Gluten Free Penne with Caponata Sauce

Gluten Free Penne with Caponata Sauce

You have no doubt heard of people who eat a gluten free diet. A gluten free diet excludes gluten, a protein found in wheat and related grains, like barley and rye. Gluten causes health problems in those who suffer with Celiac disease (CD) and in some cases those who may have allergies to wheat.

Some have argued we need carbohydrates and wheat needs to be eaten. Also others have voiced that eating Gluten free is just a fade diet. Are these statements true? We would say no.

Making the choice to take gluten out of your diet is for health reasons, and it has nothing to do with losing weight, as most fade diets proclaim. Secondly, you can obtain the same amount of carbohydrates as you would in wheat products as you can in eating fruits and vegetables.

De Boles Gluten Free  pasta for - Penne with Caponata SauceThe fact is most substitutions used for wheat do have some carbohydrates in them. Such as the product we chose to prepare are featured recipe.

This product De Boles is not exclusive to just using white or brown rice flour or corn flour, no but rather it uses brown rice flour with whole grain quinoa flour and ground flax seed flour, as well as the rice bran.

This gluten free product has 4 servings with 41 grams of carbohydrates per serving. As there is whole grains, and bran, it will not raise blood sugar levels.

Now for our featured all organic recipe: Gluten Free Penne with Caponata Sauce and here is what you will need.

1 red onion

1 red sweet pepper

1 yellow sweet pepper

3 small purple carrots

2 zucchini

1 medium egg plant

2 cloves garlic, minced

14 ounce can roasted tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

3 – 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preapred vegtables for - Gluten Free Penne with Caponata Sauce

Cut all the vegetables into chunky dices, but mince the garlic.

Sauting carrots, onions and garlic in olve oil

In a large skillet, saute oil, onions, garlic and carrots for 3 minutes. Next add the eggplant and peppers, and cook 3 minutes more, stirring frequently.

Now add the zucchini and cook 3 minutes more, and again stir frequently.

Adding roasted tomatoes to suateed vegetablesAdd roasted tomatoes….

adding oregano

Add the oregano and stir in, till well incorporated. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

Cooked pasta for - Gluten Free Penne with Caponata Sauce

Mean while, cook the gluten free pasta according to package instructions. Drain do not rinse. By this time the vegetables should have completed the 10 minutes of simmering.

Gluten Free Penne with Caponata Sauce

In a large serving bowl mix vegetables and pasta together. Plate and serve with a favorite meat, such as fresh ground turkey basil and feta sausages, from the Whole Foods Market. Enjoy!!

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Italian Pasta with Pesto Sauce

Italian Pasta with Pesto Sauce

Basil is an herb, and all of its plant parts, leaves, seeds, and flowers, are used in herbal medicine, particularly “Holy Basil“. Basil is also used in desserts, including ice cream and sorbet, and custard. Depending on the variety of basil, it is used in Italian, Mediterranean, and Thai food. The essential oil is used in the preparation of perfumes.

Verities basil include the Sweet Basil, Lemon Basil, and the two just mention, the Thai Basil, and Holy Basil.

Basil is a member of the Lamiaceae family, and included with the plant species is the mint, oregano, catnip, rosemary, and sage.

Holy Basil is related to the common Sweet Basil and is used in Ayurvedic traditional practices. The leaves are used to support healthy upper respiratory tract function, and research has shown that Holy Basil includes the benefits in helping to support a healthy immune system.

In our featured recipe – Italian Pasta with Pesto Sauce – we will be using the common Sweet Basil. This meal can be prepared in 30 minutes, and here is what you will need, starting with the pesto recipe.

 

Traditional Pesto SaucePesto Sauce

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
¼ cup pine nuts
2 large garlic cloves
½ cup grated Romano/Parmesan or Asiago cheese
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Place all the ingredients in a food processor, except oil, and pulse. Start to add oil slowly, pulsing until ingredients form a smooth paste.

If you do not use right away, or there are left overs, store in a jar container with a layer of olive oil on top to prevent discoloration.

Prepare the spaghetti pasta according to packaged instructions. Just as pasta is done, place a large frying pan on medium heat. Then drain and rinse pasta. Set aside.

Pour about 1/8 cup (1 ounce) of olive oil to the heated pan, let warm and then add the pasta to pan.

Mix to coat the pasta and add pesto sauce, starting with a one half of a cup (1/2 cup) and mix to coat the pasta adding more pesto if needed and as desired.

Italian Pasta with Pesto Sauce (close-up)Plate the Italian Pasta with Pesto Sauce and serve.

 

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Mushroom Tortellini with Asparagus

Mushroom Tortellini with Asparagus

The medical journal, “American Medical Association” publish  in 2010 based on a study that found vitamin B-6 when combined with folate ( not folac acid, the inferior form, a synthetic form) and methionine ( an amino acid, also found in meat, chicken, fish, eggs, garlic, onions, legums, and some dairy) can reduce the chances of lung cancer by as much as two-thirds. Asparagus contains both of these vitamins, and including the amino acid methionine.

