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As a Ashkenazi conservative Jew, we follow most of the laws of Passover. I know there. Jewfaq states that

Chametz includes anything made from the five major grains (wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt) that has not been completely cooked within 18 minutes after first coming into contact with water.

If one was able to make fresh pasta and then cook it in under 18 minutes, would it still be chametz?

  • Your question is great! Fresh pasta cooks very quickly. Dry pasta cooks al dente in 10 or 12 minutes. I'm not sure what the difference is between dry pasta and kosher for Passover pasta-like products other than the 'real pasta' tastes so much better. Does it have to do with baking versus boiling? I guess not, lasagna would be okay then. Real pasta has never been accepted kosher for Passover to the best of my knowledge. For sure the pasta rises and expands but no one should cook pasta anywhere near 18 minutes. I really hope someone can answer this question. I'd like to know the answer myself. – JJLL Apr 10 '17 at 0:01
  • @JJLL Pasta is regular dough before drying and cooking – Shmuel Brin Apr 10 '17 at 0:18
  • I don't have the sources in front of me now, but the short answer is in theory, any grain cooked within the proper parameters would be kosher for Passover. Practically, anything other than something Matzah-like would be precluded due to the conditions, among them: any additional ingredients other than water added to the flour may speed up the clock, the water has to be below a certain temperature, the oven has to be above a certain temperature, etc. While I am not a culinary expert, I can imagine that the limitations make it difficult to cook something more substantial. – Salmononius2 Apr 10 '17 at 1:02
  • there are things that generate immediate chimuts! 18 minutes is for grain + water only. additionally, grain may already be chamets begore cooking – kouty Apr 10 '17 at 1:18
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    the water today is very clean and the dough does not machmits even after several hours – kouty Apr 10 '17 at 4:04
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Wheat (assuming that is what your pasta is made of) is usually processed by spraying or/and soaking the grains of wheat in water (tempering) for a few hours before being sent to grind into flour. This soaking process (longer than 18 minutes) causes us to treat it as chametz. (See Talmud Pesachim 40b and Shulchan Aruch O.C. 467:2 with Mishnah Berurah 453:24)

This is done so the bran becomes stronger and can be easily removed.

Depending upon the condition of the wheat after contacting water, it may be considered certainly chametz, or probably chametz. So, we could not make pasta out of it for Passover.

Even if the grains were dry, today's processing of pasta is made by combining semolina wheat, with warm water and processing it together, then drying it and sending it as dry packaged noodles to the supermarket. So you guessed it folks...its already chametz on that account.

Even if you guard the grain from water from when it is cut, and make it into dry flour yourself, we are not allowed to cook it in hot water as hot water will make it become chametz much faster. (see Shulchan Aruch 454). I believe there were ancient experts who knew how to make the fire so hot that the water was constantly at a rolling boil. They would then drop in some flour/dough that would cook sort of instantly. This would beat the leavening time and it could never become leavened. However, the Rambam writes that (since the Geonim c.700CE) Jews have always avoided this risk on Passover.

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    So basically yes it's totally possible. Just make sure the fire is really hot (or you have a lot of water ie thermal mass) and the flour is raw/dry, which aren't that hard to arrange nowadays. But the common custom is not to do it anyway so as to avoid mistakes. – Double AA Apr 10 '17 at 2:38
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    Regarding tempering and flour, see judaism.stackexchange.com/a/57087/759 Some communities even temper wheat lechatchila for Pesach. – Double AA Apr 10 '17 at 2:42
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    You may want to add in about the issues of Matza Ashira, and in parallel about potentially boiling the noodles in fruit juice. – Double AA Apr 10 '17 at 3:06
  • @DoubleAA good comments, Yeah I was going to mention the fruit juice or egg option, with no water, but I didn't see a recipe to make pasta with that? – David Kenner Apr 10 '17 at 4:21

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