this movie, but I do love ELO – and homemade pasta, so we can still be friends. Love this recipe!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Yay friends!

  • http://tutti-dolci.com Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Hilarious, and your linguini is gorgeous – I feel like I just stumbled across a pasta cookbook :).

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks, Laura :D

  • http://www.foodiecrush.com Heidi @foodiecrush

    Olivia is my hands down favorite icon EVAAAA! She was my first concert at the ripe old age of 8, my daughter was going to be named Olivia until my sister asked if she could have the name and I lovingly obliged and if you ever see me on the karaoke stage it’s belting it out to Summer Lovin’. I have every album she’s ever put out and was an official fan club member. Do they even have those anymore? I knew we were kindred spirits. P.S., your pasta looks amazing. :) I got chills, they’re multiplying…

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      I would totally name my daughter Olivia. I also watched Grease a million times when I was younger. I think we should revive the fan club :)

  • http://bakeyourday.net Cassie | Bake Your Day

    Homemade pasta is one of my favorite things EVER. This looks so fabulous, Jen!

  • http://KatiesCucina.com katie

    oh my this looks fab. I’ve yet to try making my own pasta although i have had homemade pasta and I know just how divine it really is.

  • http://pastrychefonline.com/blog Jenni

    I love that you are Owning your Allegiance to Xanadu, Jenn! Love it!

    And this pasta? Let me tell you what will be happening with it. I won a big old Perigord Truffle from Denise and Lenny of ChezUs. I’d already planned on a cream sauce pasta dish as part of TrufflePalooza. Now, I’m adding your homemade WW pasta to the dish. Hooray!

    And like I said on G+, I love the main photo. It’s nice to see a lovely, evocative photo with a dark background. There’s so much Bright-Oh-My-God-It-Hurts-My-Eyes white in food blogs these days. Beautiful job! :)

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      I am jealous of that truffle! Thanks so much for the kind words :)

  • http://traceysculinaryadventures.blogspot.com Tracey

    Homemade whole wheat pasta?! Why have I never thought of this before! Must try soon.

    Also, don’t hate me but I’ve never seen (or heard of) Xanadu…

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      I doubt you’re alone!

  • http://movitabeaucoup.com movita beaucoup

    Those videos just made my day. No: week. NO: MONTH!!

    Aaaaaand now I want linguini…

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      I may have watched them about 15 times yesterday.

  • Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts

    I always buy whole wheat pasta, but at home I always make regular white pasta. So going to have to change that now!

  • http://www.arthur-in-the-garden.com Arthur in the Garden!

    Wonderful! I always purchase whole wheat pasta!

  • ashley – baker by nature

    I’ll be dreaming in pasta tonight, thanks to you! I want 75,000 strands on my plate right now ;)

  • http://www.unegaminedanslacuisine.com/ Valerie

    I’m with you on The Neverending Story, and The Goonies! Especially the former- still waiting for my luck dragon… ;) I’ll have to give Xanadu another chance.

    This pasta looks divine! I just want to reach through my and twist up a forkful. :D

  • http://www.piesandplots.net Laura Dembowski

    Your pasta looks amazing! I am dying to make homemade pasta. Is it possible to do it successfully without a pasta roller? Some people say doing it by hand it very difficult.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      It’s not hard to make by hand but it is hard to get the same results. The machine gets the pasta very thin with very even slices.

  • http://www.barbarabakes.com Barbara @ Barbara Bakes

    I got a pasta attachment for my Kitchenaid for Christmas. I’m going to make this soon.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      That attachment looks so cool!

  • http://www.unorthodoxepicure.com adam @unorthodoxepicure

    Excellent photography (and a delicious looking dish)!

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/116899699259024089659/posts Jennifer Farley

      Thanks so much, Adam!

  • http://cookingactress.blogspot.com/ Kayle (The Cooking Actress)

    It’s OK, I love Xanadu too!

    And I LOVE this homemade whole wheat linguine, I’m def. gonna make this!

  • http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    And suddenly I’m craving pasta… What a lovely homemade recipe! Your tasty tendrils of linguini look flawless!

  • http://www.hiddenfruitsandveggies.com Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies

    My mom used to make homemade pasta when I was verrrrry little, but stopped for some inexplicable reason (I may have eaten ridiculous amounts of uncooked noodles :-D). Excited to try and make my own! I’ll try to actually cook them even.

  • http://gourmandeinthekitchen.com Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen

    Ha! You have to love those classic 80’s movies.

  • http://acupofmascarpone.com Carol | a cup of mascarpone

    I agree with you, Jen…I love childhood memories before complications in life, too! Only my memories go back a bit further than yours! ;) Aside from that, your whole wheat pasta is picture perfect! Lovely!

  • http://abitchinkitchen.blogspot.com Maggie @ A Bitchin’ Kitchen

    Haha, hilarious story. I’ve never seen the movie, but I’ve been wanting to see the Broadway show of it!

    This pasta looks great – I have yet to dive into homemade pasta, but I’m sure it’s infinitely better than dried!

  • http://www.simplyhealthyfam.blogspot.com Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily

    Love cheesy 80’s films!,, never did see Xanadu but Grease, Breakfast Club, Dirty Dancing….. The list goes on. Cheesy yet satisfying! ;). Home made pasta just can’t be beat! XO