A simple and reliable 3-ingredient homemade gluten free pasta recipe. Once you’ve tasted this gluten free pasta made from scratch, you’ll never go back to the store-bought stuff. The perfect thing to have on hand for a variety of quick gluten free lunch and dinner recipes.
This one is exciting. It has me bouncing in my seat. It has me pushing aside all the other recipes I have planned for you lovely folks. This takes priority, has to take priority.
If you asked me what I miss most in my gluten free diet, pasta would definitely be up there in the Top 10. And I know that for many of you, pasta is the number one thing you miss, crave, dream about. And I’ve read enough disappointed ramblings to know that store-bought gluten free pasta doesn’t even come close to its gluten-containing equivalent.
So last weekend, I decided to tackle the mystery that is gluten free pasta. And as I browsed recipe after recipe, I wasn’t impressed. 7 ingredients or more, mixing your own gluten free flour blend… no thank you. I don’t want to have to buy rice, maize, potato, arrowroot and whateverelse flour and mix them together to make my own blend. I bet you don’t want that either.
You want an EASY and QUICK gluten free pasta recipe that requires only SIMPLE INGREDIENTS that are available in any grocery store.
Well, this is it.
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THE THREE INGREDIENTS
The ingredients list is as short as it is simple:
- gluten free flour
- xanthan gum
That’s all there is to it. The gluten free flour blend I use is an Aldi brand that’s available in the UK (I’m not so sure about the US). It contains rice, potato and maize flour, like most of the gluten free blends out there. Nothing special, the kind of stuff you should be able to find in pretty much any grocery store, nowadays.
The xanthan gum has the job of making the gluten free pasta dough more flexible – it takes the place of gluten. Without it, the dough can crumble and crack, and you really really can’t use a substitute for this.
The eggs bind the dough together: the egg yolks give the pasta its richness, the egg whites add even more elasticity.
There’s no salt, no oil, no water and no other strange ingredients in this gluten free pasta recipe. Three simple ingredients, that’s it.
MAKING THE GLUTEN FREE PASTA DOUGH
First, we’ll mix the gluten free flour and xanthan gum together until evenly distributed. We’ll then make a well in the middle and crack in the eggs.
This is a 1-bowl recipe, folks. No fuss.
Next, we’ll scramble the eggs slightly and start mixing in the flour/xanthan mixture. Eventually, we’ll end up with a slightly sticky pasta dough.
We’ll turn the dough onto a generously floured surface and knead it for 2 to 3 minutes. Because this is a gluten free pasta dough, there’s no gluten to stretch and “activate”, but kneading ensures a smooth dough with no flour clumps.
ROLLING OUT THE GLUTEN FREE PASTA DOUGH
The amount of ingredients in the recipe below makes 4 “nests” of tagliatelle-like gluten free pasta, so we’ll cut the dough into four evenly sized pieces. If you’re a tad OCD like myself, feel free to weigh the pieces to get them to the same weight.
Wrapping the three pieces of dough we won’t use immediately in cling film ensures they don’t dry out – trying to roll out dried out pasta dough is a nightmare and, trust me, you will want to avoid it.
Now, I’ve rolled out the pasta dough with a pasta machine – it’s handy, quick and it doesn’t make your hands tired. Plus, you feel like a total pasta making badass, and that’s a helluva feeling. But if you don’t have a pasta machine, you can easily follow the exactly same procedure with a good ol’ rollin pin and a bit of elbow grease. (But if you expect that these pasta-making adventures will become a frequent occurrence: look into getting a pasta machine. It’s a total time-saver.)
First, we’ll flatten the piece of gluten free pasta dough a bit and flour it generously on both sides. We’ll then pass the flattened piece through the pasta machine, starting on the widest setting. We’ll stay on this setting for a few minutes, so get comfy.
Now, different pasta machines can have different widest settings. What I’m trying to say is that the “widest” setting can produce pasta sheets of different thicknesses. In my case, the widest setting gives pasta sheets about 2 mm thick, which is actually quite thin compared to some other machines. Moral of this side-story: get to know your pasta machine.
