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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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!
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
- Mix flour, starch and salt; place on counter.
- Make well in your flour, into it add olive oil and 1-2 T of water.
- 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.
- Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes.
- Flatten dough into a disc shape, cover in saran wrap and let rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
- 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.
- Cut into whatever shape you like. At this point you can dry the noodles, or store in the refrigerator for later.
- Add noodles to salted, boiling water; cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Serve with your favorite pasta sauce and enjoy!
Do you have any fabulous elimination diet/allergy friendly tweaks to recipes?
This post shared with Gluten Free Fridays.