These low carb REAL PASTA ribbons with creamed mushrooms will take away the pasta cravings you’ve had since going ‘keto’.
About a year ago, my daughter lost an enormous amount of weight, after having failed miserably through a variety of ‘diets’. I was immensely proud and happy that she had finally lost those extra kilos that had worried me for ages. Of course the first thing I asked was how she managed it. She explained that it was called the ketogenic diet and a bit like Atkins but without the excess proteins. Oh, and she casually added that she was eating mostly fat. I thought: Seriously? Eat fat to be thin? Can this be even possible? And what about the unhealthy side of it? We’ve been told for decades that fats are bad, carbs are good and sugar, well, sugar is ok in moderation or if it’s the natural kind. But clearly I had in front of me real proof that it did indeed work, so I became curious and eager to learn more about this seemingly paradoxical way of eating.
Me being me, I soon devoured tons of information from books, websites, and everything I could lay my eyes on. The more prominent and qualified the author, the better. Of course, reading about keto led me to learn about good fats like coconut oil, about the benefit of seeds, about the evil of sugar, about the cholesterol myth, about disease in general, and so on. In the end, I was hooked.
The love/hate relationship with low-carb living
That was the beginning of my love affair with the keto lifestyle. And I knew from the beginning that it would be a love/hate relationship. Why? Simply because until that point I had eaten either bread, breadsticks, pasta, pizza or pastries, or indeed a combination of, every – single – day of my life! I kid you not, I looooved my carbs so much. Ask my husband. He often had to make a late night trip to the shop to buy either crusty bread or breadsticks because I couldn’t eat my food without them!!!
So here I was, starting a lifestyle change that would mean never touching my favourite foods ever again!!! So convinced was I of the keto health benefits, however, that I still did it, with a self promise that I would try my very best to re-create all my favourite high-carb and sugar-loaded foods while sticking to keto.
Pasta. My all-time favourite by far. I’ve been spending my time partly in the UK and partly in Italy for several years. Even if I had wanted to, there was no getting away from all the delicious high-carb meals served at every eating facility in this carb-maniac country. And I was a pasta maniac. Yes Sir! There’s no denying it! So how could I possibly live without pasta on this keto thing? For a while I convinced myself that I could do without, especially since the information out there tells you that while in ketosis you won’t crave carbs, and if you do, a lump of fat will take that craving away….mmmmhhhh….I don’t think so. Tried it. Didn’t work for me. And pretend pasta made with courgettes just doesn’t cut it.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t crave real pasta every day, but there are occasions when I reminisce and can’t stop thinking I’m missing out. I know. It’s not a good thing. But I do not believe for a moment that I am the only one to feel that way. Occasionally.
Low carb pasta with creamed mushrooms. Is it really ketogenic?
For the first few keto months, I cooked and baked with just coconut flour and almond flour, or a combination of the two, with some additional bulking from seeds here and there. It was what all the recipes out there said to do, so I followed suit. But I soon got bored of disappointing results and started experimenting with alternative flours. I have to admit that most of my experiments have been real disasters. But I can be veeeery stubborn when I want to be and there was no way that I would allow pasta to defeat me.
After many trials and errors, I was about to throw the towel in when I discovered a new flour. At least it was new for me. In Italy, chickpea flour has, for centuries, been a staple ingredient for all sorts of wonderful regional dishes, but not for pasta. Still. I thought I’d give it a go.
The standard home-made pasta mix is 100g white flour to 1 egg. Not knowing how absorbent chickpea flour was, I stuck to the same ratio and crossed my fingers. I did add a pinch of xanthan gum just in case, to help hold it together. If you make this dish, you can try leaving it out, but be prepared for a different result.
A word of warning. This pasta recipe is for 2 servings, giving 24g carbs each (the chickpea flour I used this time had 48g carbs per 100g flour). I know that might seem like too many carbs for one meal, but I stay in ketosis at 50g per day, so if you’re like me you’ll be fine. Those who must stick to less daily carbs in order to produce ketones, will want to leave this one alone. But fear not, my ultra low-carb friends! I am experimenting with yet another flour. One that contains negligible carbs. So if I am successful you’ll be able to enjoy pasta too! Hopefully you’ll return to my blog to discover it. And if you sign up for email notifications, you’ll be alerted as soon as it’s published.
- 100g organic chickpea flour (pre-baked for 3 hours at 90°C the day before - see Notes)
- 1 egg
- pinch fine himalayan pink salt
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 tablespoon water (if required)
- somefine coconut flour(for dusting)
- 1 handful coarse himalayan pink salt
- 600g oyster mushrooms (or any other you prefer)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
- a sprinkle fine himalayan pink salt
- a sprinkle of organic broth granules or ½ stock cube (crumbled)
- cayenne pepper, paprika, turmeric, to taste
- a splash of white wine
- 200ml thick organic double cream
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- put the sieved chickpea flour in a large bowl, add salt and xanthan gum, and mix
- make a dip in the centre of the flour and crack the whole egg into it
- mix well with a fork and then by hand, kneading until a dough consistency is achieved - add water if too dry
- form a ball, wrap it in cling film and put it in the fridge to rest while you prepare the mushrooms
- put the coconut oil into a wok or similar, add chopped garlic and cleaned chopped mushrooms
- stir and cook on medium high for a few minutes
- add a splash of white wine and wait for it to evaporate, then add everything else except the parsley
- cook until tender and all the water has evaporated, adjust salt and spices if necessary
- add cream and parsley and cook for a further 1 minute, turn off heat and cover with a lid
- sprinkle some coconut flour onto a work surface and spread out the pasta dough until very thin
- sprinkle some coconut flour all over the surface of the flattened dough then roll it like a swiss roll
- using a sharp knife, slice the roll across, cutting 1cm slices
- as you cut each slice, unroll it straight away and place the ribbons (don't worry if they brake or are uneven) onto a plate making sure they don't touch each other or they will stick together
- fill ⅔ of a pot with water, add coarse salt and bring to the boil
- put in all the pasta ribbons and cook until al dente, about 4-5 minutes
- warm up mushroom sauce if necessary
- drain the pasta and place on two serving plates, pour mushrooms on top and serve immediately
You might find that putting cling film on top of the dough, and then use a rolling pin above that, will prevent the dough sticking too much.
You can prepare the pasta ribbons in advance: just get to step 13 then cover the plate with cling film and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Don't panic if the pasta ribbons don't seem enough for 2 people, as this is much more filling than ordinary pasta.
Your feedback is important to me! Please leave a comment below. If you make this recipe, share a photo with the hashtag #queenketo. Thank you! 🙂