Fresh Gluten Free Pasta

Fresh pasta with Ranchero Sauce

Fresh gluten free pasta with Ranchero Sauce

As it turns out, making fresh gluten free pasta is remarkably satisfying for the amount of effort that it takes to make. The amount of time that it takes to gather ingredients, knead them together and roll the dough out isn’t actually much more time than it takes to boil the water, so using dried commercial pasta isn’t much of a time saving – especially since this takes 4-5 minutes to cook instead of ~9 minutes for dried.

The pasta itself is far more satisfying than dried pasta, too, though right now I don’t have the wherewithal to make fusilli, nor the patience to make farfalle, so that still requires bought pasta. This pasta is mild in flavor, though not bland; it has a satisfying and not too delicate (aka flimsy) texture, and it doesn’t appear to be too fussy about how long it gets cooked for, either.

Although this recipe doubles or triples perfectly easily, make sure not to over crowd the pan when boiling the pasta as it will be more likely to stick to itself.

Serves 1 well, or 2 if serving with a bulky sauce

1 oz (1/4 cup) bean flour
1 oz (1/4 cup) potato/tapioca starch
1/3 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg

Mix the dry ingredients together.

 

Crack the egg into the dry ingredients, and stir in with a butter knife. Initially, there won’t appear to be enough egg, but once there’s no egg apparent, use your hands to bring the dough together and briefly knead.  You’ll end up with a fairly stiff and slightly sticky dough.

Roll out as thinly as possible and cut into strips (or other desired shape), or use a pasta maker.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil (~3 pints, more if you’re doubling or tripling the recipe), add the pasta and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Drain well and serve with your favorite pasta sauce.

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Cashew Mozzarella

Mild in flavor and close textured, this browns nicely in the oven, and tastes great with basil and fresh tomatoes in an almond bread sandwich.

You’ll note that I’ve used both xanthan gum and tapioca starch in this recipe. The xanthan gum is used to make it stiff, and the tapioca gives it a bit of wobble and that knife-clinginess that fresh mozzarella has. This recipe went though a fair number of revisions to get to this stage. I’ve had the taste pretty much where I wanted it for a while, but the texture hasn’t been right. The last two versions, however, have been very interesting! This current version with 3 tsps of agar, makes a sliceable cheese, somewhat softer than the partially dried stuff that comes in plastic wrap, but more manageable than fresh mozzarella. 2 tsps of agar makes something more akin to fresh mozzarella which sticks to the fingers a bit in a lick-able sort of fashion.

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1/2 cup raw cashews
3 tsps agar powder (use 2 tsps for fresh mozzarella, 3 for sliceable)
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp tapioca starch
1 tsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp chickpea miso
2 tsp nutritional yeast

Soak the cashews in water for at least 1 hour. (Not needed if you have a high speed blender.)

Put the agar in a medium size saucepan along with 1 1/2 cups (12 fl oz) of water, and bring slowly to a simmer over a medium high heat, stirring frequently, to dissolve the agar.

While the agar is dissolving, put the drained nuts, salt, starch, vinegar, lemon juice, miso, and yeast into a blender, along with 1/2 a cup (4 fl oz) of water, and blend until smooth.
molten mozzarella

Once the agar has come up to the boil and thickened, add the smooth contents of the blender, and stir vigorously until combined.

Bring to a simmer over a medium heat, stirring or whisking to prevent sticking, and cook for about 2 minutes until the starch has cooked and thickened.

Lightly oil a 1 pint container, scrape the hot cheese into it, and refrigerate until cold and firm (~2 hours), or drizzle straight over your pizza which is waiting to go into the oven.