If the first roll-through gives an uneven pasta sheet that feels sticky (despite having been dusted with flour) and has streaks of crumbled-looking dough, your pasta dough is too wet, likely because your eggs were larger or had a greater moisture content.
To see what I mean, check out this picture:
See the streaks of crumbled-looking dough? It’s too wet. But that’s not a problem – so don’t panic, mmkay?
Fold the dough like a book or letter (into thirds) like this:
and dust the outsides with more flour, turn the piece by 90 degrees (so that the smooth edges are left-right, not top-bottom) and feed it agin through the machine. We’ll repeat this process until we get a smooth, velvety gluten free pasta sheet.
Once we’re happy with how it’s looking, we’ll move to a narrower setting on the pasta machine and feed the generously floured sheet through it. (Note that there’s no more folding!) We’ll keep reducing the settings until we get to a sheet about 1 mm thick. (For me, that was just one setting down from the widest one, but it might be different on your pasta machine.)
Throughout all of this, it’s quite important to work reasonably quickly so that the pasta doesn’t dry up. (When I say reasonably quickly: you still have time in between to rock out to your favourite jam and take a second to bask in the wonderful feeling of making your own pasta.)
CUTTING AND SHAPING GLUTEN FREE PASTA
All that’s left to do now is decide on the shape. For beginner pasta-makers, I recommend something easy – like tagliatelle. Especially if it’s your first time making homemade gluten free pasta, you don’t want to experiment too much with pasta shapes. Start simple and work your way up.
You can use a knife or the cutting setting on your pasta machine. I’ve cut it with the latter and, let me tell you, there’s something ridiculously satisfying about feeding a sheet of pasta into the machine, only for perfect tagliatelle to come out on the other side.
We’ll toss the cut pasta in some more flour (perfect pretty pasta sticking together is a nightmare) and shape it into a slightly wonky nest. This takes practice (at least, that’s what I’m telling myself). You might tear a few pieces (when I say “you” I mean “I”), but that’s okay. Call it rustic and homemade and, honestly, nobody cares. It’ll still be delicious homemade gluten free pasta in the end.
You can use the pasta immediately – just toss it into some boiling hot water with a pinch of salt, and within 5 minutes you’ll have a steaming plate of gluten free pasta that tastes just like the “normal” gluten-containing stuff.
DRYING THE PASTA
To dry out the pasta, just leave it out on a cooling/drying rack near a radiator or fireplace (in winter) or on the kitchen counter (in summer) overnight. And when, the next day, you hold the dried tagliatelle nest in your hand, and you realise you’ve made a staple food from scratch and gluten free to boot – it’s perfectly okay to feel mighty proud of yourself.
BUT DOES IT TASTE LIKE PASTA???
Simple answer: YES.
Longer answer: I haven’t eaten actual pasta in so long I didn’t feel like I’m a good person to judge this. So I’ve used my parents as taste-testers (they’re brutally honest and they definitely know their pasta), and they tried just the plain, cooked gluten free pasta. No other flavours to mask the inherent pasta flavour.
And the verdict: They couldn’t tell the difference. It tastes, feels and looks like pasta. It’s actually darn good pasta, if I do say so myself.
I’ve since used it in a recipe with a simple pesto (recipe coming soon!) and, as they say, a picture says a thousand words:
AND… THAT’S IT
This post has turned into something of a gluten free pasta making opus. But I really wanted to go into detail and explain each step in depth.
I know making your own gluten free pasta can sound intimidating and time consuming and just not something you think you’d do. But… it’s none of these things. It’s actually really simple, and SO WORTH IT.
Devoting a few hours on a rainy weekend to pasta making can mean that you’ll have enough gluten free pasta for a few weeks, if not months. And I honestly: don’t see a downside here.
Homemade Gluten Free Pasta
A simple and reliable 3-ingredient homemade gluten free pasta recipe. Once you’ve tasted this gluten free pasta from scratch, you’ll never go back to the store-bought stuff.
The recipe makes 4 x 2 1/2 oz (70 g) nests of gluten free tagliatelle, which should feed 2 - 4 people, depending on how hungry they are.
The process described below focuses on using a pasta machine to make your gluten free pasta – but if you don't have one, you can easily replicate the process with a rolling pin and a bit of elbow grease.
