This is honestly the BEST Gluten Free Pasta I have ever eaten… A traditional Italian Egg Pasta that’s both gluten and wheat free and that rivals ANY wheat pasta you’ve tried. Even better, it’s a recipe so easy, that anyone can make it with the right ingredients and a dose of my Italian love. Also dairy free.
Originally published 20th November 2014… Recipe reworked, improved and republished 30th June 2023
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Creating the BEST Gluten Free Pasta I have EVER eaten
Hold on to your (Italian) chairs, because THIS is honestly the BEST Gluten Free Pasta I have EVER eaten. If I say it once, I’ll say it several times in this post… It’s INCREDIBLE for so many reasons. And I make no apology. It’s equal to all of those wheat pasta memories I grew up with. And that’s a LOT of memories. I grew up in a family with Italian heritage and we ate great pasta at least twice a week!
I’ve put my heart and soul into this one. It means a LOT. And while I’ve always had a gluten free pasta recipe on the blog, THIS new version has been reworked and rethought to perfection. Should I share it with you for free? Damn right I should… Because no one should ever have to eat pasta that doesn’t bring the best joy and happiness. It’s a basic human right 😄.
Always shared with my love x
Why you’ll LOVE this Gluten Free Pasta recipe
There are many pasta recipes out there. But great gluten free pasta (homemade or bought) is hard to find. I know… because I’ve tried many of them (just in case I missed a trick). Most are either dry or grainy, fall apart when they are cooked, have a strange taste, or are an odd colour. I still can’t bring myself to eat yellow corn pasta!
So… Why will you love THIS recipe?
- The dough looks like pasta, acts like pasta, rolls like pasta, cooks like pasta and (most importantly) tastes like the best pasta.
- It doesn’t disintegrate when cooked (even for too long) or on the plate.
- Neither does it stick together when uncooked or in the pan.
- The dough is pliable and flexible and can be kneaded (what a joy!)
- It’s easy to work with and versatile for making any pasta shape you love (or can dream up).
- The texture is smooth and supple, yet appropriately ‘al dente’ firm (as it should be). It’s not gritty or grainy or crumbly on the tongue.
- It has a neutral flavour (and is not over-salted either) making it the perfect carriage for any sauce or filling.
- Once made, it takes only 3 minutes to cook.
- It can be rolled in a pasta machine or by hand.
- It’s gluten free and dairy free.
Is it easy to make Gluten Free Pasta?
Absolutely yes! If you have ever thought making gluten free pasta was beyond reach, think again! Providing you have the right ingredients (discussed below), it’s probably one of the easiest dough-making processes on the planet. And it’s beautifully therapeutic too.
The base dough is literally a case of:
- Mix the dry ingredients.
- Add the eggs (and a drop of water) and mix into a dough.
- Knead until smooth.
- Rest to hydrate… then create pasta shapes!
I’ve created a short (speedy) video of me making Gluten Free Linguine just to show you how easy it is :
The importance of my Italian heritage in creating homemade pasta
Pasta (like pizza) is the food of Italy. And it is the food of my childhood… I was raised on the stuff. I know pasta well! One of my earliest memories is of pasta of all descriptions draped around my grandmother’s kitchen… freshly made and drying on every available surface.
We enjoyed pasta as a right, long before my friends had even heard of it (it was a long time ago). And when homemade pasta was not available, we would eat imported dried pasta that was only available in specialist Italian delicatessens.
My heritage is important to me and so creating an amazing gluten free pasta recipe has always been one to master! But it also means that I know authentic pasta. And I refuse to accept anything less. Trust me on this one. Because this recipe is created from the Italian part of my heart.
Ingredients needed to make gluten free pasta
Making amazing Gluten Free Pasta requires the right ingredients. Again, I make no apology and I know there will be those out there who ‘accuse’ me of using ‘exotic’ ingredients. There is nothing ‘exotic’ in here… But yes… I do mix a specific flour blend for the purpose. It’s the reason this pasta brings magic. The flour blend is what ensures the texture, stability, flavour and pliability of the dough. And it’s not something you will find in a ‘ready-mixed’ packet. I’ve tested and tested again with tweaks and turns along the way to get here. And this is now my gluten free pasta ‘home’.
Regardless of the flour blend, the recipe is still just as easy to make. So… what will you need?
The gluten free flours
The flour blend I have created for this pasta uses the following flours:
- Fine White Rice Flour (for starch and balanced to avoid grittiness)
- Tapioca Starch (for starch and stretch)
- Glutinous Rice Flour – also known as Mochiko; Asian rice flour; or sticky rice flour, and available in Asian food stores or online. (for starch, stretch, pliability and stability).
