…is that you can eat it constantly in an endless assortment of tastes and textures, as many chefs and gourmand have discovered. I’ve read that some experts give the great Naples born opera singer, Enrico Caruso (the Pavarotti of his day), credit for assisting with the cause of pasta! They say that he demanded a bowl of pasta a day, and that he had a big appetite! He was an opera singer and Italian…so I guess I don’t find that hard to believe! Perhaps he also craved a little pizza after a hard night of Puccini!
Food became a means of economic survival for many new Italian-Americans back in the day. There were many family run restaurants with the red checkered tablecloth, straw covered Chianti bottle, and SPUH-GET with-a- MEAT-A-BALLS! Nowadays people everywhere crave Italian food!
Eating ME-gan style compliments Italian cooking very much; with the use of not only pasta and sauces, but fresh vegetables as well! The Italians sure know how to enjoy food and life! There are many gluten free pastas now available at your local stores. I’ve found some of the best pastas at Safeway. I’ve told you about Hodgson Mill pasta, and others. Recently I have come across Heartland, which I have found comes in Penne and Spaghetti noodles. There is also Tinkyada Pasta Joy, which I buy the Organic Brown Rice Penne Pasta. They offer an ‘easy and energy saving cooking tip’ on the package which I follow, and the pasta comes out perfect! I really like that they do that – it’s very crafty & it makes it very easy to cook that way! Schar is another excellent brand, I love it! The good news is that for us Italians and ‘want to be’ Italians, there are plenty of gluten free pastas available!
Personally, I will buy a product if it is ME-gan, yet says “Processed in a facility that uses wheat and egg.” That’s just me. If there ever were ‘traces’ of these in any of the products I’ve bought this far, it has never affected me in a negative way; so they must be minute amounts, if any at all. But that certainly is a personal choice. Some people could die if they get traces of something they are allergic to, so they must be 100% sure. This is not the case for me. On the other hand, something obviously known to have gluten in it will put me down, that’s for sure. I will suffer all night long.
Marinara sauces are so simple, yet flavorful, and go great over your pasta of choice. You can also top your pasta with ME-gan pesto (which is basil, olive oil, garlic, nuts -pine or walnut – salt & pepper), or perhaps just plain olive oil with some basil leaves torn up in it with salt & pepper. You may want to top with beans, or vegetables! Like I said before, the options are endless!
For those of you who love to cook with Contadina Tomato Pastes, like I do, do not use the Contadina Paste with Italian Herbs or the Italian Paste with Pesto. These both have cheese and milk in it. I use either the plain Tomato Paste, or the Roasted Garlic – they are ME-gan safe. As for other brands of pastes, please check their labels.
Here’s a quick Marinara Sauce for you to try:
- 2 large garlic cloves, lightly mashed
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 2 lbs. very ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, OR one 28 oz. can of Italian peeled tomatoes, drained and chopped
- Salt (to taste)
- 8 to 10 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
Directions: In a large skillet, cook the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat, pressing it occasionally with the back of a spoon until golden – about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the sauce is thick, about 15 to 20 minutes – depending on the tomatoes. Stir in the basil leaves. Serve over your gluten free pasta of choice or veggies, and MANGIA!
There are times for Sunday gravy, and there are times for a simple Marinara! And there are also times for Jar sauce – so there!
So sit down, serve yourself a little pasta, and TASTE LIFE, ME-gan style!
Gluten Free PASTA LOVE!