What Is Gluten? Having to cook gluten-free meals can be tricky. Gluten is the name given to proteins that are found in some cereal grains.
Because of this, gluten is present in a lot of foods, including most types of bread, pasta, cereals, cakes, and processed foods. Sadly, some people have an autoimmune reaction to gluten.
What Is Coeliac Disease?
This disease is called coeliac disease. Around 3 million Americans suffer from coeliac disease.
People diagnosed with this disease can experience stomach pain, diarrhea, and bloating after eating foods with gluten in them.
If you have coeliac disease and consume gluten, your immune system will target your own tissues. That is why you may suffer from these symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no cure for coeliac disease.
What Is A Gluten-free Diet?
However, you can avoid gluten by leading a gluten-free diet. This means avoiding foods with gluten in them and making foods containing substitutes for gluten. Lots of popular foods do not contain gluten. For instance, meats, fish, rice, fruit, vegetables, and most dairy products do not have any gluten in them.
Even if most types of pasta do include gluten in their recipes, there are methods of making pasta that do not contain gluten. The recipe below is a straightforward example of this:
How To Make Gluten-free Pasta
A popular method of making gluten-free pasta uses xanthan gum and gluten-free flour. Xanthan gum is used in a lot of gluten-free cooking, as it can be used to stabilize or thicken foods.
As a result, it will improve the texture of your cooking. Though it sounds pretty rare, xanthan can be found at most large grocery stores.
Meanwhile, there are lots of different forms of gluten-free flours, such as rice, oat, corn, and bean.
These flours should also be fairly accessible in big grocery stores, though rice flour tends to be quite widely used.
To begin, mix the dry ingredients, namely the xanthan gum and the gluten-free flour, together in a bowl with a spoon. Next, add 3 eggs and mix.
This should give you a dough-like substance. To stop your mixture from sticking to the surface, dust a table or work surface with gluten-free flour.
Put your mixture onto this surface and knead for about 3 to 5 minutes. Kneading means working the dough with your hands. This will make your mixture more elastic and strong.
If you find your dough to be too wet, add more gluten-free flour. If it has become too dry, feel free to add some water to your mixture.
Once you have finished kneading, roll out your dough with a rolling pin. To prevent your dough from sticking to the rolling pin, simply cover it with even more gluten-free flour.
Roll until your dough is very flat. If you do not want to roll out your pasta manually, you can use your pasta machine to do so. When you begin, start on the widest setting on your pasta maker.
Because it is not as elastic as regular pasta, it will be better to avoid the narrower settings on your pasta maker. If your pasta starts to become dry during this process, add a little water to it.
Now that you have rolled out your pasta, you can start cutting it. This is easiest to do with a pasta maker, but if you do not own one, a knife will suffice.
Cut your pasta into thin strips or whatever type of pasta shape is your favorite. Once you have done this, you simply need to cook your pasta in boiling water for between 3 to 5 minutes.
Be sure not to overcook your pasta, as this will make its texture appetizing. Drain the water and serve your gluten-free pasta. Add salt to flavor if you desire.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Gluten-free Pasta Taste Like?
The taste of gluten-free pasta will be dependent on the recipe and what flavorings are used. However, many find gluten-free pasta to be quite bland. Luckily, there are ways of overcoming this.
If you want to avoid having a bland flavor to your gluten-free pasta, it is a good idea to cook a tasty sauce to accompany it.
Some premade sauces can contain gluten, so this is something to look out for. Also, make sure to add a pinch of salt and pepper to add some flavor to your pasta.
Be careful not to add too much though since it will overpower the dish and because eating lots of salt is bad for your health.
How Is Gluten-free Pasta Different From Regular Pasta?
Aside from not containing gluten, the most noticeable difference between gluten-free pasta and regular pasta will be in its texture. Many have also noted a difference in their tastes.
Is Gluten-free Pasta Healthier?
Many people believe that gluten-free pasta is healthier than regular pasta. However, this is not necessarily true.
In fact, gluten-free pasta can often be higher in calories than other variations of pasta. They may also be higher in fat, though this will be dependent on the recipe.
Are Pasta Makers Worth It?
Usually costing between $40 and $100, pasta makers can be quite costly. If you plan to cook pasta a lot, then investing in a good-quality pasta maker is certainly worth it.
For people who suffer from coeliac disease, homemade pasta is a really good way of still being able to eat pasta without having to eat gluten.
Some shop-bought gluten-free products can be expensive and limited, meaning that homemade pasta is an excellent alternative.
If you are someone who will not cook homemade pasta very much, then it is probably not worth the cost.
While living a life without gluten may seem like a difficult prospect, more and more Americans are embracing gluten-free diets.
Because of this, gluten-free products are more readily available on supermarket shelves than ever before.
It is now easier than ever before to have a gluten-free lifestyle. Hopefully this recipe will help you to make delicious gluten-free pasta.