Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gluten-Free Pasta

In my attempt to be as gluten-free as possible (with a few slip ups for Pizza in the last month or so... I'm so not perfect), I have been trying different kinds of pasta that are wheat free... They are few and far between, my friend. Most recipes for gluten-free pasta dishes call for a rice pasta... Um, yeah... Not liking the rice pasta...

First, the texture is SO DIFFERENT from regular pasta. Normal tricks to keep pasta from gumming together don't work with rice pasta (as I learned when I tried to make rice-angel hair pasta to go with my gluten-free version of Chicken Marsala). I tried drizzling the pasta with a little EVOO to keep it from lumping together, but it just gave me an olive oil flavored lump of rice pasta... sigh... The flavor of the rice pasta was nice in my Chicken Marsala dish - so much so that I actually ate all my mushrooms instead of passing them over to my husband (I don't usually care for mushrooms, but combined with my rice blob, they were quite nice).

Other than my somewhat pleasant experience with Chicken Marsala, rice pasta is awful... just horrible. I love pasta and I would be a very depressed person if I had to eat rice pasta on a regular basis.

I did try another grain variety of pasta. I tried a quinoa/corn blend. Texture-wise, it was closer to regular pasta and it was way more flavorful than the rice pasta. I had it the other night paired with regular marinara sauce (from a jar) and it was nice. It would also go well with pesto. Not sure about alfredo sauce, but I can't eat that anymore anyway, so why punish myself? I'm going to try a recipe for mac & cheese that uses the quinoa pasta.

Another variety I need to try is spelt pasta. I have yet to find any at my local grocery store (which has a surprisingly good selection of gluten-free products). The next time I go downtown, I'll check and see if the "health food store" has it in stock. If not, I'm not going to worry about it too much. I've got my quinoa version.

Another plus? My husband actually LIKED the quinoa pasta. That means that I don't have to buy two different kinds of pasta and cook two different batches each time we eat spagetti. Nice, huh?