- Sorghum Flour (offers protein structure and flavour)
- Millet Flour (also for protein structure)
Now… all that said, I appreciate there are those of you who may be intolerant to one or more of these flours. And while I have found that this is the best blend for results, it is possible to sub where required for dietary reasons (although the texture and flavour will vary).
When making any flour switches, it is important to maintain a starch to protein ratio of 75% to 25%. For more information on different flours, read my guide ‘What is Gluten Free Flour?’.
Subs to try
(although I have NOT tested all of them):
In place of Sorghum: Try oat or buckwheat flour.
Switch millet flour for quinoa or gram (chickpea/besan) flour.
Instead of Glutinous Rice Flour: Although I have NOT tested, you could try adding more tapioca starch or possibly a combination of tapioca and corn starch (with a much lesser ratio of corn). However for preference, try and source the Glutinous Rice Flour as it has better pliability and has been well-tested.
In place of White Rice Flour: Try cassava, or fine corn (maize) flour (NOT corn starch).
For Tapioca Starch (probably the trickiest replacement): Try a combination of arrowroot, corn starch, cassava flour and additional fine white rice flour.
NOTE: any change in flours to those recommended on the recipe card will impact the moisture and hydration levels of the dough. If the resulting dough is dry, add additional water a drop at a time and (if very dry) an additional teaspoon or two of egg yolk. Do NOT add more oil.
Other dry ingredients
In addition to the gluten free flour blend, you also need a little xanthan gum (essential to binding in super-thin pasta) and fine salt (for flavour enhancement).
If you can’t tolerate xanthan gum, try testing a half-batch with an alternative binder such as guar gum or psyllium husk powder (which is finer than rough ground husk and will blend easier in this dough). It’s not something I’ve tried, but there’s no reason why either won’t work.
This is gluten free EGG pasta and the eggs are essential to the recipe. Specifically… a combination of both whole egg (egg yolk + egg white) AND additional egg yolks. Whole eggs alone will NOT produce the same result.
It is the eggs in this combination that ensure moisture, protein structure, robustness and richness in the pasta. It’s how pasta has been made in Italy for centuries.
As a guide, I weighed my eggs in testing so that the recipe I share (with weights) is as consistent as possible. The eggs I use are UK Large, which may be differently sized where you are. Check out my International Egg Size and Weight Comparison Chart to help you work out which eggs you need.
If rolling the pasta in a pasta machine, the water is unlikely to be needed. In this case, the dough can be firmer as the machine has the strength to roll it into thin ribbons with little effort.
If rolling by hand, a TINY drop of water is helpful (unless you have muscles the size of Popeye). We are literally talking ½ a teaspoon for a full batch of gluten free pasta dough. It allows the dough to just ‘give’ a little more. It is definitely slightly stickier when rolling, but this is easily countered with a very light dusting of Mochiko flour or tapioca starch.
Do I need a pasta machine to roll this pasta?
No… You don’t need a machine to roll this pasta dough. Although I always roll my dough with a pasta rolling machine (because I can guarantee it will be super-thin and therefore perfect to eat), I appreciate that not everyone has a dedicated pasta roller. So I have specifically tested hand-rolling the pasta to be sure that even if you don’t have a machine, you can still enjoy it.
The only difference is that for hand-rolled pasta (using a rolling pin), I add a tiny drop of water (as noted above) to ensure the dough is a little softer and easier on the arms. While this does make the dough slightly stickier, a very light dusting of flour when rolling sorts the issue.
For anyone thinking of buying a pasta rolling machine, this is the one that I use.
Tips for making PERFECT gluten free Pasta – What I learned along the way
Although gluten free pasta is easy to make, I appreciate that some of you may feel daunted by the prospect. So… Here are my best tips to help you.
- Follow the recipe and use the flours and ingredients as stated. Only change the flour types for dietary reasons or if you really really cannot source the flour listed.
- Use both whole eggs and egg yolk as stated. The pasta is NOT the same without the combination specified.
- Once the dough is made and while it is resting, wrap it well in clingfilm to prevent it from drying.
- Work with smaller pieces of dough… Cut the large dough ball into 5 to 6 pieces and roll each one individually, ensuring that the remaining dough is well-wrapped while set aside.
- If rolling gluten free pasta by hand (with a rolling pin), don’t forget to add the extra tiny drop of cold water to the mix… And knead the dough well before using.
- Roll the pasta as thin as possible.
- Whether rolling in a machine or by hand, only use the finest sprinkling of additional flour (and specifically use a starch flour for dusting… preferably Mochiko or tapioca). Any excess will dry the pasta too much.
- As the pasta is shaped, set it aside on a tray (uncovered) while you complete the batch. The air will start to dry the shapes, making them perfect to store well.
