Gluten Free Bucatini al Pesto

by Chef Daniel Morduchowicz

I keep coming back to this recipe again and again. Bucatini is the king of long pastas, according to my friend Daniel Azarkman, and I agree with him!

- Chef Daniel Morduchowicz


Main Course
Total Servings
Calories Per Serving
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
5 minutes
Resting time
15 minutes
Total Time
45 minutes


For the pesto
  • 1 cup loose basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 cup nuts (pine or walnuts)
  • salt to taste
For the bucatini
  • 2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour
  • 2 tsp xantham gum
  • 2 eggs (or 1/2 cup of water if making vegan)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp water if needed


  1. Add basil, garlic clove and olive oil to the jar of a blender. Turn the blender on low at first and adjust the amount of oil for your desired consistency.
  2. Add parmesan cheese and pulse your blender to blend in.
  3. Add the nuts and blend to achieve your desired level of crunchiness. In the case of bucatini al pesto, you might want to experiment with a very smooth paste.
  1. Whisk together the flour and the xantham gum.
  2. Mix the eggs in a large food processor. If making vegan replace the eggs with the 1/4 cup of water
  3. Add the flour mixture.
  4. Pulse the food processor until a dough comes together.
  5. The dough needs to remain elastic and supple. If the dough feels too dry adjust the consistency by adding a little bit of water at a time and pulsing again.
  6. Remove from the machine and knead by hand for a few minutes to ensure proper cohesion of the dough.
  7. Set aside to rest as the xantham gum needs some time to do its work
  8. If making extruded pasta: squirt a little bit of oil straight into the extrusion machine shaft, to help lubricate the process. Make little balls about one inch in diameter and feed them through the extrusion machine, using the appropriate dye for the desired pasta shape. Make sure to go slowly and wait until most of the previous ball has gone through the machine before feeding the next one
  9. If making sheet pasta run through the machine starting with the widest setting and continue to roll your pasta, changing the setting through the numbers until you have a long sheet of pasta
  10. Cut pasta to size and set aside on a baking tray lined with parchment paper until ready to use.
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a roiling boil and add enough salt so the water will taste like the ocean.
  2. Add the bucatini and boil until al dente, about 8 to 12 minutes (this depends on many factors so it is important that you test the pasta repeatedly until you achieve the desired donness.)
  3. Meanwhile heat the pesto in a large skillet..
  4. Add 3 tbsp of pasta water to the skillet.
  5. Turn off the heat for the skillet and add the pasta.
  6. Cook together for a minute or 2, adjusting the consistency of the sauce with a bit more pasta water, if needed.
  7. Plate and serve


  • The word pesto derives from the Italian word “pestare” which means to crush.
  • The sauce we know in this country as pesto is actually a particular variety, coming from Genova, in Liguria, which uses basil, olive oil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese.
  • If you think of pesto as a paste you can let your imagination run wild, and make a pesto out of anything, generally trying to stay within the general parameters: a green herb (or vegetable), olive oil, a strong, hard cheese and some kind of nut. You could, for example, make a pesto out of mint, or even arugula or spinach, walnuts, pecorino cheese and another rich nut, such as macadamias.
  • Traditionally it is made in a mortar and pestle, starting with crushing the pine nuts and garlic together with some salt, followed by the basil leaves, the oil and finally the cheese.
  • Purists would say that a pesto made with a food processor, as described in this recipe, is not the real thing and it does not taste the same. If you have the time, give a try to both methods and decide for yourself.
  • You can think of pesto as having three kinds of fat together: nuts, cheese and olive oil, and a vegetable, which could be, or not, an herb.
  • The reason we finish cooking the bucatini with the pesto is that we want the sauce to adhere and be absorbed by every strand of pasta.

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