Does gluten-free homemade pasta sound like an impossible dream? We're here to let you know that in fact, it's a distinct possibility, and our customized recipe allows you to tackle one of your favorite dishes with speed and grace. Your end result will be a lovely dish that everyone can enjoy regardless of any dietary concerns.
The inclusion of late spring cherry tomatoes with asparagus ensures a light dish easy to digest - you won't get weighed down with this first course. Some handmade pasta preps can be on the heavy side, but with the use of rice flour, this pasta is light enough to enjoy any time of year. For an extra layer of sheer decadence, add a heaping portion of fresh mozzarella or burrata cheese, as our chefs have done in the photo on the right, and make that flavor profile leap upawards in this classic Italian pasta recipe.
If you've got friends and loved ones with a yen for homemade pasta but thought they had to give that up for dietary concerns, dazzle them with this easy recipe. They'll be thanking you for ages to come!
Make the Gluten-free rice flour maltagliati pasta
In medium-sized bowl, blend rice flour with eggs and knead mixture until you obtain a soft, dense rounded ball. Continue kneading dough with your palm on floured working space.
Keep kneading until dough is soft, elastic, and compact. Shape dough into ball, and cover with plastic wrap to maintain elasticity.
Allow to rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
Make the cherry tomato, asparagus and pancetta maltagliati sauce
Wash asparagus well, and remove white, tough part of stalks. In large sauce pot, boil abundant water and salt well. Add asparagus, and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes. Once cooked "al dente," drain from boiling water and replace immediately into bowl of cold water to stop cooking process. Once cooled, slice into 1cm-thick slices.
Wash and dry cherry tomatoes, removing all stems and branches. Dice tomatoes and set aside.
In a heavy-bottomed sauté pan, cover bottom of pan with extra-virgin olive oil, and once heated, add garlic clove and allow to brown very slightly. Add sliced asparagus, salt to taste and allow to cook briefly. Add cubed bacon and blend the mixture with a small amount of water taken from pot where the asparagus was cooked. Add cubed tomatoes, and allow to cook for a few minutes. Adjust to taste with salt, and remove from heat once tomatoes are softened.
Make the rice flour maltagliati shapes
Remove plastic wrap, and shape dough into a rectangular form on your rice-floured work surface. If dough is too moist, add additional amount of rice flour, being careful not to add too much as this will make the gluten-free dough tough.
Dust working space with rice flour, and using floured rolling pin, roll out dough on working space. Roll into rectangle with even thickness throughout. Keep dough in regular and uniform shape as best possible. Using pasta cutter, divide dough vertically into strips of about 3-4 cm wide. Cut each strip horizontally to create rectangular or diamond shape.
As the name of the recipe indicates, maltagliato = poorly cut, it's not critical that pasta shapes are cut perfectly and precisely.
Place cut pasta onto wooden cutting board, or plastic kitchen tray.
Cook the maltagliati and finish dish
Fill large soup pot with salted water and bring to boil. Cook pasta until al dente (the shapes will float to surface of cooking water) and once cooked, remove from heat, drain, and add to tomato and asparagus sauce to blend well.
Place on individual serving plates, dust with freshly ground Parmesan cheese and black pepper.
A note on serving Maltagliati: if you need or want a little extra dairy potential, feel free to add a generous portion of fresh buffalo-milk mozzarella or burrata cheese. The inclusion of this cheese selection will be a guaranteed spotlight-grabber, and will amp up the nutrition factor of your classic Italian pasta recipe.