Gluten-Free Lemon-Poppy Seed Pasta with Tomato, Corn and Basil
July 6, 2011
After bread, my family has missed pasta the most since being diagnosed gluten intolerant. Considering all of the handmade pasta I’ve had in my lifetime, I never could have imagined eating gluten-free pasta that tastes better than my Italian grandmother’s—until now.
“Growing up in an Italian family with pasta being the center of every dinner is a hard habit to break.”
What I love about homemade pasta is the versatility. You can make deliciously simple egg pasta or you can mix in chopped herbs or spinach, citrus zest, spices, purees (like pumpkin, sweet potato, potato)—really anything you can dream up. But, really, what I love most, is making something from scratch with my kids. I like them to know that they can make whatever they want with the most basic of ingredients.
“I want my kids to know that they don’t have to go to the supermarket to put together a good plate of pasta.”
It’s the relationship between food and family. It’s holding onto the recipes and techniques passed down from generation to generation. It’s having the smells fill my kitchen that once filled my mom’s kitchen and my grandmother’s kitchen before hers.
My friends and I are playing with ratios again as part of the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally. What’s the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally? We’re a group of food bloggers and cookbook authors committed to baking with ratios. This month’s assignment: pasta. Thanks Jenn from Jenn Cuisine, for being our host! Please check Jenn’s site (or below) for the complete list of bloggers with links to their pasta recipes.
Want this dish dairy-free? Just leave out the feta cheese. Believe me, this pasta is so rich and creamy, you won’t miss it!
Me and my ratio: After playing around in the kitchen with various ratios, this one made me (and my family) the happiest. Feel free to have fun with the ratios. It will depend ever so slightly on the ratio of grains and starches in your gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. Also, just in case, I’ve included cup and spoon measurements if that’s what you’re more comfortable with.
3 PARTS FLOUR: (350 g) 2½ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
2 PARTS EGGS: (225 g) 4 large eggs
There’s no waiting to cook the pasta for Chiara, who started eating the dough right away.
The frozen pasta dough before it goes in the boiling water. I like to place the just-cut pasta strands on a parchment-lined baking sheet to avoid clumping and sticking—especially on a hot, humid summer day!
Using tongs, I drain the pasta right into the sauce, bringing with it some of the starchy pasta cooking water, which thickens the sauce.
For the pasta: In a standing mixer, blend together the flour blend and salt. Mix in the eggs, 1 at a time, until the dough starts to come together. Mix in the olive oil and water; mix until dough just forms a ball. Use the palms of your hands to knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cut the dough into 4 pieces and cover with plastic wrap; let rest for 30 minutes.
Adjust a pasta machine to the first and widest setting. Lightly flour 1 piece of the dough to prevent it from sticking to the rollers and flatten it to about a ½-inch thickness using a rolling pin or your hands. Run the dough through the rollers. Fold the dough in thirds and pass it through the same setting again. Repeat this process 2 more times. Run the pasta through the next 3 narrower settings.
Using the pasta cutter attachment, a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the pasta dough lengthwise into fettuccine. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze until ready to use. Repeat the process with the remaining pasta dough.
For the sauce: Set a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the tomatoes and let soften, about 5 minutes. Add the pine nuts, if using, and corn; cook until the tomatoes just burst. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and let cook until the pasta rises to the surface, about 3 minutes. Using tongs, drain the pasta with some cooking water and add to the sauce in the saucepan. Add the lemon zest and basil; toss. Top with feta, if using.