Quinoa Pasta Noodles

Spaghetti has always been a big hit in our household.  Thanks to my Dad, I make a knock-your-socks-off spaghetti sauce.  The Geek lived in Italy for a few years, and he says my sauce is as good, if not better, than most of the sauces he ate while he was there.

Yes, my chest puffs out a little when I get compliments like that.

So spaghetti was one of the few things we truly lamented giving up on this elimination diet. Semolina flour noodles are not approved (yet), and what good is pasta sauce with no noodles?

We added quinoa to the Geek and Mr. Charm’s diet about ten days ago.  So far, so good! They both like it, and Mr. Charm doesn’t seem to show any adverse affects.

So I got to thinking…there has to be a way to make quinoa pasta noodles – after all, it comes in flour form.  Surely there’s a recipe out there to turn that healthy, yummy flour into something resembling a noodle, right?

Well.  It’s not so simple!  Pretty much every recipe I found called for eggs (major allergy no-no) or the addition of another flour (not yet approved on our diet).  I started thinking I was just going to have to wing it completely, when I found this recipe on the blog Just Eat Love and realized I had discovered a terrific base recipe to tweak!  (I’ve never actually read her blog before searching for quinoa noodles on google, but she has some beautiful recipes, if you’d care to look!)

Please go look at her original recipe; I’m sure it is absolutely delicious!  But here, I’m going to share with you how I tweaked it to fit in our elimination diet and how delicious my tweaks turned out!

Here’s what I did:

Take 1 1/2 cups of quinoa flour, mix it with 1/2 cup of potato starch and 1/2 tsp. of salt.  Lay it out on your (clean) counter and make a well in the center.  Into the well, put 1 T of olive oil and 2 T of warm water.

It’s a volcano!

Start working the liquid into the flour from the outside in.  Here’s where my inexperience showed; I’ve never made pasta before, so my mixing was clumsy at best!  The original recipe said to add water a T at a time until the dough was the right consistency – stiff, firm, not sticky, not too dry.  I accidentally added one T too many and had to start adding flour back in to get it right!  So in the end, my measurements were not quite what I started with.

The important thing, though, is to get the dough to the right consistency, even if you have to tweak like I did.

Eventually, the dough will come together and “feel” right.  When it does, roll it into a ball and knead it for about 5-10 minutes.  Once you’re done groping the dough, flatten it into a disc shape and wrap it in saran wrap.

It looks a lot like play dough, actually.

Set the dough aside for 30 minutes to an hour.  This would be a good time to whip up the sauce!

Take the dough out of the saran wrap and break into two pieces, recovering the unused portion with wrap until you’re ready for it.  If you have a pasta maker, haul it out of storage and put it to use now.

Roll the dough into thin sheets; if using a pasta maker, start at setting 1 and work up from there.  I found that the dough started to fall apart if I got to setting 6, so I started over and worked it up to setting 5, which worked great for my purposes.  If you have a toddler around, they’re ever so thrilled if you let them turn the handle for you!

If doing it by hand, just keep rolling that puppy out until it’s thin enough to make you happy.

Mr. Charm had fun turning the handle for me.

I had a pasta maker, so the next step was kind of fun.  I took the thin sheets of pasta and put them through the cutter attachment.

Easy Peasy!

If you’re doing this by hand, you can take the thin sheets of pasta, dust them with flour, and roll them lightly into a tube shape.  Then it will be easy to cut long strings of pasta with a sharp knife!

Put some water on to boil and add a little salt.  When it’s boiling, toss in the noodles.  In a short 3-4 minutes, they’re cooked and ready to serve!

Yummy!

This batch made just a tad too much for both the Geek and Mr. Charm to eat, so I took the remaining noodles and ‘puddled’ them to dry.  Like I said, I’m new to this, and I managed to get the noodles stuck together enough that I couldn’t lay them flat to dry.  So, I thought I’d try to ‘fake’ a gourmet look and here’s what I got:

Hey, it worked!

If you’re more talented than I am at noodles, then try to lay them flat to dry.  I’m sure it would be easier to store.

Since these are fresh with no preservatives, I would store them in the refrigerator for longer storage times.  They’d probably be okay on the counter for a few days or a week (?), but I’m guessing.

Of course, the true test of any food is: how does it reheat?  Leftovers are important!  So the next day I made the Geek eat leftover, reheated spaghetti and noodles, and he said they tasted just as good as the first day!  I also cooked up the dried noodles and served him those, and they also passed muster.

So if you’re looking for a small ingredient pasta noodle recipe, I can confidently say that your search is over!