More great news of the vegetable asparagus is it contains saponins which helps to fight inflammation, and can help with arthritis and rheumatism. It can also help to prevent varicose veins. Ayurvedic medicine has used asparagus for century’s to treat the symptoms of menopause as well as infertility and loss of libido (in both men and women).

The featured recipe also includes vitamins and minerals like vitamin-A, vitamin-C, calcium, and iron. It also has 18% of your daily need of protein 9 grams (daily protein need is 25 grams for woman and 30 grams for men).

Now for our featured recipe, and here is what you will need.

Mushroom Tortellini with Asparagus

1 package cheese tortellini

Pint of cream

¼ cup grated Asiago cheese

5 – 7 asparagus stalks

1 4 oz. can mushrooms

1 cup baby spinach

1/2 tsp. black pepper

 

Asparagus being blanched - Mushroom Tortellini with AsparagusBring a pot of water to boiling. Separately prepare a bowl of cold water with some ice.

Add salt to the boiling water and blanch the asparagus for 2 – 3 minutes until they just start to become tender.

Remove and add asparagus to the cold water to stop the cooking and set the color.

Remove to a paper towel to drain and dice into ½ inch pieces. You could do this ahead of time and keep the prepare asparagus in the refrigerator.

Next bring a pot of water to boil and the tortellini according to package instructions.

While cooking the pasta, heat a large sauté pot over medium heat and add 3/4 of the cream. While the cream is heating continue to stir and allow it to slow reduce, scrap sides of pot if needed.

When the cream has reduced by about 1/3 lower the heat and simmer, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Next add the asiago cheese to the cream, and turn the heat to high, stir in till cheese is melted. Add mushrooms and black pepper, and stir in.

Tortellini should be done now, so quickly drain and add to the cream along with the asparagus and toss to combine.

Place spinach on top of mixture and place a lid over pot, and allow spinach to wilt, about 4 minutes.

If you see the cream sauce to thick and would like it a bit thinner, just add a little more cream a tablespoon at a time till you see the thinness you desire.

Plate paste and garnish with cheese, if desired.

A great addition to this recipe would be roasted pine nuts. You can also 86 the mushrooms if you like, in other words delete them from the recipe (86 is a restaurant term for “out of product”, can also mean, “you’re out of here”).

 

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti CarbonaraAs with many recipes, the origins of the dish Spaghetti Carbonara and its name are uncertain or ambiguous. There are countless speculations as to the origin of the name, which some have concluded the name Spaghetti Carbonara may be more recent than the dish itself.

The name is derived from carbonaro, Italian for charcoal burner. Some believe the dish was first made as a pasta meal for Italian charcoal workers. Another theory is American soldiers who combined bacon and eggs with pasta, after they had occupied Italy in the post-war era.

Yet another theory is Ippolito Cavalcanti a highly influential chef of nineteenth-century and Neapolitan cook book author, “Cucina Teorico-Pratica” (1839) which included a recipe for pasta with eggs and cheese.

The third edition book “On Cooking” (2003) written by  Sarah Labensky, writes about techniques from expert chefs., and included are the variations of Spaghetti Carbonara. She says outside of Italy may chefs include the addition of other ingredients with Spaghetti Carbonara, such as peas, broccoli, mushrooms, or other vegetables.

Here at Splendid Recipes and More we tried to stick to the original recipe, though we did not include any black pepper. Here is what you will need.

1 lb. spaghetti

12 slices thick bacon, cut into 1 inch slices

4 large eggs

¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste (optional)

boiling water to cook pastaCook the spaghetti according package instructions. In a large measuring cup or small mixing bowl, combined the eggs, cream, and cheese, then set aside.

cutting bacan for Spaghetti CarbonaraNext, prepare bacon, and in a large skillet, cook cut bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp. Transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate, and set aside.

cooked pastaDrain pasta, leaving some water clinging to it. Do not rinse pasta, but quickly add hot pasta back to a heated skillet and add the egg mixture along with the bacon, and toss to combine. The heat from the hot pasta will cook the eggs, though you don’t want the eggs to have a scrambled look.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Plate Spaghetti Carbonara on to a platter and serve immediately. You can sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese, if you desire.

 

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Creamy Chicken Florentine

Creamy Chicken Florentine

I found this recipe on the side of a tub of garlic Philly cooking cream. But I didn’t use the Philadelphia product, because of the added artificial flavors and chemicals. I make my own garlic cream as well as added the other ingredients the recipe called for.

The recipe calls for pine nuts, and pine nuts provide a good amount of both vitamins E and K. These vitamins have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. Vitamin-K helps form blood clots to prevent bleeding after injury, and vitamin-E helps with producing red blood cells essential for moving oxygen throughout the body.

These small nuts also have the trace minerals manganese, zinc, iron, and magnesium. Wow, a lot of nutrition for such a small nut.

Here is what you will need for the featured recipe – Creamy Chicken Florentine -.

First prepare the garlic cream sauce.