NOTE: Have a look at the step-by-step pictures in the post for more details! I also go more in depth regarding the ins-and-outs of gluten free pasta making within the text of the post, so make sure you have a read.
- 1 2/3 cups (200 g) gluten free pasta, plus extra for kneading + dusting (Note 1)
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 3 medium eggs (Note 2)
To make the gluten free pasta dough:
In a bowl, mix together the gluten free flour and xanthan gum until evenly distributed.
Make a well in the middle of the flour + xanthan mixture and crack in the eggs. Scramble the eggs slightly and start mixing in the flour + xanthan mixture. Eventually, you will end up with a slightly sticky pasta dough.
Turn the pasta dough onto a generously floured surface and knead it for 2 - 3 minutes, until you get a smooth ball of pasta dough.
Because this is a gluten free pasta dough, there’s no gluten to stretch and “activate”, but kneading ensures a smooth dough with no flour clumps.
To roll out the gluten free pasta dough:
Cut the dough into four evenly sized pieces. Wrap the three pieces of dough you won’t use immediately in cling film so that they don’t dry out.
Flatten one piece of gluten free pasta dough and flour it generously on both sides. Pass the flattened piece through the pasta machine, starting on the widest setting. You will stay on this setting for a few minutes, so get comfy. (See also Note 2)
Different pasta machines can have different widest settings, so that the “widest” setting can produce pasta sheets of different thicknesses. In my case, the widest setting gives pasta sheets about 2 mm thick, which is actually quite thin compared to some other machines.
Fold the rolled-out pasta dough like a book or letter (into thirds, see step-by-step pictures in text) and dust the outsides with flour. Turn the piece by 90 degrees (so that the smooth edges are left-right, not top-bottom) and feed it again through the machine. Repeat this process until you get a smooth, velvety gluten free pasta sheet. (See also Note 2)
I repeated the folding + rolling steps 5 times before I got a perfectly smooth pasta sheet.
Generously dust the pasta sheet with gluten free flour and feed it through the next narrower setting on the pasta machine. (Note that there’s no more folding!) Keep reducing the settings until you get to a sheet about 1 mm thick.
For me, that was just one setting down from the widest one, but it might be different on your pasta machine.
To cut and shape the gluten free pasta:
Using a knife or the cutting setting on your pasta machine, cut the gluten free pasta sheet into tagliatelle (about 1/3 inch / 1 cm wide).
Toss the cut pasta in some more flour and shape it into a nest.
To dry the gluten free pasta:
To dry the gluten free pasta, place it on a cooling/drying rack near a source of heat (radiator or fireplace in winter, kitchen counter in summer) and leave it to dry at least overnight.
The next day, check the pasta for dryness – if it still feels damp, leave it for an extra few hours or a day.
To store the gluten free pasta:
For the first few days after making it, keep the dried gluten free pasta in an opened container.
The pasta may still be a bit damp on the inside and closing the container may lead to mould formation.
After that, keep the dried pasta in a closed container in a dry place. It should keep for at least 2 - 3 weeks.
To cook the gluten free pasta:
To cook the fresh (not dried) gluten free pasta, place it in boiling water, seasoned with a pinch of salt, for 4 - 8 minutes, depending on how well-cooked you like it.
To cook the dried gluten free pasta, place it in boiling water, seasoned with a pinch of salt, for 6 - 10 minutes, depending on how well-cooked you like it.
Note 1: The gluten free flour blend I use is an Aldi brand that’s available in the UK (I’m not so sure about the US). It contains rice, potato and maize flour, like most of the gluten free blends out there.
Note 2: The eggs will have a large effect on how wet your final pasta dough is. If the first roll-through on the pasta machine gives an uneven pasta sheet that feels sticky (despite having been dusted with flour) and has streaks of crumbled-looking dough, your pasta dough is too wet, likely because your eggs were larger or had a greater moisture content.
If that is the case, may have to repeat the fold + dust process an extra few times, but you will definitely get a smooth, velvety gluten free pasta sheet in the end.
Looking for more GLUTEN FREE recipes? I’ve got you covered!