The next trial for me?  Adding pureed spinach to make spinach quinoa noodles!  Talk about nutritious!

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QUINOA PASTA NOODLES

-1  1/2 c quinoa flour
– 1/2 c. potato starch (or other starch safe in your diet)
– 1/2 tsp. salt
– 1 T Olive oil (or other safe oil – this could possibly be omitted)
– up to 1/2 c warm water

  1. Mix flour, starch and salt; place on counter.
  2. Make well in your flour, into it add olive oil and 1-2 T of water.
  3. Begin mixing your dough from the outside in; the consistency you’re looking for is pliable, not too dry and not sticky.  Add water (and/or flour!) until the right consistency is reached.
  4. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Flatten dough into a disc shape, cover in saran wrap and let rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
  6. Break the dough into two halves.  Working with the first half, roll dough out as thin as you like it using either a pasta maker or a rolling pin. Repeat with second half.
  7. Cut into whatever shape you like.  At this point you can dry the noodles, or store in the refrigerator for later.
  8. Add noodles to salted, boiling water; cook for 3-4 minutes.
  9. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce and enjoy!

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Do you have any fabulous elimination diet/allergy friendly tweaks to recipes?  

This post shared with Gluten Free Fridays.

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27 Responses to Quinoa Pasta Noodles

  1. Rebecca says:

    “I had a pasta maker…” This sentence astounds me.

    I am so impressed by your Betty Crockery.

    • Mama says:

      LOL Don’t be too impressed: it was a hand-me-down from my parents, who decided they didn’t use it enough to bother with storing it. This is the first time I’ve used it, too!

  2. I recently bought a cheapo pasta maker from amazon, I think this is the recipe that will work in it 🙂 YUMMO 🙂 Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂 We had 101 awesome recipes! What a great resource we are creating!! Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

    The winner of the Domata prize pack will be announced Thursday at the party!

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  4. Becky says:

    I found your blog in a linkup to this post a couple days ago and I’m so excited to try a GF pasta that doesn’t have xantham gum, vinegar or any other “stuff” that just shouldn’t be in noodles. And now I’ve got a good reason to drag my pasta roller out of hiding and stop spending obscene amounts of money on premade pasta.

    • Mama says:

      Hi Becky!

      I’m so glad you’re going to try the recipe! I hope it works out for you. I haven’t been able to eat it yet (my elimination diet and all) but my husband and son just love these noodles.

      I’m with you – I’m growing tired of seeing ‘things’ added to foods that just really shouldn’t be there, and GF pastas ARE obscenely expensive! You could easily just roll these out into lasagne noodles, or make ravioli out of it…lots of possibilities!

      So far, I haven’t tried adding spinach to them as I had planned, but you could always add herbs if you’d like to ‘boost’ the flavor of them in any way.

      Anyway, hope they work out, and hope you’ll stick around and read some more! I post recipes fairly frequently, and they’re almost all GF!

  5. Tara Miller says:

    Your recipe looks pretty good. But, in addition to a gluten free concept, using quinoa flour allows you to have a very low Carbohydrate pasta (low glycemic load/index). But, when you add the potato flour or starch, you are effectively ruining this great aspect of quinoa. Low carb is essential for a super healthy diet! I suggest adding ground hemp seeds and chia seeds. These will give the pasta the suppleness and chewiness that you want without the added carbs (sugar).
    Good luck

    • Carrie says:

      Tara, thank you! When I made these, we were on a very restricted elimination diet and had only a few “safe” foods to eat. I’m still on that diet, but my son is not. I’ve actually read about using chia seed “eggs” in baking and had it on my “to-try” list; thanks to your comment, I’ll move it higher on the list!

      Thanks for sharing!

  6. Katherine says:

    Can we have your awesome spaghetti SAUCE recipe, too?

  7. kzettler63 says:

    Oh thank you for what you are doing!!! I too have just been re-tested to my horror of finding out I’m allergic to more food than I thought I was. I still can’t believe I can’t have chicken, turkey, rice, oats, corn, gluten and so much more. My list of what I didn’t react to is so small. And its hard to find foods without ingredients I can’t have. I have not tried Quinoa yet. I need to test myself to see if I react to it since it wasn’t on the list, The whole thing got me so depressed. I thought I was doing good giving up gluten, dairy, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, and chia seeds. But after I had a case of hives which seem to keep coming back. My doc wanted to have me tested. Oh boy, I was floored and still am. So thank you for giving me hope. I will get all the bad stuff out of my kitchen. And start back slow like you are doing to see what doesn’t affect me. Thanks for having your blog.

