Back in August, I fortuitously met Phi of Princess Tofu at a Bay Area food blogger’s picnic on the very same day I’d decided to make a pot of silken oboro tofu at home without a recipe (more on that to come). I selfishly prodded with questions of tofu-making, while scarfing down the gluten-free corn cakes Phi brought to the potluck. She told me about the eternity she spent grinding the recipe’s split pea flour by hand, and the unfortunate fate of her broken hand grinder to boot. This somehow meant the cakes were made with extra love and were decidedly more delicious.
With the promise of recipes, I followed her to her loft where she pulled out one cookbook after another, raving about the merits of each, but resting on Naturally Ella‘s The Homemade Flour Cookbook, where the aforementioned corn cakes recipe came from. With a flood of inspiration, we made plans to spend an entire Sunday grinding flour with my KitchenAid grain mill attachment – a more efficient (yet disturbingly louder) method than the hand-grinder.
With a week’s worth of e-mail chains looping Alanna of The Bojon Gourmet in on the flour fest, we settled on making homemade chickpea flour ravioli with mushrooms and thyme. But first, a trip to the Berkeley Bowl to load up on anything we could possibly imagine sending through the grain mill – chickpeas, red lentils, black wild rice, mung beans, brown sweet rice, buckwheat, and pumpkin seeds. That last one actually went through the blender for fear it’d turn to butter in the mill.
My weekly grocery haul always includes at least 2 stores, but usually 3 to 5. So we stopped off at the Monterey Market, Country Cheese Coffee Market for ‘shrooms, cheese, and more than a week’s worth of other produce we somehow planned to eat over the course of the day. One cooking task is not enough. Then a last-minute visit to 99 Ranch for red bean paste, where despite intentionally leaving her wallet in the car to show restraint, Phi still managed to grab a few more ingredients to spice up the lunchtime pad see ew feast she threw together.
The three of us spent the next 11 hours in the kitchen with the hum of the grain mill in the background, bonding over a common interest in food, rare ingredients, photography, light, and our ginger cat band debut, while we covered every surface in my kitchen with a thin film of homemade flour. Watching the two of them fully absorbed in culinary experimentation motivates me to be bolder in my cooking, to constantly push to try new things, and to not be afraid if it doesn’t work the first time.
Our research on chickpea pasta – combined with my earlier failed attempt at silky smooth strands of gluten-free quinoa flour pasta – told us the dough might turn out too delicate to easily send through the pasta roller. So we added a wee bit of tapioca starch, sweet rice flour, and xanthan gum to infuse that doughy elasticity into our gluten-less pasta, and decided to stay on the safe side by making fussless ravioli.
The curiosity of three food bloggers in a kitchen can’t be quelled though, so we fed the last sheet through the pappardelle cutter attachment to see what would happen.
And it worked magnificently. This dough is not the delicate lifeless quinoa pasta I’d tried my hand at before. It’s malleable and holds together beautifully as it stretches into smooth sheets of fresh pasta.
After an unexpected return to the market to exchange the first batch of not-so-hot mushrooms for these aromatic chanterelles, we lost our prime photography light. With this too good not to share recipe, Alanna returned Tuesday evening for take two of Sunday’s pasta dish, but this time with long strands of homemade chickpea pappardelle.
With our leisurely cooking and chatting, we chased the early setting autumn daylight. Until – according to my camera’s clock – Lucas walked in to the pitch black dining room at 6:46pm to find me standing on a chair with a tripod over the finished dish while Alanna held a forkful of pasta, “are you guys taking pictures in the dark?” Heck ya – that’s dedication. These photos use natural light, baby.
Natural moon light. (As shown in the second to last set of photos in this post).
Fortunately Alanna took the last bit of fresh pasta home to recreate the dish for dinner again the next day, capturing the final bowl of pappardelle studded with golden chanterelles with her stunning photography.
The thing that sets traditional homemade pasta apart from rehydrated store-bought pasta is the flavor. The store-bought stuff is bland and works only as a blank canvas, while homemade pasta brings much more to the table. Before switching to a gluten-free diet, we ate homemade pasta at least once a week in our house, but without a suitable substitute after my frustrating crumbly quinoa pasta attempt, the pasta maker attachments have sadly been packed up in a box for over a year.
This gluten-free chickpea pasta holds the same quality as traditional homemade pasta with a strong hearty flour as its base. Unlike many gluten-free pastas that rely heavily on starches, the chickpea pasta offers a notable but not overpowering element worthy of mention in its own. Eat it tossed with browned butter and parmesan cheese if you like, but I urge you to head over to The Bojon Gourmet to get the recipe for this simple and elegant fresh chickpea pappardelle with buttered chanterelles, thyme, and wine.
Thanks for reading Snixy Kitchen! To stay up on what’s coming out of my kitchen, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bloglovin’, or Pinterest, or subscribe via e-mail to get new recipes right to your inbox. *Approximately 1¾ cups dried chickpeas will grind into 300g of sifted chickpea flour. After grinding the chickpeas in a grain mill or coffee grinder, sift the flour through a fine mesh sieve to remove any larger particles.
*Approximately 1¾ cups dried chickpeas will grind into 300g of sifted chickpea flour. After grinding the chickpeas in a grain mill or coffee grinder, sift the flour through a fine mesh sieve to remove any larger particles.