Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gluten Free Fresh Pasta

I was never a big pasta eater.  Not that I didn’t eat it but it’s not one of those things I’ve ever ordered in restaurants as I always tend to order something I couldn’t or wouldn’t make at home.  All of this changed when I made the switch to gluten free.  Suddenly, a food that I had taken for granted was forbidden … and was all that I wanted. 

Below is a recipe that I can’t take the credit for as I found it in various bits and pieces online but I will say that I have made it 3 times now and it is absolutely wonderful.  Unlike any other gluten free baking you may have done, this pasta handles and stretches like a dream.  I have used it for both fettuccini (or as close as I can get to fettuccini without a pasta cutter) and for ravioli. Both times the results blew me away!

  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons potato starch
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil


In a medium bowl, combine flours, salt, and xanthan gum.
Beat the eggs lightly and add the oil.
Pour the egg-oil liquid into the flour mixture and stir.  It will start to feel much like pastry dough.
Work the dough into a firm ball and knead for about 30 times

Place the ball of dough on a potato starch-floured (rice flour turns noodles gray) breadboard and roll as thin as possible

This dough is tough and, when almost transparent, will still handle well. Cut into desired shape. 

I personally am DYING to buy one of these for my Kitchenaid mixer so that I can make all sorts of shapes:

For Fettuccine and Spaghetti, slice very thin strips by hand or use a pasta or pizza cutter.
If using for Lasagna, cut into 1 1/2-by-4-inch rectangles.
To make Ravioli, simply cut into 2x2 inch squares and place a small amount of filling in the middle.  With a wet finger or pastry brush, dampen the outer edge of the square and place a second square on top.  Working from the center out, ensure that there is no air trapped with the filling and seal the edges by pinching them together.

To cook pasta: Cook in salted boiling water, to which 1 tablespoon of oil has been added, for about 10 to 12 minutes depending on the thickness and size of your pieces.  To test, pull a piece out and try it!
I find this recipe makes a fairly small batch of pasta (at least I think it does) maybe enough for 4 servings.  If you’re like me and like to do big-batch production, double or triple the recipe.  Pasta keeps well in the fridge for about 3 days but freezes exceptionally well.

Lay fresh pasta in a single layer on a potato starch-covered baking pan or a non-stick mat and place in the freezer for about an hour to harden. Transfer to freezer bags or containers and return to freezer.  For long pastas like fettuccini, it is best to twist the pasta strands into a sort of nest on the baking sheet before freezing.  Even better, can be cooked from frozen!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gluten Free Cheddar Corbread Muffins

It’s incredibly cold outside. It is the kind of night where you rush home from the office, change into something cozy and park yourself on the couch for some TV and comfort food - the more carbs the better.  Before going gluten free, my idea of the perfect meal for tonight would have been a big hunk of crusty bread to dip in a hot bowl of hearty soup.  As you may have noticed, traditional gluten free bread is sadly lacking on the crusty and chewy front.
Cornbread is a great alternative and with its hearty quality, it’s perfect for dipping but still moist enough to be eaten on its own.
I like a fluffier texture as opposed to the grainy traditional kind, because of this; you’ll notice the ratio of flour to cornmeal is higher than other recipes.
1/4 cup butter (room temperature)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
¼ cup potato starch
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

6 Strips of bacon (cooked and chopped coarsely)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine butter and sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add eggs; mix well. Stir in sour cream and milk. Reduce speed to low; add all remaining ingredients. Beat just until mixed.

Pour batter into greased muffin tins and top generously with bacon and cheddar cheese. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm with butter. 

Like it spicy?  Finely chop a medium Jalapeno pepper and stir into batter before scooping into the muffin tin.

Be sure to vote on the top right for which recipe you would like to see next on Gluten Free Kitchen Adventures!