Gloriously Gluten Free…

Since Giancarlo was told last year that he can’t eat wheat ever again we have been on a quest to find the perfect gluten free alternatives to the foods he loved to eat but can no longer have. For an Italian pasta is going to rank pretty highly in importance and we have experimented for  months to perfect a recipe for a gluten free version.
This is the recipe that makes Giancarlo smile every time he makes it as he has really missed fresh pasta. We started working with different flours and xantham gum to achieve a pasta that tasted good and didn’t fall apart in the water. It also has a bite to it like pasta made with conventional 00 flour and it works for stuffed pasta too.
Serves 8 to 10
Giancarlo’s Favourite Gluten Free Fresh Pasta
100g white or brown rice flour
175g tapioca flour (sometimes called tapioca starch)
1 heaped tablespoon xantham gum
3 large eggs (170g)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Put all the ingredients including two tablespoons of cold water into a food processor and blend until it forms a ball of dough. If it is very dry and doesn’t fall a ball add another tablespoon of water. You are aiming for a firm but malleable dough. Knead the dough for a few minutes to ensure it is well-blended. Wrap in cling film and rest for 30 minutes at room temperature or if you prefer to keep it longer it can be left up to a day in the fridge.
If you don’t have a food processor, tip the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre of the ingredients and crack the eggs into it with the oil and two tablespoons of water. Use a dinner knife to break up the eggs and combine the dry ingredients little by little. Eventually your knife will become ineffective so use your hands to bring the dough together into a ball. If it is very dry and hard add a tablespoon more water.  Knead and rest the dough as above.
After the dough has rested use as fresh pasta rolling the dough by hand or through a machine. The pasta holds well as fettucine or any shape of cut pasta as well as working well to make stuffed pasta.
Cook the pasta in plenty of well-salted boiling water until al dente. It needs a couple of minutes longer in the water than wheat pasta so bite into a piece to see when it is ready.

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