If you're tired of paying too much money for gooey, gluten free pasta, there's good news. You can make your own gluten free pasta for a fraction of the price, and not only is it surprisingly easy, but it's also absolutely delicious.
I developed our family's gluten free pasta recipe over the past year and a half, experimenting with all different flours and measurements.
I've made this recipe dozens of times and one of the nice things about it is that you can easily switch up the flours to accommodate what's in your pantry. This also varies the nutritional profile of the pasta if you're incorporating whole grains like brown rice flour, teff, corn flour, sorghum flour and millet.
I've even used wild foods like acorn flour and cattail pollen (which gives a gorgeous yellow hue and a host of vitamins and nutrients).
I generally keep the basic dry starch mixture the same (which accounts for 1/2 to 2/3 of the pasta, depending on how much whole grain flour you stir in). Most gluten-free cooks know that a basic gluten-free flour substitute is generally 2/3 starches (such as tapioca starch, corn starch, potato starch and sweet rice flour) and 1/3 whole grains or proteins (such as brown rice flour, white rice flour, millet flour or bean flour). I plan to experiment soon with a completely whole grain recipe, though, since plenty of gluten free pastas on the market consist of nothing but brown rice flour or corn flour. I'll feature that recipe here once it's developed, too.
I make a big batch of this pasta, in part because I have a large family and also because I like to cook enough for leftovers later in the week. If you go to the trouble of making fresh pasta, it just makes sense to make extra to have ready-made pasta for another meal.
My pasta maker is a Ronco that I got used fifteen years ago at a secondhand store. I love it. The brand is still available online at sites like Amazon and eBay (eBay generally has far better prices on it, here are their current listings and you can also keep an eye out at Craig's List, Freeycle and local thrift stores), but you could use this recipe with any brand. The Ronco requires a rather dry, crumbly dough. If yours needs a wetter dough, just add less of the add-in flour until you have the proper consistency.
Gluten free pasta for the pasta maker
Serves 8-10 (or two batches for a family of four)
Dry starch base:
- 1 cup tapioca flour
- 1 cup corn starch (preferably organic)
- 1/3 cup potato starch
- 1 and 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 TBS guar gum or xanthan gum
Add-in flour: Up to 2 cups white rice flour, brown rice flour, sorghum flour, corn flour or any combination of whole grain flour of your choice (amount needed will vary)
- 6 large eggs
- 3 TBS vegetable oil
- Soak your pasta shape attachments in a bowl of hot water (I generally use at least two shape attachments to make a variety). Meanwhile, start a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil for each type of pasta you're making.
- Mix dry starch base ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk vegetable oil and eggs.
- Pour egg mixture into starch mixture and stir well. The dough should be thick. Knead with hands if necessary, adding add-in flour as neeeded to get a thick, dry dough.
- Assemble your pasta maker and put on the attachment of your choice. Put a plate or bowl beneath the machine to catch your pasta.
- Break off a softball sized ball of dough and put in base of pasta maker. Turn on machine to mix setting (if applicable) and add a little whole grain flour at a time through the top until the mixture is crumbly and fairly dry.
- Turn off machine and switch on to extruding setting. The machine will start to push the dough through the attachment. If the dough is not coming through or is extremely slow, your dough is probably still too wet. Add some more flour, mix, and try again. It should come through fairly quickly.
- Use the pasta cutter or a sharp knife to cut the pasta into the desired length as it emerges from the machine. Use your fingers to gently tease any sticking portions separate (a drier dough also helps keep sticking to a minimum).
- Add more dough and more flour as the machine uses it up (switching to the mix setting first, then extruding), switching the attachment to create a different shape of pasta at any time.
- Add your pasta to the boiling water and cook just until tender, stirring often. Cooking time will vary greatly depending on the size of your pasta and which grains you use. Check after five minutes and keep checking.
- Drain pasta and toss with the sauce of your choice.
To store: You can toss extra pasta with a bit of tomato sauce or any oil (coconut oil, olive oil or butter all work well) so it doesn't stick together and keep it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for several days. This pasta also freezes well.
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