If this elimination diet has taught me nothing else, it has opened me up to the world of gluten-free flours, and more specifically, my newly-beloved chickpea flour. Made from finely ground chickpeas (garbanzo beans), the flour is packed with protein and fiber, and slight chickpea flavor that can be either complimented or hidden with other flavors depending on your end goal. So far with chickpea flour, we’ve made pancakes, socca, and the world’s creamiest and smoothest hummus. Seriously, it is worth buying a bag of the stuff just for the hummus. You can normally find it in the gluten-free baking section of your grocery store. We buy Bob’s Red Mill brand.
Besides the hummus, my favorite thing to come out of the discovery of chickpea flour is homemade pasta. It hadn’t made it on the blog yet, but before we went gluten-free, I was on a bit of a homemade pasta kick. Even though I don’t own a pasta machine (well, other than the one we use with polymer clay) and had no previous pasta-making experience, I was able to made delicious fresh pasta in a few blinks of an eye. It was shockingly easy! I had my mind-set on making some gluten-free and vegan pasta and I definitely hit a home run on the first try.
The beauty of this pasta dough is its total simplicity. Three ingredients. And one happens to be water. It doesn’t get much easier than that. The end result is a soft pasta with a slightly nutty flavor from the flaxseed. You won’t be fooling any die-hard white/refined pasta fan, but if you tend to like more hearty carbs, this is a pasta for you. We paired it with some vegan roasted red pepper pesto (recipe coming soon) and it was an amazing combo.
My favorite pasta-making method is 100% (wo)man-powered. I pile up the flour on a board, make a well, and then dump in the egg (or in this case, flax egg). Then I slowly incorporate the flour with the wet until it forms into a nice solid dough. At first, it always seems like there is way too much flour, but I promise it’ll all combine nicely if you just keep working it. Be patient.
If you have a pasta roller and cutter, awesome blossom! Go ahead and use those to your liking. I do not. So I used my good ole rolling pin and pizza cutter. The key to good pasta is rolling it out very, very thin. Thinner than you think it should be. The pasta with double or triple (or even more) in thickness from absorbing the cooking water.
If you are going the rustic simple method, like I did, try to stick with pasta shapes that can accept some imperfection. Farfalle (bow tie pasta) is perfect for those of us without a pasta cutter. Just cut into squares, pinch, and you have some adorable, rustic bow ties.
Now, before I give you my recipe (ha! it can barely even be called that), you have to give me your solemn vow that you will salt your pasta cooking water. You’ll notice there is no salt in the dough recipe. This is because it is designed to soak up the delicious salty water while cooking. Go ahead, raise your right hand and repeat after me, “I, Wholefully reader, solemnly swear to salt my pasta cooking water liberally. If I do not, I will not hold Cass, Babyface or Puppyface responsible for the disgusting pasta on my plate.”
Alright, now you can have the recipe.
Chickpea and Flaxseed Homemade Pasta
This recipe is designed to serve two generously, but it can easily be doubled, tripled and so on. The dough will be strong and a little bit tough to work with, that’s alright. You are not looking for a sticky dough.
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 6 tablespoons warm water
- 1-3/4 cup chickpea flour (plus more for rolling)
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flax seed and warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes, or until thick and gelled.
- On a large baking board, pile chickpea flour and make a well in the middle. Pour in flax seed mixture in the well.
- Begin gently mixing the flour with the flax seed mixture until well combined. Form dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
- After resting time is up, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
- Divide dough disc in halves or quarters (depending on how big your rolling surface is) and roll out to very, very thin on a floured surface.
- Trim dough into desired pasta shapes.
- To cook, drop pasta into rapidly boiling water. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until all pasta is cooked through. Keep a close eye on it, because it’ll overcook quickly. It is still delicious when overcooked, just fragile. Drain and serve!
Have you ever made your own pasta before?