For those of you that caught my tweet the other day, you’ll know that I have come up with a Paleo pasta recipe.
That’s right: PASTA. I’m not talking zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash or those disgusting zero-carb shirataki noodles that smell like fish. I’m talking real, honest-to-goodness pasta that you can turn into lasagna, spaghetti, fettuccine, ravioli or whatever the hell you want.
It’s grain-free, gluten-free, guar and xantham gum free and 100% Paleo. It does take a bit of work though, but trust me when I say it’s worth it.
This whole adventure started when George Bryant over at www.civilizedcavemancooking.com posted a recipe for beef bacon ravioli. I’ve been missing Italian food something fierce lately so I eagerly clicked on the link. To my dismay, I discovered that George hadn’t made the pasta himself, but had gotten it from Capello’s Gluten Free Products and that it was $55.00 for 4 12-oz packages. Not only can I not afford $55 for pasta that will make approximately 2-3 meals (my kids eat A LOT), but the ingredient list left a little to be desired: almond flour, cage-free eggs, tapioca flour, potato starch, xantham gum, sea salt. My children and I can’t eat potato.
I spent the next two weeks coming up with what I think is the perfect Paleo pasta recipe and although it takes a lot of time and preparation, it does NOT cost $55.00. It’s not low in carbs, but it doesn’t have any gut irritating substances in it. Treat it like a moderation food on the Primal diet: you don’t want to start eating it every day but there’s no reason you can’t have it once a week.
I’m about to leave for Texas for a weekend of Primal Transformation Seminars, but before I go, I wanted to leave you guys with the recipe for the flour that you’ll need for the pasta. That gives you all weekend to play around and make the flour, and when I get back on Monday, I’ll be posting the full recipe so that you can Paleo Pasta for dinner Monday night.
You’ll also want a couple other things while you’re at it.
Pasta Making Accessories:
- a heavy rolling pin or a pasta roller. (I personally opted for the pasta roller after spending hours trying to roll the pasta out thin enough. It’s practically the same price as the rolling pin, after all and sooo much freakin’ faster.)
- a pastry wheel or a pizza cutter.
- a kitchen scale. I don’t use cups or teaspoons; that way you can substitute whatever flour you want and the recipe will still work.
Alright: the flour. I have used a ton of different starchy vegetables to make flours and they’ve all worked out great for pasta. So far, I’ve tried jewel yams, Asian/Oriental yams, plantains, purple sweet potatoes and golden sweet potatoes. Taste-wise, I like the jewel yams the best (plus the pasta was bright orange!) but for looks, the Oriental yam won hands down. The flour ends up being white, hence the pasta is a creamy color and looks more like the “real” stuff. The kids loved the purple sweet potato spaghetti — the pasta was purple — but I personally felt like I was eating play dough. Plantain flour works amazingly well, but it has a pretty earthy taste to it and may not be to everyone’s liking. I’m planning on experimenting with taro root, winter squash and pretty much every starchy thing I can get my hands on when I get back. If anyone has already tried these, please let us know in the comments!
- Peel your starchy vegetable of choice.
- Slice very thinly with a mandolin slicer or carefully with a knife.
- Dehydrate until vegetable is completely dried out. (Try snapping a piece in half, if it’s dried all the way through then it’s done. This step doesn’t take as long as you’d think. Mine was done in less than 2 hours. I also tried this in the oven. Set the oven as low as it will go (170 degrees or less) and occasionally crack the door open to let the moisture escape. Keep an eye on the slices and remove when dried. Using an oven for this is more of an art than a science but it can be done.)
- Put the dried vegetable into the dry container of a Vitamix, or a good blender. Blend until the vegetable is a smooth flour.
- Use and store as you would any other flour. I keep mine in sealed mason jars.
That is it — that is all. A very simple way to make Paleo flour from your favorite starchy vegetables. You’ll need approximately 140 grams of flour (I like to use a couple different kinds — 70 grams or so of each) for the pasta recipe, so make sure you have enough. Whatever you have left over, you can turn into pancakes for Sunday morning breakfast. :) You’ll also need tapioca flour/starch and finely milled almond flour (if you want — almond is optional) in addition to the flour you’ve made so pick them up this weekend if you don’t already have them!
For those of you in the Austin and Houston areas, I hope to see you at the Primal Transformation Seminars this weekend. Otherwise, I’ll be chatting with you Monday when I return.
Oh — you’ll need one final thing: a nice bottle of red wine.