Gluten Free Pasta – Getting Closer

When making pasta dishes, I normally use dried pasta from Bi-Aglut (a division of Heinz), which is pretty good stuff for a gluten-free product (made from lupins, amongst other things). However, I do get the occasional cravings for fresh pasta, despite the effort involved in making it.

Previous essays at making gluten-free pasta from rice, amaranth and maize have been reasonably successful, but did not produce a dough suitable for rolling, or hand-forming – just extrusion. Maize produced some of the best texture, but tasted of – well, maize. Too much maize.

A couple of days ago, I fancied fresh pasta and decided to see how a mixture of 50% rice, 50% maize flour turned out. The answer was extremely well. Just shy of a cup of each of the flours, blended with about half a teaspoon of guar gum, was combined with a couple of eggs. The resulting dough was a little on the dry and crumbly side so I added water little by little, working it in by hand until the dough felt right.

This dough went well through the extruder, the pieces coming out not collapsing or sticking to each other as sometimes happens. When I cleaned out the extruder, I had quite a large lump of dough left which I rolled out (no sticking to the rolling pin or the bench) and cut into strips.

The dough handled very well so I was able to get the pieces extruded, cut and dried in quite a short space of time.

When cooked, this pasta had a fairly neutral flavour – certainly not too heavy on the maize as I was expecting.

It now just remains for me to completely strip and clean my pasta roller which is full of nasty gluten crumbs, full of gluten. With that done (if I am able to get the machine apart/clean/back together), I will try out some flat pastas such as tagliatelle, lasagne and ravioli.