Gluten Free Pasta – Made from scratch at home !

Finger Millet Pasta

Hey Dear Readers !

I hope you are reading this in good health and positive vibes.

The times have been hard for many people around the world. And even though sitting safe at home we may not know the ones who are suffering directly, the situation has united us all in some ways, reminding us of our impermanence and our inability to have control over things in life. I feel this is a great period filled with opportunities presenting themselves teaching us to grow , be bolder , be more fearless , be more kinder , love more.. a great throttle towards conscious living. I am also on the same journey – some days feeling great , feeling strong and empowered , some days doubting , feeling vulnerable , overwhelmed – All part of the journey. At this moment when I write this blog I feel a bit overwhelmed by all the news , the discussions about the second wave. But somewhere deep I do know all will happen for the good, all will be well and is for the highest good. I wish to send the same vibes to you through this blog. <3<3<3

This recipe is of a homemade gluten free pasta I tried a while back at home. It is made of Ragi or finger millet flour. This idea was on my mind since I posted the Ragi momo few months back – Ragi Momos. The process of making the Ragi pasta remains almost same – If you refer to the blog above you will find the method to roll out ragi roti. After that step what changes here is that you cut thin strips of the roti – dust it with some ragi flour – and that’s it your ragi noodles/pasta is ready to be cooked. As Ragi does not have any gluten the pasta made is not very stretchable once it is boiled in water. Since the flour it already partially cooked while making the dough. One could also instead of boiling steam these little strips of ragi roti just like we did in ragi momos to get a more stretchy pasta. I leave it to you to experiment ! I will keep improvising on this recipe and revise it here if I find better methods 🙂 Many of you commented on my instagram post for the recipe of this pasta hence I did not want to delay it any further.

The pasta sauce recipe here is my goto quick sauce for any pasta meal – it would also make a lovely pizza sauce or even a dip ! Its creamy from the cashews, tangy from the tomatoes, spicy from a hint of chilli , sweet&roasty from some red pepper and umami from some nutritional yeast ! All food verbs covered 😀

As these noodles are much more tender than gluten based noodles – it might be a better idea to serve them just on top of your pasta sauce just gently rolled in the sauce rather than mixing it too much as they tend to break. I must mention they tasted yummy! I felt light as a feather after eating these – gluten based noodles even if made of whole wheat can really leave you bloated if you are gluten sensitive. This one is quick to digest and super healthy!

Don’t forget to add your favorite vegetables into this pasta making it rich in fiber. Usually I steam harder vegetables like broccoli , sometimes pepper separately in a steamer to reduce use of oil . and repeated heating of the pasta sauce. Peppers , Zucchini and Mushrooms cook very quickly in the sauce itself if you like them crunchy.

Ingredients

Basic Pasta sauce

5 garlic cloves chopped
5 tomatoes chopped
1 onion sliced
2 red chillies
1 roasted red bell pepper
2 Tbs Olive oil
1/3 cup cashews
2 tsp nutritional yeast(optional)
Black Pepper
Oregano powder
Dried basil leaves
Salt

Pre cooked Vegetables of your choice – Red & Yellow peppers , Zucchini , Steamed Brocolli
Mushroom, Tofu

  1. Soak cashews in hot water for 30 minutes.
  2. Roast a red Pepper directly on stove flame to char it . Cook it evenly on all sides.
  3. Saute Onion and garlic in Olive Oil. Add the red chilies as per taste. (Alternatively you could also use only black pepper as a spice here)
  4. Once the onions get transparent add the tomatoes and cook till they soften.
  5. Add fresh or dried basil, oregano , pepper and salt and mix. Switch off the heat.
  6. Once cooled grind the Onion, tomatoes, Red pepper along with the cashews and nutritional yeast into a paste.
  7. Adjust the consistency of the paste with water. Adjust salt as required.
  8. Return this sauce back into your pan.
  9. Stir in you favorite veges into the pasta sauce. Mushroom and peppers can be cooked very quickly in the sauce itself while heating it.

Ragi Noodles

1.5 Cup Ragi Flour
1.5 Cup water
Salt
1 tsp Oil

  1. Bring Water to a boil. Add salt and few drops of oil in it and switch it off. Immediately add the ragi flour to it. Using a wooden spoon or back of a ladle quickly mix it through the boiled water till its combined to form a sticky dough.
  2. Take out the dough into another vessel to knead it with slightly greased hands making a soft ball. Cover and keep for 5-10 minutes. At this stage dough is ready for rolling. It almost rolls easily like a normal wheat roti.
  3. Using some dry ragi flour roll out the dough into 4-5 rotis. Cut thin strips of these rotis with a sharp knife. Dust all the strips with some dry flour and keep aside to be cooked just before serving the pasta.

To serve

  1. Add the pasta sauce with veggies in your plate/ bowl.
  2. Boil water in a large vessel, add few drops of oil and season the water with some salt.
  3. Instantly cook a portion of pasta by dipping it into the hot water and take it out with help of a deep frying strainer. strain any excess water from the noodles.
  4. Keep the noodles on top of you pasta sauce.
  5. Decorate with fresh basil leaves if handy and serve.

Note : the noodles cook within seconds and then might disintegrate or melt. Be quick in step 3. One could also cook them in a steamer for a more robust texture. (like in a Idli maker)

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