chickpea and flaxseed homemade pasta (vegan, gluten-free)

Posted on Sep 27, 2011 in Food

If this elimination diet has taught me nothing else, it has opened me up to the world of gluten-free flours, and more specifically, my newly-beloved chickpea flour. Made from finely ground chickpeas (garbanzo beans), the flour is packed with protein and fiber, and slight chickpea flavor that can be either complimented or hidden with other flavors depending on your end goal. So far with chickpea flour, we’ve made pancakes, socca, and the world’s creamiest and smoothest hummus. Seriously, it is worth buying a bag of the stuff just for the hummus. You can normally find it in the gluten-free baking section of your grocery store. We buy Bob’s Red Mill brand.

Besides the hummus, my favorite thing to come out of the discovery of chickpea flour is homemade pasta. It hadn’t made it on the blog yet, but before we went gluten-free, I was on a bit of a homemade pasta kick. Even though I don’t own a pasta machine (well, other than the one we use with polymer clay) and had no previous pasta-making experience, I was able to made delicious fresh pasta in a few blinks of an eye. It was shockingly easy! I had my mind-set on making some gluten-free and vegan pasta and I definitely hit a home run on the first try.

The beauty of this pasta dough is its total simplicity. Three ingredients. And one happens to be water. It doesn’t get much easier than that. The end result is a soft pasta with a slightly nutty flavor from the flaxseed. You won’t be fooling any die-hard white/refined pasta fan, but if you tend to like more hearty carbs, this is a pasta for you. We paired it with some vegan roasted red pepper pesto (recipe coming soon) and it was an amazing combo.

My favorite pasta-making method is 100% (wo)man-powered. I pile up the flour on a board, make a well, and then dump in the egg (or in this case, flax egg). Then I slowly incorporate the flour with the wet until it forms into a nice solid dough. At first, it always seems like there is way too much flour, but I promise it’ll all combine nicely if you just keep working it. Be patient.

If you have a pasta roller and cutter, awesome blossom! Go ahead and use those to your liking. I do not. So I used my good ole rolling pin and pizza cutter. The key to good pasta is rolling it out very, very thin. Thinner than you think it should be. The pasta with double or triple (or even more) in thickness from absorbing the cooking water.

If you are going the ghetto simple method, like I did, try to stick with pasta shapes that can accept some imperfection. Farfalle (bow tie pasta) is perfect for those of us without a pasta cutter. Just cut into squares, pinch, and you have some adorable, rustic bow ties.

Now, before I give you my recipe (ha! it can barely even be called that), you have to give me your solemn vow that you will salt your pasta cooking water. You’ll notice there is no salt in the dough recipe. This is because it is designed to soak up the delicious salty water while cooking. Go ahead, raise your right hand and repeat after me, “I, BTHR reader, solemnly swear to salt my pasta cooking water liberally. If I do not, I will not hold Cass, Babyface or Puppyface responsible for the disgusting pasta on my plate.”

Alright, now you can have the recipe.

Chickpea and Flaxseed Homemade Pasta

Serves two

This recipe is designed to serve two generously, but it can easily be doubled, tripled and so on. The dough will be strong and a little bit tough to work with, that’s alright. You are not looking for a sticky dough.

Print this recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 6 tablespoons warm water
  • 1-3/4 cup chickpea flour (plus more for rolling)

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flax seed and warm water. Set aside for 5 minutes, or until thick and gelled.
  2. On a large baking board, pile chickpea flour and make a well in the middle. Pour in flax seed mixture in the well.
  3. Begin gently mixing the flour with the flax seed mixture until well combined. Form dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
  4. After resting time is up, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
  5. Divide dough disc in halves or quarters (depending on how big your rolling surface is) and roll out to very, very thin on a floured surface.
  6. Trim dough into desired pasta shapes.
  7. To cook, drop pasta into rapidly boiling water. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until all pasta is cooked through. Keep a close eye on it, because it’ll overcook quickly. It is still delicious when overcooked, just fragile. Drain and serve!

