GF Ratio Rally Makes Pasta – Tagliatelle with Smoked Salmon

by Jenn on July 6, 2011

in GF Ratio Rally,Gluten Free,Pastas and Grains,Seafood

Gluten Free Pasta

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 –

Homemade GF Pasta Dinner

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!

Gluten Free Homemade Pasta


Tagliatelle with Smoked Salmon
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
peas, blanched
smoked salmon, cut into strips
parmesan, shaved
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!

Also submitted to Gluten Free Wednesdays and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays


Rosa July 6, 2011 at 7:52 am

A splendid pasta dish! So fresh, colorful and summery. That last click is magazine perfect.



Jenn July 6, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Thanks Rosa!

EA-The Spicy RD July 6, 2011 at 7:57 am

Yum! I have still not attempted to make homemade gluten-free pasta…yet! But this looks delicious, so you have definitely inspired me:-). Can’t wait to checkout the other ratio rally pasta recipes as well :-)

Jenn July 6, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Oh thanks!!! Hope you have fun making gluten free pasta!

Astrid July 6, 2011 at 8:46 am

Wow! This pasta looks stunning.
as always I loved to read and learn about cooking glutenfree. You walked me through the process and I feel that I understood tho I have little gf knowledge at all :)


Jenn July 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Thanks Astrid! It’s really not so different, just a different set of ingredients to get used to…

Astrid July 7, 2011 at 9:14 am

Oh I made (the Bread Baking Babes made me do it) GF Bread once and I did not like it at all and it did not work out as it was supposed to either… *sigh*

Jamie July 6, 2011 at 12:08 pm

You are just so darn courageous and patient! You must really love that man of yours. I am impressed with your pasta and the efforts to perfect it and both dishes look so delicious! And gorgeous photos, Jenn!

Jenn July 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Thanks Jamie! Ha I’m not sure I would call myself patient lol….

Karen Robertson July 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm

teff and buckwheat are on my list of flours to try for pasta, and it looks like you used them beautifully!

Jenn July 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Thanks! Yeah I was rather surprised with how well they worked…

brooke @B & the boy! July 6, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Hmmm. Maybe mine needs a bit of gum? Yours looks luscious!

Jenn July 6, 2011 at 10:45 pm

I find that a gum definitely helps in this case… might be worth a shot….

chriesi July 6, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Thanks to Rosa’s Flickr invite I’ve found your blog and I am thrilled! You are so talented, amazing shots!

Jenn July 6, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Oh thank you! So you are en Suisse as well?

Caneel July 6, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Jenn, this looks incredible! I love that we both used some teff in our pasta, and I think I need to experiment with using more yolk. Thanks so much for hosting us this month!

Jenn July 6, 2011 at 10:46 pm

Thanks! Yes def. experiment with more egg yolk, it really helped the texture and pliability of the pasta…

Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen July 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm

I’ve never tried making gluten-free pasta at home but I know how hard they are to get right. It’s been hard to find one I like in the stores but I’ve found quinoa pasta made from a mixture of corn and quinoa are great.

Jenn July 6, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Thanks Sylvie – I think my favorite store-bought is also a mix of corn and quinoa…

Kelly July 6, 2011 at 5:53 pm

This looks so delicious and your photos are gorgeous! Hopefully one day I can photograph as well as you, so amazing! :)

Jenn July 6, 2011 at 10:48 pm

Aww thanks so much!!

Jessica July 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Love this! Just bookmarked it for next month when my GFree girlfriend comes to visit! Looks beautiful Jenn!

Jenn July 6, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Thanks Jessica! Let me know if you decide to make it and have any questions!

charissa (zest bakery) July 6, 2011 at 6:34 pm

We both had salmon on the brain. I love the addition of the peas and herbs. Adds such a virbrant pop of color (and taste, I bet) next to the salmon. Just lovely!

Jenn July 6, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Thanks! yes there is something about smoked salmon and pasta that works so well together…

Winnie July 6, 2011 at 9:53 pm

This is lovely in every way, Jenn. Sorry I have not been able to participate in the ratio rally of late…sigh.

Jenn July 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Thanks so much Winnie! Can’t wait til you are able to join in again :)

Erin Swing July 6, 2011 at 10:01 pm

This looks like such an amazingly light & fresh pasta dish. The photos are amazing! Thanks for hosting quite the challenge this month.

Jenn July 6, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Thanks Erin! Ha pasta is something I can do reasonably… much better success than last month’s pâte à choux :)

gretchen July 6, 2011 at 11:00 pm

what a perfect spring/summer pasta dish! it all looks delicious and your photos are really lovely. thanks again for hosting for us all. :)

Jenn July 6, 2011 at 11:08 pm

Thanks Gretchen!

Jean Layton July 7, 2011 at 6:44 am

Love the combination of salmon and pasta. But your pictures made me want to pull out the peas, smoke the salmon and make the pasta NOW!
so lovely.

Jenn July 7, 2011 at 7:33 am

Thanks so much Jean!

Simone July 7, 2011 at 9:31 am

You think you’re a latebloomer with cooking since highschool.. Haha… I think I started way later then that!

Simone July 7, 2011 at 9:32 am

And then I wanted to add that I love this pasta dish… It looks wonderful and summery and great photos Jenn!

Jenn July 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Ha thanks Simone! Actually it was in grad school, several years after high school… I really was a late bloomer :)

InTolerantChef July 7, 2011 at 11:25 am

Great job, gluten free pasta is so hard to get right without glugginess. Yours looks so fresh and lovely, yumm, and the salmon to go with it is just right for the hot weather too.

Jenn July 7, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Thanks so much! Yeah this actually cooked up quite nicely – not too much “glugginess” as you say :)

Caleigh July 7, 2011 at 1:02 pm

That pasta looks beautiful! And fab tip about using a pizza cutter.

Thanks for hosting this month. I really enjoyed making my gf pasta, even if I did’t get time to post my results!

Jenn July 7, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Thanks Caleigh, glad you enjoyed the challenge!

Tara July 7, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Can I just say how much I love that your parents just happened to have an extra pasta machine laying around? Definitely my kind of people! And your pasta looks wonderful, love the addition of whole grains. (And roasted garlic. You can never go wrong with roasted garlic.) Between you and Charissa, I need to get me some smoked salmon. Thanks for hosting this month!

Jenn July 11, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Thanks Tara!!

Rachel @ The Crispy Cook July 9, 2011 at 4:36 pm

Thanks for hosting this month. I really enjoyed making up a batch of fresh GF noodles for this challenge, though I was unable to meet the deadline this week. Just posted up my Smoked Paprika Noodles which had a nice orange color and smoky flavor. Now to get going on my cake….

Jenn July 11, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Oh thanks Rachel! Your noodles look great!!

Jeanne @ CookSister! July 22, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I really love these pics Jen – such a great colour palette and composition. And I really take my hat off to you and your pursuit of the perfect GF pasta – I can’t even work up the courage to make plain old pasta ;o)

Jenn July 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Ha thanks Jeanne – pasta is one of the gluten free items I’ve had reasonable success with, and I think it’s quite therapeutic making pasta – def. give it a go sometime :)

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