    • Carrie says:

      I’m so happy I’ve been able to inspire you – that means a lot to me!

      Oh, Karen! I’m so sorry to hear about all these food allergies! I know it must seem insurmountable right now, but you can do this! Do they have any theories about why you suddenly got so many IgE allergies? I know they come and go, but that seems like quite a list!

      • kzettler63 says:

        I have only one IgE food allergy that’s rice. I have 3 grass allergies and ragweed that is IgE, the rest are all IgG allergies. Which has me floored. I have no idea what triggered everything to go wild since I turned 50. I finally made a safe list of all the foods I don’t react to right now. I know they put me on throid meds again. I don’t know if that has anything to do with it. I can’t wait till winter comes so the hives I started getting this summer will go away.

    • Carrie says:

      Sounds like we have similar allergies!

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  10. Chris says:

    I’m just reading through your blog now in June 2014. My 20 month old has acute eggs and oats FPIES and a not too bad dairy IgE allergy. I’m very slow in introducing new things. Anyhow, my husband has been paleo, and we’ve both found spaghetti squash awesome for eating with spaghetti. Honestly, I like it better! Also, we like using mushed up steamed cauliflower for our curries in place of rice!

    I’ll. keep on reading now 🙂 Its great that so many fpies folks blog and publish so the rest of us have so much information for taking care of our kids. Thank you!

  11. Heidi says:

    Made your quinoa pasta tonight. Flavor was good, but the dough was very fragile and kept falling apart. I ended up with 2″ long pieces of fettuccini type noodles. Used a roller like yours. Any suggestions?

    • Carrie says:

      Hmm…well, the dough is pretty fragile. The only thing I’ve found that works well is to be very careful when working with it. Once I roll it out, I lay it on parchment paper and then try not to touch it until it’s ready to go in the water. Then I slide it off the parchment paper directly into the water without touching it. After that, I try not to stir it as it cooks, and I don’t scoop it out when it’s done; I pour the whole pot into a strainer, then pour the noodles on each plate rather than trying to use a pasta spoon.

      It’s a little annoying, and they still tend to break, but not as badly.

  12. Bets says:

    1st, I don’t have a pasta cutter- but I had some chicken in the freezer that I thawed & cooked. – And I wanted Chicken & Dumplings like mom’s – but without the gluten flour.
    So I used this recipe. I used Tapioca flour instead of the potato starch and added all of the water at once (yes, I forgot to re-read & add 1-2 Tbl at a time….) So it was more sticky but I did use my hand to ‘knead’ it a little before covering & leaving for an hour.
    I then rolled it out – all of it, then sliced long strips (& wider strips than you would like noodles) before placing in with the chicken that was at a rolling boil. Then added salt & lots of ground pepper (we always loved our ground pepper in our dumplings). And then let it all cook together before I ‘tasted’ a small bowl. At this point the ‘dumplings’ tasted like Quinoa but still good & then had another bowl.
    After cooking some more, I turned off the fire, covered the pan & left it on the stove. About 3-4 hours later, I had more chicken & dumplings – and the quinoa dumplings had absorbed the chicken flavors, as I expected it to.

    (next time, I’ll add ground pepper to the ‘dumplings’ yummy
    thank you for this recipe & now I can have Chicken & Dumplings when I want… – (Honestly, I didn’t expect this to be so good as dumplings).

    • Bets says:

      I did want to state – that even with gluten flour dough, you have to gently take up the strips and add to the chicken waiting a a few seconds before adding more strips.
      AND you never ever stir – You move your stirrer (spoon, fork, ..whatever) from one side to the other side. – Stirring will just tear up the ‘dumplings’

    • Carrie says:

      Oh, wow, Bets! This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing!! You know, it might be a good idea, for chicken and dumplings, to use chicken broth instead of water for the recipe. Then it would have a head start on tasting like chicken and dumplings. I can’t wait to try this!!

  13. Sandy Wallace says:

    Do you or anyone of you smart great cooks have a recipe for homemade spinach quinoa noodles. I like and know how to make spinach noodles with white flour but don’t know how to make quinoa spinach noodles?
    Help if you can this is for my granddaughter. She’s only 1 and she needs that good complete protein in quinoa.

    • Carrie says:

      Hi Sandy! I”m so sorry I missed this. We’ve been sick and/or injured for the last month and I dropped the ball. 🙁

      Did you find a solution? If not, I haven’t tried adding spinach to the noodles before, but I would guess whatever technique you use to make them with white flour would probably work with the quinoa flour for the noodles.

      Does anyone else have any bright ideas? Please share!

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