Have you ever made your own pasta before?

 

62 Comments

  1. Wow, who knew chickpea flower was easy enough to work with to use it for homemade pasta! My then boyfriend and I made pasta together once a looong time ago. We found it difficult to roll the dough out thin enough. You’ve inspired me to give it another try!

    • I think the key to rolling it thin is starting with a very small hunk of dough, that way you can really focus on getting it paper thin. Good luck! And I highly recommend chickpea flour. :)

      • Can u use this recipe with a pasta maker machine? What type of noodle would be best,thick or thin.?

      • I don’t have a pasta machine, but I don’t see why not. A thicker noodle would definitely be best. The lack of gluten makes the dough pretty fragile when it’s thin.

      • Sounds Yummie, will try this weekend. Am i missing the serving size?

  2. Love it! I’m going to pick up some chickpea flour this weekend and get to experimenting! My great-grandmother, my grandmother and now, I use the same method as you for making the dough for noodles. In my family the recipe was passed down for making egg noodles that go in chicken soup. I always like making the noodles by hand, it feels old world and there is a pretty cool way of rolling the dough up and cutting it to make it into stringy noodles for soup. : ) I think I might like to experiment with this noodle recipe for raviolis filled with sweet potato, or butternut squash… we’ll see…

    • Oooh! That sounds so good. The sweet potato/squash would pair so well with the flax taste. YUM.

      And my family does the same thing for chicken ‘n’ dumplins for Thanksgiving every year. The recipe is basically “a crapload of flour + a crapload of eggs” and a whole lot of elbow grease. :)

  3. What cute little yummy looking pasta! I have never made homemade pasta before, but I bought a pasta rolling attachment for my Kitchen aid. One day, I will break it in and make some pasta. I want to make some pumpkin filled ravioli with a sage brown butter sauce.

    • I would LOVE the pasta attachment, but I just can’t justify the moolah!

      • I totally understand that. I got mine with a gift certificate I won from a cooking contest. :-)

  4. whoa lady! this looks fantastic! as a gluten-free vegan, i am all over this recipe!!

    • Hope you love it!

  5. wow, girl. you just did what the grain-free community has been begging for for years. seriously. you cracked the code!

    • Hope you like it! :)

  6. I was really excited to try my first homemade pasta since we went allergen free last week. I had a really difficult time rolling it out and I used pretty small pieces. They got smaller and smaller in an attempt to make them thin enough. They weren’t awful but, my son didn’t like them. They were too doughy because I didn’t make them thin enough. I am sure they will be great if I can just figure out how to thin them out.

    • Having a roller would definitely help. It is not an easy task doing it by hand.

    • My boyfriend has a very serious grain allergy so to prevent cross-contamination in baking I roll out a lot of my doughs between two sheets of parchment paper. It worked really well for getting the pasta thin enough without a machine, it was like linguine.

  7. That sounds incredible! I love black bean spaghetti and chickpea flour bread, so I’m sure i would like this too. :)

    • Black bean spaghetti? That sounds awesome!

  8. This homemade pasta is mesmerizing! I have always wanted to make my own fresh pasta. That’s wonderful it’s made with chickpea flour too!

    (P.S. I love your prints on your Etsy shop!)

    • Thanks! You should definitely try making your own. :)

  9. Thank you for the wonderful recipe. Any idea how it does in lasagna? With the longer cooking time I’m curious.

    Thank you

    • I haven’t tried it yet in lasagna, but I’m a little afraid they might just totally fall apart. They cook so quickly! Maybe try letting the noodles dry out a bit before putting them in the lasagna? If you do try it, let me know how it turns out!

  10. Just an idea for the “lasagne”, you could boil the pasta sheets separately and layer them with sauce/cheese before serving. And maybe broil cheese on top. Not quite the same oven-baked result, but more sort of like open ravioli (which I have seen a recipe for somewhere).

