In my never-ending hunt for carbohydrates, I came upon the idea of using atypical flours to make my favorite homemade pasta dishes. I had no idea where to find garbanzo flour at my local supermarket, so I wandered onto the interwebs over to Amazon to search for it there. It turns out it wasn’t really that hard to find after all! Also it qualified for Prime shipping, so I was quite the happy camper. Two days later my garbanzo flour was patiently waiting at my door when I got home from work, ready to be made into some delicious, albeit somewhat difficult pasta.
Garbanzo flour has a much higher level of fiber and protein than it’s gluten-filled wheat cousin. Don’t get me wrong, I love all things gluten, but some people don’t have that option. Garbanzo beans or chickpeas are technically a legume and is a popular flour variant in Asia + the Middle East where it is known as besan. This flour is packed full of vitamins and minerals that you can’t get from your standard wheat flour. It also doesn’t have gluten in it, which means that it’s going to take longer to roll out than your standard pasta. It will want to crumble at the edges but stick with it and keep on rollin’.
The only drawback to garbanzo flour is it’s bitter. Really bitter. As in I tried to eat an uncooked noodle and spit it out bitter. I quickly developed a solution to this problem: pre-roast your flour! This adds a few minutes on to whatever it is you’re making, but it made the biggest difference in the world with this product. It took out at least 80% of the bitterness and made the nutty flavor of the chickpeas shine in the final pasta dish. I was sold. And also gave myself a rather large pat on the back for what I think is a pretty neat trick.
I adapted this recipe from Snixy Kitchen.
- 2 3/4 cups garbanzo flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1/4 cup glutinous rice flour
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- gluten free flour of your choice for rolling out
Kitchen Tools: pasta roller, stand mixer or dedicated wooden spoon action, large saute pan, sifter
Pour flour into your saute pan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Cook until the flour is lightly browned and is giving off a nutty aroma (about 5 minutes). Sift flour into large mixing bowl and whisk in remaining dry ingredients. Discard any large chunks left in sifter.
Use a measuring cup to make a divot in the middle of your flour. Crack eggs into a ramekin or smaller bowl first so that you can chase away any shell fragments before plopping them into the hole you made in your flour. (Traditionally this is all done on a counter top but I like to minimize as much of the flour snow storm that I can, so I do this in a bowl. It gives you the same result with like 1/10th of the mess.)
Add your olive oil in with the eggs. Whisk the eggs with a fork, slowly incorporating the flour from around the sides of the bowl. Eventually you’re going to have a shaggy loaf-like ball in your bowl that should be pretty sticky but not wet.
Knead your dough on a floured counter top or cutting board for about 3 minutes. Add flour as you go if it feels pretty sticky. By the end the dough should not be sticking to your hands. Cover with a tea towel and let your dough rest for 30 minutes. This softens up the flour so that rolling becomes so much easier.
Once your dough is done resting, cut it into four equal sections. Remove one section and leave unused sections covered with the towel. Start flattening your first section into a rectangle with your hands so that it will fit in the roller better.
If you are rolling your pasta out with a rolling pin, simply start rolling it out.
If using a pasta roller, start on the thickest setting, which with the Kitchenaid roller is 0. For the first few times through the pasta roller, fold the pasta in on itself three times to form a symmetrical rectangular shape. This will help make your sheets of pasta more regular and easier to cut. Slowly roll your pasta thinner and thinner until it’s at setting number 4 or 5, depending on how thick you want your noodles. If I’m rolling it out to make a stuffed pasta I go all the way to a 6, spaghetti to a 4, and fettuccine to a 5. If you’re rolling it by hand, just make sure that the thickness of your pasta corresponds to how thick you want your noodles. In my experience I always hand roll them too thick so just keep rolling!
Here are Kitchenaid’s recommendations for each setting:
1 or 2: Kneading and thinning dough
3: Thick “kluski”-type egg noodles
4: Egg noodles
4 or 5: Lasagna noodles, fettuccine, spaghetti, and ravioli
6 or 7: Tortellini, thin fettuccine, and linguine fini
7 or 8: Very thin “angel-hair”- type pasta/capellini or very fine linguine
Cutting the pasta is made really simple with the pasta cutting tool, but doing it by hand isn’t much more effort. Simply flour your sheet of rolled out pasta, cut it to the length you want your noodles, and fold it in on itself three times. Then slice through it with a sharp knife along the existing edge, making about a 1/4 wide noodle for fettuccine. From there you can shake the strands apart and drop them right in your pot of boiling water or freeze them in an airtight ziploc to use later.
Unlike dried pasta, fresh pasta takes about half the time to cook and sometimes even less. It will only take a couple of minutes or so for your fresh pasta to be done once you drop it in the boiling water. If you have dried your pasta, it will take a little more time but still less than the store bought kind. Make sure you adequately salt your boiling water. It should basically taste as salty as ocean water. Your pasta will soak up some of this salt during the cooking process and will taste extra delicious.
Tips + Tricks:
*If your pasta is falling off the roller in clumps, it might be because it is sticking. Flour both sides before putting it through the roller so that it comes out smooth.
*Do not oil your cooking water! The oil will coat your pasta and whatever sauce you will be putting on it will just slide right off.