After being diagnosed with Celiac, I tried several brands of GF pasta and was disappointed by all of them. There was definitely no brand that my gluten eating family would eat, so we rarely cooked pasta for about three years. Once in a blue moon, I would make myself some Tinkyada pasta, but I hated the fact that I had to rinse it with cold water after cooking it, and it just didn't taste right to me. About two years ago, I discovered Bionaturae GF pasta. My family loves the Bionaturae fusilli, linguine, and elbows, but we are not fans of the penne. I dusted off all my old pasta recipes and started making pasta again. Last year, we discovered another excellent brand of GF pasta that we love just as much as Bionaturae. BiAglut is also made in Italy, but it is much harder to find in the United States. I first saw it in a store called Gluten Free Zone in Pittsburgh, but didn't have room in my suitcase to bring it home. Because the gentleman I talked to in the store recommended it so highly, I finally broke down and ordered some BiAglut Penne from amazon. We were not disappointed! Like Bionaturae, you don't have to rinse it, and it is fabulous left over, not mushy at all. Amazon is the best place I have found to buy BiAglut. When it's in stock, you can buy it in bulk and pay no shipping or tax. We have also tried their Pipe (shell) noodle. It is just as good as the penne! BiAglut does not contain rice, but it does contain lupin flour and lupin protein, which should be avoided by people with peanut allergies. We also love Conte's GF Gnocchi, which we purchase in the freezer section at the Whole Foods on Sandlake or from Chamberlain's in Winter Park. Gnocchi is a potato pasta, which looks like a little dough ball. We have experimented with making it from scratch, but it was time consuming, messy, and frankly, just not worth it when we can buy a product we like a little better.
I'm not a fan of sauce from a jar, but we recently discovered Scarpetta Tuscan Vodka Sauce. It's better than the vodka sauce we make from scratch and it's labeled GF. It is sugar and preservative free too, but I will admit I like to add a little sugar before I serve it. I first found it at Fresh Market, but now purchase it "subscribe and save" from amazon. I recently purchased Scarpetta's Pink Pesto Sauce, but we haven't tried it yet.
Mom's Quick Cook Tomato Sauce
28 or 32 ounce can San Marzano peeled tomatoes -- purée with a stick blender or crush with your hands.
1 T minced sweet onion sautéed in 1 T olive oil in a frying pan or pot.
Add 1 clove minced garlic when onion is starting to get soft.
Add tomatoes after garlic begins to brown.
Add 1 1/2 T sugar and salt and pepper to taste.
Put a lid on your pan and cook for 20-30 minutes on low heat on the stove.
Add chopped fresh basil and 1T butter when you're ready to serve it.
It's a great sauce for pasta and pizza!
We're making this pasta salad for Memorial Day. It's so good. Feel free to use other vegetables like eggplant or rutabaga. My mom and aunt also like to serve it with 1/2 C of toasted chopped pecans.
Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables
Preheat oven to 425.
2 red or orange bell peppers, 1 large sweet onion, 1/2 butternut squash , 3 cloves of garlic, 2 large sweet potatoes (peel the skin off the last 4 veggies) -- chop all vegetables into one inch pieces except the garlic, put them on a cookie sheet, and spray them with Pam. Roast them in the oven for about 40 minutes until tender, turning once. Cool the vegetables to room temp and smash the garlic into a paste.
Cook 12 ounces of pasta according to package directions. We have used Bionaturae GF Fusilli for this recipe with great success.
Dressing -- 1/3 C fresh lemon juice, 1/3 C extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper, 15 fresh basil leaves chopped.
Toss the pasta, vegetables, and dressing together in a large bowl. Serve at room temp. It's also great leftover, right out of the fridge.
Pasta with Roasted Grape Tomatoes, Garlic, and White Beans.
Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with grape tomatoes and 6 cloves of peeled garlic. Drizzle with 4T of extra virgin olive oil. Season well with coarse salt and a some black pepper. Stir the mixture around and roast uncovered for 30 minutes in a 450 degree oven. Rinse a can of Cannellini beans and add them to the tomato mixture when it has 15 minutes left to cook. Cook 1 pound of pasta in a large pot. We usually use GF Bionaturae pasta (elbows or fusilli) or Biaglut Penne. Drain the pasta. Put the cooked tomatoes, garlic (mashed with a fork), beans, and pasta back into the pasta pot, then add 1/3 cup of fresh chopped basil and Romano to taste. We also like to cut up a ball of fresh mozzarella to serve on the side. If you put it in the pasta pot, it will melt and get all gooey.
Pasta with Uncooked Tomato Sauce
6 large handfuls of grape tomatoes -- cut in half
2-3 large garlic cloves -- cut in half
10 large basil leaves -- chopped
2/3 C extra virgin olive oil
In the morning, combine all ingredients in a nonmetallic bowl, stir well, and cover. Leave at room temperature for at least 8 hours.
Cook 1 pound of pasta, remove the garlic from the tomato mixture, then season it generously with salt and pepper. Put the pasta in bowls, then add the tomato mixture and Romano or Parmesan cheese. I like to use a slotted spoon in the tomato mixture, so I can avoid putting too much oil on the pasta.
1 or 2 recipes of Mom's Quick Cook Tomato Sauce (see above) -- one recipe was just barely enough
Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Fresh mozzarella balls (I used 2 containers of BelGioioso Fresh Mozzarella Balls -- 1 3/4 ounce little mouthfuls)
1 pound of GF pasta -- partially cooked
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cook 1 pound of GF pasta -- I used BiAglut Pipes (I cooked them for 7 minutes, one to two minutes less than called for on the package)
In a 10x10 baking dish, layer sauce, pasta, sliced mozzarella, a sprinkle of Romano, and chopped basil. Repeat layers.
I ended up with 3 layers of pasta and 4 layers of sauce.
After finishing with sauce on top, cover your baking dish with tinfoil, and bake for 22-25 minutes.
Starting my layers
Ready to eat!