Where do I start with homemade gluten free pasta? How about the word "Yikes"! It took me five years to make this recipe work in order to attain the texture and taste that I prefer in a homemade pasta. The obvious problem with homemade gluten free pasta is getting it to stick together and not crumble during any of the phases, kneading, rolling, cutting or cooking. Essentially there are two components to make this work. First, a mixture of flours. You cannot use simply one type of flour. You must mix several types of flour, such as rice, tapioca, garbanzo flours or perhaps some potato starch or corn starch. Beware though because corn starch does not freeze well at all. Well, I've made the mixture part simple for you. I use King Arthur Gluten Free Flour. It is a mix of flours and it results in a very nice texture to the pasta dough. Second, Xanthan Gum. I will not get into the complicated explanation of what Xantham Gum is exactly! You could look that up on the internet. However, it is an absolutely necessary ingredient to prevent crumbling of the pasta dough. It can be found in the gluten free section right next to the gluten free flours.
Note: For those of you who are not gluten free, but want to try homemade pasta, the beauty of this recipe is that it converts back to a gluten recipe very easily. You will simply substitute your regular flour for the gluten free flour and leave out the Xanthan Gum.
This pasta is delicious with any sauce. I personally find that homemade pasta works best with a classic Italian Tomato Sauce, but is also delicious with a Bolognese Sauce, Pesto Sauce and Alfredo Sauce.
Homemade Gluten Free Pasta
1 1/4 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg (optional)
Mix the gluten free flour with salt, nutmeg and Xanthan Gum in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add eggs and water. Use a fork or flat whisk to beat eggs and mix into flour. Once combined use you hands to bring dough together. Dough will be stiff. Turn out onto a wooden board and knead until the dough is firm and holding together nicely. Form dough into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap and let set for 30 minutes. (If you are making the non-gluten free pasta, you will knead until the dough is smooth and elastic and then cover for 15 minutes with a bowl.)
Divide dough into 4 equal parts. I roll and cut the dough by hand to make pasta shapes such as twists (pictured above), but you can use a pasta rolling machine to make spaghetti or fettucini. Basically roll your dough on a lightly foured board until the dough is about 1/16 inch thick and cut your shape preference. If you like spaghetti or fettucini and want to cut it by hand, roll up your rectangle from the long side, as you would a jelly roll, and then cut your slices to the desired thickness of your spaghetti or fettucini. Layout pasta on a lightly floured baking sheet.
Line a baking pan with wax paper and lightly flour. Place your pasta on the wax paper and layer until done separating each layer with a floured sheet of wax paper. When done, cover top layer with a sheet of wax paper and place the tray in the refrigerator to dry pasta. (At least 4 hours). If you choose to freeze the pasta for use at a later time, you may do so, but make sure that you seal the pasta in a ziplock freezer bag.
Cook the pasta as normal in a pot of boiling salted water. Cook uncovered until tender. This will take approximately 3 - 5 minutes as fresh pasta cooks quicker than dry pasta. Homemade pasta will float to the surface when it is ready.
Makes 4 Servings. (Recipe can be doubled)