  11. This sounds amazing! Gorgeous pictures!

  12. Just made the pasta tonight. It was, less than enticing. Not the recipe’s fault at all though! I did like the nutty flavour of the pasta but I made the mistake of using the pasta machine when I’ve never made pasta before, let alone used a machine. So I ended up with a big doughy,thick, gluggy mess BUT I will definitely try this again as if I had the texture/consistency down pat I know it would have been AMAZING. I think using a rolling pin will make it much easier for a newbie like me. Will let you know how round 2 goes!

  13. Wow. You just made a recipe for something that was thought of being impossible a few years ago. I am so excited to try this. Thank you so much!

  14. When I made the pasta, it was very fragile. Every time I tried to shape it into the bow ties it broke. So I used a small biscuit cutter, maybe an inch or two in size, and that worked wonderfully! After boiling for a minute I sauted them in a pan with olive oil, a little crushed red pepper, sun dried tomatoes, fresh spinach and cherry tomatoes (sliced into thirds) until the spinach had slightly wilted. It was oh so good! I’v made fresh pasta before but not gluten free, although it is a tad more challenging, it is definitely worth it. And I think I could put this on non gluten free eaters plates and they would love it as much as regular pasta!

  15. I’ve taken ground flax as a supplement but never cared for the taste in recipe. Hummus was one of these so I bet this recipe would taste similar.

    I have recently discovered chia, though, which has many properties in common with flax (including use as egg substitute) but has almost no flavor of its own. I bet it would work really well.

  16. Can you dry this or maybe free it? I was thinking I could make a few batches and do it once a month if it’s possible to do that. Great recipe and site. I’ve been a veg head for awhile, but I just became gluten free for health reasons and this is a godsend. Thank you so much.

    • I haven’t tried it, buy I don’t see why not. Since it’s pretty fragile, I think freezing might be best. Let me know if you try it.

  17. I’ve been making pasta for years and my standard recipe has always been the flour/egg combo (with salted water). My initial thought was to simply sub in the chick pea flour for the regular flour but your recipe has no egg. I’m a little curious if the binding that is obviously adequate in your recipe is coming from the oil in the flax, or is this something I can expect in dealing with the chick pea flour? Eliminating the egg makes it seem almost like a flammekeuche type dough but I’m concerned about the binding. Any advice?

    • It’s definitely crumblier than regular pasta dough, but it sticks together just fine with careful handling. I would say that chickpea flour is a lot finer than regular flower, and it has a definite sticky quality. So maybe that’s why it works. :)

  18. Hello!

    This recipe sounds great! Do you think it would work to dry and store it? I have a gluten free friend that I’d love to gift some of this the next time I visit!

    Thanks!

    • I’m actually not sure, Jes! I’ve never tried. If you do test it out, make sure you report back. :)

  19. Thank you for this. I’ve just been told to cut out all gluten, corn and rice and am dying for pasta.
    I’m going to try your recipe in a couple of days as a noodle. When I’m sure that I’ve got it right I will try it in a spinach ricotta lasagne.
    BTW I found it funny that your only pasta machine is for polymer clay. Mine too! Too funny!

  20. 1. This looks awesome!
    2. How do you make hummus with chickpea flour?
    3. Thank you!

  21. Thank you for the recipe, it was easy!
    I made it for my son who might have gluten sensitivity.
    He loved it too.

  22. Would this work for ravioli dough?

    • I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see why not. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

  23. I made these with soy flour. I had to add about 2 T more water, but they came out delicious!

  24. You know, traditional southern Italian/Sicilian pasta recipes often consist of only flour, water, salt, and olive oil. In these it is essential to properly develop the gluten through kneading. Do you think some of the brittleness experienced with your recipe could be improved upon by kneading the flax meal mixture into the dough for a longer period of time?

    • It could be, although since there is no gluten to develop, I’m not sure it’ll make much of a difference. But it’s worth a shot! Let me know if you try it out.

