Welcome to another gluten free ratio rally event!! This month I had the wonderful opportunity to host, and being the non-baker that I am, chose another culinary creation near and dear to my heart, pasta. Pasta was one of the first things I learned how to cook from scratch, ever. While in grad school (yes, I know, I was seriously a late bloomer when it came to the kitchen), I had visited my parents over a holiday and decided to take back with me my parents’ copy of Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.
My first trial back then was a bit of a mess, but not long afterwards my parents also gave me an extra pasta machine they had lying around – I went back and reread Hazan’s very detailed instructions, and gave it another go – but this time there was success! And the pasta made with that pasta machine became one of my very first posts here on Jenn Cuisine.
Since then I learned how to get a little creative and try things like incorporating spinach into the dough, and just a little over two years ago I had gotten up the courage to attempt my first gluten free pasta ever by making ravioli. That ravioli? It worked. It wasn’t awesome, but it held together (sort of). After all it was nearly 75% starch and had xanthan gum, there should have been enough stickiness to stay together! And from that time I’ve been slowly trying to cut back on the starch content and refine the pasta recipe a bit to create something that has a better consistency, a better texture, and a little more flavor. I figured it would be a perfect challenge for the ratio rally, as well as give myself a chance to work on an ingredient ratio I was a little more happy with.
My typical flour mix would include at least half starches. And with that flour mix I was rather successful – and the more I made pasta (and the better my dough became), the better my technique became as well. I made it often enough that pasta became something I could throw together, and it was great to feel like I had finally accomplished the basics of making gluten free pasta –
But it really is a bit bland if made with so much starch. It always needed a really strong sauce to combat the blandness. This month was the first time I’d made egg-based pasta by weight (not counting gnocchi which I view as more of a dumpling than a pasta), and I wanted to really incorporate some taste into the pasta.
So here we are, the first week of July, and the ratio rally participants have been cooking throughout the past month to create gorgeous gluten free pasta goodness for you!
So I played with a new mix.
1/3 starch. 1/3 corn. 1/3 teff/buckwheat.
I added guar gum (I know not everyone can handle gums, but we can, and in this case I think it really helps the dough have that elasticity that it needs to be worked in a way to make pasta). Because if ever there were a dough that needed a true gluten substitute, it’s pasta. Pasta has to be stretched and folded. It has to stay together and be able to be manipulated into the right shapes.
Some salt and herbs, and my flour mix was complete.
For my overall ratio, I took a cue from Shauna’s cookbook – her pasta recipe uses some eggs and egg yolks, rather than just whole eggs. I think this really helps the quality and stability of the dough as well, and so I followed suit. In fact, I used her book’s recipe as the basis for my ratio this month. And my pasta came out great.
I let the dough rest after bringing it together, wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge. Then I split it into thirds, wrap each section in plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out, and start rolling the first section. I don’t have a pasta machine here so I just use a rolling pin to roll it out by hand, dusting my surfaces with tapioca flour and rolling on top of parchment paper until I got the desired thinness. A pizza cutter makes a great way to cut out long noodles by hand by the way. And instead of hanging the pasta to dry, I just separate it and lay it out flat. Because the dough is more fragile than wheat-based pasta, I still want to handle it as little as possible.
And that’s it really. Then it just gets cooked the same way one would cook any other fresh pasta – it only takes a couple minutes before it’s done and ready to serve. For this version, we added roasted garlic, smoked salmon, blanched peas, parmesan, and lemon zest – wanted to not have the pasta weighed down by rich heavy sauces given the weather, so just a little olive oil was all it needed. I’m really happy with how successfully this went, and that I got to use both teff and buckwheat in gluten free pasta dough. Will have to make it again!
Pasta recipe adapted from Gluten Free Girl and the Chef by Shauna and Daniel Ahern
Prep Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 2 hrs
225g gluten free flour mix + 25g tapioca flour (for dusting/rolling)
1 tbsp. guar gum
your favorite dried herbs
175g eggs (2 eggs, 4 yolks), beaten with a fork
extra virgin olive oil
1 head of garlic, roasted and mashed with a fork
smoked salmon, cut into strips
a little lemon zest for garnish
1. In a large bowl combine flour, salt, guar gum and herbs and make a well in the center with your hands. Add the eggs into the well and slowly combine in the flour until it is incorporated and comes into a ball of dough. Depending on the flours you choose, you may need a little more flour, or a little less, so just watch the consistency and moisture content of your dough. You want it to not be so sticky, but not cracking either.
2. Fold it over a couple of times, and then wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge for an hour. (This is also a great time to start roasting the garlic if you haven’t already).
3. After the dough has rested, take it out of the fridge and cut it into 3 equal sections, and wrap each of them in plastic wrap to keep their moisture locked in. Take one and roll out on well floured parchment paper (I use tapioca flour) as well as a well floured rolling pin (again I use tapioca). Roll out to desired thickness, or use your pasta machine. Then cut into long strips for your noodles, separate them and let them dry for about half an hour.
4. Bring a pot of salted water to a low boil and cook the pasta in batches, for a couple minutes at a time until tender. Rinse with water, and then toss with a couple drizzles of olive oil. Add in the roasted garlic, peas, smoked salmon and parmesan and mix it together loosely (I just use my hands). Serve with a garnish of lemon zest.
Want to know more about gluten free pasta ratios? Check out all the posts by the participants in the Gluten Free Ratio Rally!
Brooke from B & the Boy! made Ravioli w/strawberry filling and chocolate berry sauce
Caneel from Mama Me Gluten Free made Multi-grain fettuccine
Charissa from Zest Bakery made Linguini with smoked salmon and creamy vodka sauce
Erin from The Sensitive Epicure made Ravioli w/ shrimp, spinach, mushrooms, & cheese filling in browned butter
Gretchen from Kumquat made Vegetable lasagna
Jenn from Jenn Cuisine made Tagliatelle with smoked salmon, peas and parmesan
Lisa from Gluten Free Canteen made Lokshen kugel
Karen from Cooking Gluten Free made Homemade gluten free pasta
Mary Fran from Frannycakes made Pasta with pink vodka sauce
Meaghan from The Wicked Good Vegan made Vegan gluten-free homemade pasta, in creamy artichoke tagliatelle
Meg from Gluten-Free Boulangerie made Fettuccine with sun-dried tomatoes
Pete and Kelli from No Gluten, No Problem made Tortellini
Shauna of Gluten Free Girl made Gluten free fresh pasta
Silvana from Silvana’s Kitchen made Lemon-poppy pasta with tomato, corn and basil
Tara from A Baking Life made Fazzoletti with wild mushrooms and spring onions
TR from No One Likes Crumbley Cookies made Tomato basil pork raviolis
Be sure to join us next month, when Kate from Gluten Free Gobsmacked will be challenging us to make cake!