Fresh gluten-free pasta. If you want my advice, when you make it — make a lot. I switched up the recipe in my cookbook a bit this time around. More … more
I switched up the recipe in my cookbook a bit this time around. More eggs. More eggs! No big whoop.
The bigger switcharoo this time is the pasta machine. Let’s get something straight, though:
Please don’t misunderstand. Sometimes, I get misunderstood.
It is a help. And an actual help. And not like the sort of “help” your 4-year-old provides when you’re cooking and she wants to cook with you.
But you’re still doing the work. And it still makes a blessed mess. Especially when you’re trying to take process photos along the way and you’re home alone except for your dogs and they can’t help because they’re terrible cooks anyway.
But fresh pasta is truly an unequaled delight. You should try it. And then swear off it for a while. You know – until you’re ready to do it again. And if you don’t have a pasta machine, just roll it out by hand. No biggie.
Add the eggs and oil to the spare dry ingredients. Make sure those eggs are at room temperature, though. For real. If you forget to plan ahead, just float your eggs in some warm water for 10 or 15 minutes. They’ll come up to temp.
It’s hard to tell if the dough here is wet — or dry. It’s wet. This next bit is important.
It’s super duper important that you start out with slight wet pasta. It is so much easier to dust with flour as you work than to wet the dough.
Add more flour by the tablespoon (you should just need 1 or 2)…
Until you can create a groovy-looking ball like this.
Cut off a piece of dough about 150 grams and knead it a bit. It will be a bit dry in places, but mostly kinda wet. Now we begin to dust. Place it in a small bowl of extra flour, and coat the outside.
Roll it out into a messy rectangle.
And feed it through the pasta machine with the dial set to “0.” Send it through at least twice.
Dust with flour, and then neaten the sides. It makes it easier to feed it through the machine.
Turn it to “1,” dust it on both sides with flour, and run it through. Then “2,” dust with flour, and run it through.
Dust again, and run it through once more on “2.”
Slice the rectangle in half, and set one piece aside. Roll the other through on “3.”
If it looks shaggy on the edges like this at any point, it’s too wet. That is going to happen, and it’s f-i-n-e. Fold the edges in over themselves toward the middle, dust with flour, then run it through again. It’ll neaten out.
Turn the dial to “4,” and run it through once. Now I stopped there, but you could go to “5″ and beyond if you like. It depends upon what you’re making, and how thin you like your pasta. I ran out of steam.
This is what they looked like at the end. I trimmed some of the edges to neaten them for their beauty shots.
You can dry it, slice it into linguini, bake it as lasagna, etcetera etcetera etcetera.
- 3 cups (420g) all-purpose gluten-free flour (I use Better Batter), plus more by the tablespoon
- 1½ teaspoons xanthan gum (omit if using Better Batter)
- 2 extra-large eggs plus 2 extra-large egg yolks (beaten), at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup water, at room temperature, plus more if necessary
- In a large bowl, place the flour and xanthan gum, and whisk to combine. Create a well in the center of the flour, and add the eggs and oil (see photo). Mix to combine. Add ¾ cup of water, and mix until the dough begins to come together. The dough should be wet and sticky. If it isn’t, add more water by the tablespoon, and mix. It is important to start with wet dough and add flour as you go.
- Gather the dough together, and add a tablespoon of flour on top of the wet dough. Knead the flour into the dough until you can handle a ball of dough without getting sticky.
- Cut off about 150g of dough (about the size of a clementine?). Dust the dough with flour, and roll it into an approximation of a rectangle about ¼ inch thick, a bit thinner on the edges. Dust both sides with flour. Turn the dial on the pasta machine to “0,” and pass the dough through the machine once. When the dough comes out of the machine, dust it again with flour. Crank it through again on zero. Dust again with flour if the dough is at all sticky. If it is sticky, it will probably fray on the edges (see photo). If it does fray, fold it in half short end to short end, dust lightly with flour, and crank it through again on zero.
- Turn the dial to “1,” dust the dough with flour, and crank it through once. Divide the dough in half (see photo), and set half aside.
- Turn the dial to “2,” dust the dough with flour, and crank it through once.
- Turn the dial past “3″ to “4,” dust the dough with flour, and crank it through once. I stopped there, but if you’d like your pasta even thinner, keep going to 5, and beyond if you like.
- Repeat with the other half of the dough, starting with “2,” and going as thin as you like.
- Repeat with the remaining pasta dough.
- Since the pasta is so fresh, you may dry it for later use (try leaving it out on towels or hanging on a clothes dryer) or use it right away. You can cut it into linguini or any other shape you like, and place it in boiling water for 2-3 until al dente. I used it for beef and spinach lasagna, and I didn’t even need to boil it. I just made sure it was covered in enough sauce, and baked it straight away.
I made lasagna. And I didn’t boil the noodles. I just made sure to cover them in sauce. And cheese. And spinach. And basil.