Homemade Pasta Two Ways: Hand-Cut Noodles & Fresh Ravioli (Gluten-Free)

This might be one of the best recipes you’ll make this weekend. Just sayin’. 😉

I’ve worked on this fresh gluten-free pasta recipe for a number of months now. I started with a completely different set of ratios before arriving at this one and I think the real secret is to omit any water from the recipe, letting just the water that you use to boil your pasta infuse the final product.

It’s really easy but it’s also a labor of love because it takes a fair bit of time–I’d say about an hour and a half of true hands-on work. So it’s a balance between easy deliciousness with raving results, and a fair bit of work, so you get to easily impress your family after demanding that they leave you alone for awhile. For me, that means music turned up loud, a glass of good wine, windows wide open, and all the creative thoughts you can imagine dancing in my head. Heaven. It’s also a great recipe to make with your kids, if you’d like to share the experience with them.

Here’s what you need: A 1:1 gluten-free flour blend (if you’re not gluten-free, I imagine you can just use a standard gluten-full flour and follow this recipe exactly, but I can’t say for sure; if you try, let me know); eggs; butter; salt. It’s easiest with a Cuisinart and a manual pasta maker, but I imagine you could pull off similar results with a good mixer and some fantastic muscles. This is not an easy task in general because the pasta dough itself is fairly dense and difficult to roll out without the aid of a pasta maker to really get it thin enough, so if you don’t have a past maker, I might suggest just making the hand-cut noodles while you order a pasta maker. The one I use, pictured below, was about $60.

Homemade Gluten-Free Fresh Pasta

  • 3 cups gluten-free 1:1 flour mix with xanthan gum added. I use Namaste Perfect Flour Blend.
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 5 eggs

I used my Cusininart to make the dough. I highly recommend this as it is incredibly trouble-free. It takes just a few minutes to whip up a great dough. Simply add all ingredients at once to your Cuisinart and set it on low for a minute or so and on high for a minute or so, then scrape out, knead for about 3 minutes, divide into two sections, and let sit for about 20 minutes before rolling out each section by hand.

The reason I think using a Cuisinart is the best option is because, without any added liquid, the dough becomes quite dense and I don’t know that a hand mixer would be able to fully get through the strands of dough once everything is really humming along. If you don’t have a Cuisinart, then use a mixer (either a standing mixer or a hand mixer) and fully incorporate all ingredients using dough hooks.

After your dough has rested for about 20 minutes, you can make two different recipes. The first one is super fun and fast. Just form a small rectangle and roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper. Because the dough is dense, you can “dimple” the dough with your fingers to stretch and expand it, then roll it out with a rolling pin, flip it over, repeat, like this:

I was able to use this method to roll out the dough to about 1/8th of an inch and then cut it thinly using a very sharp knife. This simple method turned into this gorgeous display of hand-cut stir-fry noodles:

Which I boiled in a very large pot of salted (rolling) boiling water for one minute before adding at the very end to a beautiful garden stir-fry and a soy-ginger sauce so that it looked like this:

It was just so delightfully good, you guys. You could stop here and make two big ol’ pans of stir-fried hand-cut noodles, OR fettuccine with your favorite homemade sauce, or you could do what I did and set the second section of dough aside in the fridge and roll it out the next day into beautiful rustic ravioli. (FWIW I recommend this method.)

Making Homemade Ravioli

Making homemade ravioli has a bit of magic to it. Not because there’s anything particularly difficult or special about it, but because it’s incredibly meditative. It’s similar to running or carving or knitting or any other semi-automatic mindless task that allows your mind to drift while you fashion something delicious out of a few simple ingredients. It makes people smile and laugh and children look at you like you’re God’s gift to happiness, which in my book is pretty much worth everything.

So here’s what you do to make the happiness happen:

  • Form your dough into a rectangle and follow the steps above until you get your dough to a thin layer, about 1/4 inch thick. This took me a good 10 minutes or so of focused rolling/dimpling/flipping/etc..
  • After it reaches about 1/4 inch thickness, slice it in half vertically (split the dough into two long strips) and feed it through your manual pasta maker, starting at the highest level and progressively moving one level down until level 3. I didn’t keep folding/refolding/refeeding it through as some recipes recommend. I just fed it through each setting one time until it was thin enough. Easy.
  • Lay out each strand of pasta.
  • Fill staggered sections with your favorite filling (we’ve used mushrooms, onions, Italian seasoning and Beyond Beef sausage; this time I just used mixed cheeses (cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack) and a lil’ grind of fresh black pepper per ravioli square–major win with the kids).
  • Top each filled section with a layer of pasta.
  • Cut to size.
  • Press edges with tines of a fork.
  • Boil for 3 minutes in a big pot of salted (rolling boil) water.
  • Serve with your favorite sauce.
  • Refrigerate uncooked pasta for up to a week to boil whenever you fancy some fresh ravioli.
  • Yum. Pretty much that’s that. Just a lot of yum.

For this cheese ravioli iteration, I whipped up a super simple 1-minute pesto in the Cuisinart using these ingredients integrated in phases as follows:

  • 1 clove garlic, processed
  • 1 cup spinach plus 1 cup arugula, processed (you can use basil, kale, mixed herbs, etc., here)
  • Pinch of salt, grind of pepper
  • 1 cup roasted walnuts
  • 1 cup olive oil drizzled as you process the walnuts

Happy pasta making, everyone!

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