  25. This is a great sight! Great idea and can’t wait to try it.
    I make my own chickpea flour and use it for so many things and
    this is what I have been looking for. I am so excited!
    Thank you for this post!! ♥

  26. I just made this. Tasted delicious! I’m going to make this every time I want pasta! Wonder how it would work as ravioli with pesto inside. Will try that next time :D

  27. Thanks Cassie! I just made this and I think it will be a great recipe once I’ve perfected the art of rolling pasta really thin. I rolled it quite thin but obviously not enough as the pasta bows were about twice as thick and wide as normal packet pasta. Still, the flavour was good and definitely reminiscent of ordinary pasta. I’m definitely going to try this again! Awesome for if you’re cooking for a gluten free vegan. Cheers :)

  28. Thank you for this recipe!!!! A life saviour for me this Christmas as we are having a vegan feast but my sister needs to be gluten-free for now.

    I am making artichoke filled ravioli with it and the tests I did so far worked really well!

    xxx

    T.

  29. actually flaxseeds secrete hydrogen cyanide when comminuted, so it’s probably better to use them not grounded if you don’t want to be poisened

  30. Nanna, Not exactly true – I went to a website, Gaia Research on Flaxseed to check out your comment.

    The following is copied from that website

    Correctly processed raw flaxseed can have reduced levels of the strong laxative/purgative effects normally associated with the high cyanogenic glycoside mucilage component of flaxseed, which otherwise releases toxic hydrogen cyanide via auto-hydrolysis in the presence of water in the gut. Although this is associated with a non-targeted additional laetrile-type of anti-cancer effect, it strongly limits the amount of the most healthful SDG, which could otherwise be consumed. A typical concentration of SDG in oil-free flaxseed is around 1.5%. Careful processing can concentrate the SDG, whilst reducing the glycosides, allowing for a much-reduced gastric challenging serving size suitable for an optimal daily dosage.

    • Okay, so how do I make sure that it is correctly processed?
      I would show you the website where I found my information, but it is in Danish, so I doupt it would help ;-)

  31. can I use just normal flax seeds? do I have to buy ground flax seeds?

    • Yes, you can use normal flax seeds and just grind them yourself.

  32. Wow, that pasta looks great!
    Are you supposed to use 1.75 cups chickpea flour, or between 0.75 to 1 cup?
    Thanks, Edan

    • 1 and 3/4 cups flour. :)

      • Thanks for the quick answer! These look great, I’ll probably make them soon.

  33. Do you think you could put this concoction in a pasta maker??

    • I’m not sure, I’ve never tried (I don’t even own one). If you do try it, let me know!

  34. Thanks for the post.
    Tried the recipe twice today—once to eat right away and try different shapes and lengths
    The second batch was to store in the refrigerator for tomorrow and see how it stores.
    These tests were part of the practice for a work potluck next week of chickpea ravioli stuffed with roasted vegetables. Haven’t decided on the vegs.
    Have you made flavoured pasta? Thinking fresh basil, sun dried tomatoes, pesto, cheese, etc.

  35. Hello,
    I am so glad I came across your website!
    My family just turned dairy free and I wanted to surprise them with some pasta for dinner.

    I tride this with pumpkin seed flour and it didn’t really work out. I was wondering if you had any tips for a better result? (It was still good though!)

  36. Could this recipe possibly be used as a pizza crust? I’ve seen garbanzo bean pizza crust, but was wondering about adding the flaxseed meal to it? Do you have an opinion? Thank you!

  37. These are amazing! We just made them today and loved them. A bit more on the rough side (think wholegrain), but the taste, look and texture was very nice. I made them into very thin (between Vermicelli and spaghetti), tagliatelle with different thickness, and even some farfalle (the ribbon ones). I liked the very thin ones the best, but the other were good as well. Recommended!

  38. Each time I tried to boil them they disinterested into the water, even tried adding egg in an attempt to keep them from dissolving. Not my fondest three hours spent…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>