Extra tips when using a pasta rolling machine
- Before putting the gluten free pasta dough into the machine, hand roll it into a flat pancake so that it fits more easily into the rollers.
- To start… roll the dough through the widest setting a few times. This helps to ensure it is as smooth as possible. On the first roll or two, it may tear a little… That’s fine! Simply squeeze it back together, flatten and roll again. Do not add extra flour!
- Gradually work from the widest setting down through the thinner settings of the roller. Roll the pasta through twice for each and do NOT attempt to miss a setting. Making thin pasta is a gradual process.
- Aim to get the pasta super-thin. A good place to stop is number 5 out of 6 (or equivalent for the machine you have).
- If making spaghetti, tagliatelle or linguini, cut the edges of the wide pasta sheet into a straight line before running through the strip cutter. This avoids straggly bits.
- Any remaining off-cuts can be brought together into a ball and re-rolled. Just make sure they are scooped up and wrapped while you are cutting the main piece so they don’t get dry. Don’t worry if the ball of off-cuts doesn’t come together smoothly… The pasta machine will quickly iron out any imperfections.
Can I mix the dough in a food processor?
Yes. If you feel you need to. However, it isn’t really necessary and will just create more fiddly washing up.
What can I make with this gluten free pasta?
Once you’ve made your gluten free pasta dough and mastered the art of a super-thin roll, the pasta world is your oyster. The dough is so flexible and robust that it can be shaped any way you want.
I’ve tested it by…
- Cutting into long ‘ribbon cut’ pasta – tagliatelle, linguini and spaghetti. All incredible!
- As lasagne, which was divine.
- Making Farfalle (pasta butterflies or bow ties) – fun and delicious.
- As Ravioli and Tortellini – It both holds and sticks well.
Once you have your pasta cut and ready… simply pair it with your favourite sauces or fillings… I have a particular love for my grandmother’s (and mother’s) Spinach and Cheese Ravioli; A simple Pesto Pasta; My own invention of Creamy Tuna Pasta with Asparagus, Mushrooms and Cheese (which has wooed many a past partner!); Legendary Vegetable Lasagne; And good old Spaghetti Bolognese or Maldives-inspired Fish Bolognese.
Is this gluten free pasta recipe safe for people with Coeliac Disease (Celiac)?
Yes. Because my pasta recipe is created with a combination of gluten free flours, it is completely gluten free and safe for people with Coeliac Disease (Celiac). Nonetheless, make sure the flours are ‘certified’ with no risk from cross contamination or ‘may contain’ warnings.
Is it wheat free?
Yes. The recipe is also wheat free. While there is a trend to using ‘gluten free wheat starch’ in gluten free recipes, it is not an ingredient I choose to use (having reacted to it in the past).
Is the recipe dairy free?
Yes again. There are no dairy ingredients used when making my gluten free pasta. So it is also dairy free.
Is the recipe egg free?
No. The recipe shared is for traditional Italian egg pasta, so eggs are necessary in the ingredient list. As I have not tried making it any other way, I am unable to advise on the possible use of egg alternatives. Sorry.
Storing fresh, homemade Gluten Free Pasta
Once made, the gluten free pasta dough or cut shapes will store well for up to 5 days in the fridge. Wrap uncut dough tightly in clingfilm to prevent any drying. And store cut pasta in an airtight container for freshness.
When making the pasta, it will have naturally started to dry as you work through the batch of dough. And because the pasta doesn’t stick together, it’s fine to store it as a pile. With one exception… If making filled pasta (eg. ravioli or tortellini), it is better to store layered with baking paper as the egg used to stick the pasta sheets together can sometimes make the edges a little tacky.
Gluten free pasta can also be frozen. I suggest fast freezing on a tray before bagging up in freezer-safe containers/bags. Freeze for up to 3 months and cook from frozen (allowing an extra minute or two of cooking time).
Cooking Gluten Free Pasta
This pasta cooks quickly and easily. However, unlike most gluten free pasta it does not fall apart when cooked, so if you go slightly over, don’t panic.
For plain pasta (unfilled) it takes about 3 minutes in water which is boiling. Place the pasta in the boiling water and then quickly bring it back to a boil (if it stops bubbling) and time from then.
For filled pasta (such as ravioli) it will take longer to cook the fused pasta layers and filling. Thus cook for between 5 and 8 minutes.
As with any pasta, it is good to check whether it is done by tasting it as it gets close to the ‘cooked’ time.
Will you try my INCREDIBLE Gluten Free Pasta Recipe?
And that’s all you need to know about how to make this gluten free pasta recipe. If I’ve left anything out or you have other questions, feel free to ask! Leave a comment at the bottom, message me on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) or send me an email. The recipe is just below (scroll an inch or two more).
