Gluten-Free Fresh Pasta
Why This Recipe Works
Dried pasta (made with or without wheat) isn’t always the best choice, especially for refined cream and butter sauces. So how do you make great fresh pasta without wheat flour—one of only two ingredients in the classic recipe (the other is eggs)? We started by testing as many different flours as possible. In the end we settled on a combination of brown rice flour for structure and tapioca starch for elasticity. Our traditional pasta recipe uses three whole eggs. However, since gluten-free pasta is more brittle, we found we needed to add a fourth egg to ensure the noodles set up properly once cooked. Xanthan gum was a must for structure, while a little oil made the dough easier to roll out. It takes just seconds to make pasta dough in the food processor, but you can use a stand mixer if you prefer.
IngredientsPrint Shopping List
|7 ½||ounces (1 2/3 cups) brown rice flour, plus extra for rolling|
|2 ½||ounces (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) tapioca starch|
|1||tablespoon xanthan gum|
|1||tablespoon olive oil|
From Our Shop
From Our Sponsors
InstructionsMakes about 1 pound pasta; serves 4 to 6
Combine the dry ingredients on low speed, then add the eggs and oil and mix on medium-low until the dough comes together in a rough ball, about 10 seconds. You will need a manual pasta machine to make this recipe. Do not attempt to roll this pasta with just a rolling pin; it will be too difficult to get the pasta thin enough, and the dough will be much more likely to tear. We make fettuccine here, but you can also follow the recipe through step 4 and shape the pasta sheets into farfalle or garganelli.
1. Pulse brown rice flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, and salt in food processor until combined. Add eggs and oil and process until dough forms and clears sides of bowl, about 10 seconds.
2. Transfer dough to clean counter and knead until dough comes together, about 30 seconds. (Dough should hold together but won’t be smooth.) Shape dough into 6-inch-long cylinder. Cut cylinder into 6 equal pieces and cover with plastic wrap.
3. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time (keeping remaining dough covered), shape into 4-inch square using rolling pin and hands. Using manual pasta machine, run flattened dough through widest setting twice. Fold ends of dough toward middle to re-form 4-inch square, press to seal, and feed open side of dough once more through widest setting. Repeat folding and rolling on widest setting 2 or 3 more times, until edges of dough are even.
4. Narrow setting and continue to run dough through each setting twice, until dough is translucent and thin enough that you can clearly see outline of your hand through dough. (If dough begins to stick and tear, dust sheet with brown rice flour and roll through same setting until smooth. If dough becomes too long to manage, cut in half crosswise.)
5. If not already done, cut sheet in half. Run each piece through cutter for fettuccine, lay pasta on dish towel in baking sheet, and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat steps 3 through 5 with remaining dough. (Noodles can be held for 2 hours before cooking.)
TO COOK PASTA: Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until tender but still al dente, about 2 minutes. Reserve 1 cup cooking water. Drain pasta, return to pot, toss with sauce and reserved cooking water as needed, and serve immediately.
TO MAKE AHEAD: Spread pasta out evenly over baking sheet (avoid clumps). Transfer sheet to freezer and chill until pasta is firm, about 1 hour. Transfer pasta to zipper-lock bag and freeze for up to 2 weeks. Cook frozen pasta straight from freezer as directed.