If there's one thing I could eat for the rest of my life, it would probably be a simple bowl of pappardelle pasta tossed in butter, pepper, and a little bit of the starchy-salty water it's been cooking in (plus a small mountain of Parmigiano Reggiano). You see, I eat pasta at least two or three times a week, every which way: spaghetti á la Marcella Hazan, gnocchi in a lemony kale pesto, fettuccine with this creamy mushroom situation, and so many more.
It is my favorite food. I love it, and it loves me. One could even say I am a pasta-ficionado.
Which means I am very discerning when it comes to the stuff, especially fresh pasta. I've always been a fan of the classic version with just flour and eggs, and frankly, a little skeptical of any variations on that formula.
So when I discovered that the entire menu—including the fresh pastas—at New York City restaurant, Santina, was entirely gluten-free, I was surprised to find that I could hardly taste the difference. In fact, between the handful of pastas I ordered, I couldn't taste the difference at all.
What was the secret to these delicate, toothsome noodles? I talked to Santina's executive chef, Ashley Eddie (who started as a line cook at the restaurant in 2015 before working her way up to the kitchen's top spot in 2018) to find out.
Eddie's most important tip: When it comes to gluten-free anything, practice makes perfect. "Our house-made recipes are practiced and perfected over time and are some of our biggest sellers." Which is to say, this pasta recipe took more than a few tries to nail down. Her other key piece of advice: "Have patience. Making pasta is a delicate process in general and even more so if it's gluten-free."
Keep these in mind the next time you try making her gluten-free fresh pasta recipe, which she's shared below, and if you happen to swing by Santina the next time you're in N.Y.C.'s Meatpacking District, take my recommendation: Order the spicy lobster fettuccine; it's my favorite.
- 62.5 grams tapioca starch
- 125 grams rice flour
- 62.5 grams glutinous rice flour
- 300 grams egg yolks
- In a bowl, whisk together the tapioca starch, rice flour, and glutinous rice flour until well combined.
- Make a well in the center of the flour and add the egg yolks. Using a fork, whisk together the egg yolks until just combined and slowly mix the flour into the egg until a dough forms.
- Cut the dough into four equal-size pieces. Dust the counter with rice flour and, working with one piece of dough at a time, knead for a few minutes until smooth. When you're not kneading the other pieces of dough, wrap them in cling film to prevent them from drying out.
- Roll out the dough using a pasta roller or rolling pin as soon as possible (you can also use the rice flour for dusting here too), as the dough should not sit for long.
- Note: This recipe works best on shaped stuffed pasta, like tortellini, or wide flat pasta, like pappardelle; it's delicate, so it won't hold a spaghetti shape very well. Once the pasta has been rolled out and cut into your desired shape, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes (taste test a noodle or two as the pasta cooks to make sure it's just how you like it).
This recipe has been scaled down from restaurant proportions; feel free to scale it down further at home.