I hope you enjoy the recipe. I’ve invested a lot of love in this one, so I’m keen to know what you think!
** © 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved. Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist.**
Gluten Free Pasta
- flat-bladed knife
- cling film
- pasta rolling machine (optional) or rolling pin and sharp knife/pizza cutter
- 45 g fine white rice flour
- 25 g sorghum flour
- 80 g tapioca starch
- 40 g glutinous rice flour Mochiko/Asian rice flour/sticky rice flour
- 30 g millet flour
- 8 g xanthan gum 1 tsp = 4g
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 2 large whole eggs UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’) = approx. 128g total liquid weight for a 1x batch
- 2 large egg yolks UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’) = approx 36g total yolk weight for a 1x batch
- cold water → When specifically hand-rolling with a rolling pin, add an additional ½ tsp cold water to the dough mix. This is NOT necessary for machine-rolled pasta.
Making the dough
- Weigh and mix together all the dry ingredients (flours, xanthan gum and salt) in a large bowl.
- Either using the bowl or tipping out the dry mix into a pile on a clean, suitable worktop, make a well in the centre, bordered by a deep mound of flour.
- Add the eggs and egg yolks to the well and using a flat-bladed knife, break them up and gently mix them together.
- Still using the knife, start to mix in the flour, bringing in a little at a time from the inside edges into the egg and gradually working outwards through the flour mound, until the mix starts to come together as a dough.
- When the mix reaches a point where it is difficult to amalgamate any more flour, use either a firm mixing spoon or hand to blend the rest of the flour into the dough. The dough should feel tough and quite firm. If (and only if) it is impossible to amalgamate the final flour dust, add ⅛ tsp of water to the dough and knead it through. This is rarely required, however. (NOTE: If SPECIFICALLY intending to roll the dough by hand using a rolling pin, add a ¼ tsp cold water to the dough mix (as outlined in ingredients list above).
- Once the dough is fully formed, knead it firmly until it is evenly blended. It will feel tough and will require a firm hand and some effort if the dough is correctly balanced. (NOTE: The dough with water for hand-rolling will feel softer and stickier)
- After kneading, wrap the dough tightly in clingfilm (it must be airtight) and rest in the fridge for at least an hour (or overnight +) so that it can evenly hydrate.
Rolling the dough
- After hydration, cut the dough into 5 or 6 pieces and (preferably using a pasta rolling machine), start to roll the dough into strips. Set the pasta machine on the loosest flat roller setting to start…
- Take the first piece of pasta (and set the rest aside, tightly wrapped to prevent drying). Lightly dust the work surface and top of the dough with Mochiko (Asian Rice) flour, as the first roll is the stickiest. Then flatten with your hands, before gently rolling with a rolling pin so that the dough will fit into the roller.
- Run the dough through the machine a couple of times, folding and re-flattening as necessary until the dough starts to roll smoothly and evenly. The machine helps the dough to amalgamate if it is still sticky. But try not to add additional flour beyond the initial dusting as this will dry the dough too much. Be patient and the dough will start to behave like normal pasta!
- When happy that the dough is rolling as it should be, start to reduce the thickness settings one by one, rolling the dough through a couple of times at each setting. Do not add any extra flour!
- Keep rolling until the dough has reached the second-lowest setting (the equivalent of number 5 out of 6).
- Once the dough is thin enough, run it through the attachment for the preferred cut (tagliatelle/linguini/spaghetti, etc) or use the dough to shape into ravioli/tortellini/farfalle, etc. Shape straight away to avoid the pasta drying and becoming brittle.
- If there are any ‘off-cuts’, knead these back together (and not into the new pasta dough) and roll through the machine again from the start as a smaller piece.
- Set the completed pasta aside on a flour-dusted tray or board, and repeat the same process of rolling and cutting/shaping the next piece of dough, starting again at the widest setting.
- Repeat until all the pasta has been used.
- NOTE: To hand-roll the pasta with a rolling pin, work on a surface dusted with Mochiko flour and also dust the top of each piece. Roll and shape each piece one by one, using as little additional flour as possible. Roll as thinly as possible and then cut and shape as desired.
To store and cook
- Once the pasta making is complete, either cook straight away, or store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.
- The pasta should not stick together. However, for filled pasta (such as ravioli), it is best to layer between sheets of baking paper in an airtight container, to keep the pieces separate.
- Cook plain pasta in boiling water for about 3 minutes until ‘al dente’ and serve with a favourite sauce. Cook filled pasta for about 5 to 8 minutes.NOTE: Cooking time will vary dependent on the thickness of the pasta. Thicker pasta will take longer.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist