Gluten free pasta has always been a bit of a disappointment to me and over the years I’ve kept it at arm’s length. However, I started to experiment with pasta for the sake of my son Finn, who loves both noodles and lasagne alike.
This buckwheat pasta is flavoursome enough to cut into tagliatelle and enjoy on its own with some garlicky butter and Parmesan, but it also works really well in lasagne, with so need to pre-cook.The tagliatelle won’t be as al dente as wheat pasta – this is a noodle with its own identity.
70g buckwheat flour
50g gluten free sourdough starter (or 20g white teff flour and 40g full fat Greek yogurt)
50g tapioca starch, plus extra for sprinkling if needed
3tsp psyllium husk
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp olive oil
2 pinches sea salt
In a mixing bowl, mix the buckwheat and starter, or teff flour and yogurt. Set aside at room temperature for 6-12 hours, or for 24 hours in the fridge. This both hydrates the flour and develops the flavour of the finished pasta.
Mix in all the remaining ingredients and knead into a slightly tacky dough. You may need to add 1 or 2 tsp of water to get it to come together, but try kneading it first for a while as the dough can sometimes take a while to form.
Wrap tightly in cling film and rest for 1-24 hours in the fridge. You can either make the dough into tagliatelle, below, or cut into sheets to make lasagne.
Prepare the pasta as above. When you are ready to roll it, get the dough out of the fridge and check the texture – it should be firm but pliable. If it is still tacky, you will need a little extra tapioca starch.
Break the dough into three pieces and roll out each one between two pieces of tapioca starch dusted cling film until it is very thin – a couple of millimetres thick ideally. If it is sticking, take off the top sheet and dust lightly with tapioca, then replace the cling film, flip the dough over and sprinkle more tapioca on the other side before replacing the cling film and continuing to roll.
Cut the dough into long tagliatelle strips with a pizza cutter while still on the clingfilm. To keep the first tagliatelle strips out of the way, slide a palette knife underneath and drape them over a rolling pin suspended over a bowl. Keep putting the strips aside until all of the rolled pastry has been cut.
Bring some water to a boil with a little olive oil in it and drop the tagliatelle in a few strips at a time. Unless your pan is large, you might want to do this in two batches.
The pasta will cook quickly, in a few minutes. Taste a bit to see if you are happy with it – remember, it won’t be al dente. Drain the tagliatelle and toss with garlicky butter or pasta sauce before serving with Parmesan.
You can buy River Cottage Gluten Free by Naomi Devlin from our online shop.