Garlic Cream Sauce

2 tablespoons butter, no salt

8 garlic cloves, minced

1 (14 ounce) can organic chicken broth, no salt

2 cups whipping cream

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon arrow-root starch

1/4 cup cold water

In a large saucepan, melt butter, add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Add whipping cream and salt and return to a boil, stirring frequently.

Mix water and cornstarch and add to sauce. Reduce heat and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

After the sauce is made, set aside.

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Next you will need:

1 lb. Chicken breast cut into bit size pieces

1 cup red bell pepper, diced

6 oz. package baby spinach

1 cup garlic cream sauce

2 cups Penne pasta

2 tbsp. pine nuts

Cook Penne pasta; according to package instructions.

In a heated skillet with 2 tbs. of olive oil add chicken and red pepper and cook until chicken is no longer pink but oblique in color. Add spinach stir and cook 2-3 minutes or until spinach is wilted.

Drain off all but 1 tablespoon of liquid. Stir in garlic cream sauce. Stir until mixed about 6 minutes. Add the two cups cooked penne pasta and mix in. Next add the pine nuts and mix till well incorporated.

Remove from heat, plate and serve.

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If you wanted you can lightly roast the pine nuts to increase their flavor. Roasting them would be done the same as you would roast other nuts, like almonds or pecans.

Spread the nuts over a cookie sheet and place in the oven on 350 for about 8 to 10 minutes, stir the nuts once. To add more intense garlic flavor to this recipe, mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of garlic powder with the nuts before roasting them.

To learn more about cruciferous vegetables, such as spinach is, link here to the Health News Library and scroll the page to review the articles and add to your knowledge on nutrition.

 

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Herb and Chicken Penne with Creamy Italian Cheese

Herb Chicken Penne with Creamy Italian Cheese

Delectable Italian deliciousness in a snap!! This meal is easy to make, in about 30 to 40 minutes.

Before we get started let’s see what the nutritional benefits of this pasta dish is.

Whole wheat Penne pasta is called for in this recipe. The whole wheat or brown pasta retains the fiber of the wheat flour. Therefore making the pasta a complex carbohydrate, not a simple carbohydrate like the traditional pastas with the fiber removed before being ground to flour. Complex carbohydrates digest slower, leaving you to feel full longer, giving more energy and controlling your blood sugar levels. This is great for diabetics.

A serving of Chicken (3 oz) provides 65% of your daily need of protein. The recipe also uses flaked sun-dried tomatoes, but before they are processed, one cup of sun-dried tomatoes provides 7.6 grams of protein, 1.6 grams of fat, and 6.6 grams of dietary fiber, which is equal to 27% of your daily need for fiber.

Sun-dried tomatoes serve as an excellent source of minerals, including potassium and magnesium. They also are filled with vitamins K and niacin a B vitamin. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting and wound healing and niacin is good for brain function (source for sun-dried tomatoes: Livestrong).

cooked and rinsed whole wheat penne pastaHere are the step by step instructions with complete recipe to follow.

Cook 2 cups of whole wheat Penne pasta according to directions on package. Drain well, set aside.  Mix spices, including corn starch or arrowroot in a small bowl, set aside.

 

 

 

Here are the spices needed:

1 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes flaked or powder

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1 teaspoon marjoram

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 ½ teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoons dried onion

1 teaspoon corn starch or arrowroot powder

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

 

If you have allergies to corn than you can use arrowroot starch. You will find this starch in your local Whole Foods Market or other local health food store.

Also, you may not find flaked or powdered sun-dried tomatoes. Just buy whole dried sun-dried tomatoes and place one or two small dried tomatoes in a food processor and process to flakes or powder. It is your preference.

melting unsalted butter, adding chicken to cook until no more pink

Melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chopped chicken, cook and stir 5 minutes or until lightly browned, or no pink is present and the meat is oblique in color.

mixing cooked chicken with spices, tomato, cream and cheese

 

Next add spices, 1 14.5 oz. can of petite tomatoes undrained, 1 cup of cream cream and 1/2 cup of fresh grated Parmesan- Rigatino cheese.

Mix in; bring to a boil, stirring constantly until well blended and starts to thicken some. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes.

 

Mixing in pasta, stirring to coat and cover pan to let stand for 5 minutes with heat off

Stir in pasta and toss gently to coat; cover and let stand with heat off for 5 minutes.

close-up of Herbed Chicken Penne with Creamy Italian Cheese

Plate and serve with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.

 

Herb and Chicken Penne with Creamy Italian Cheese

2 cups whole wheat pasta Penne

2 tablespoons butter, unsalted

1 pound chicken breasts cut into 1 inch chunks

1 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes flaked or powder

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1 teaspoon marjoram

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 ½ teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoons dried onion

1 teaspoon corn starch or arrowroot powder

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1 14 ½ oz. can petite diced tomatoes, undrained

1 cup cream or half and half

½ cup grated fresh Parmesan-Rigatino cheese

Cook pasta according to directions on package. Drain well, set aside.

 

Mix spices, including corn starch in a small bowl, set aside.

Melt butter in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add chopped chicken; cook and stir 5 minutes or until lightly browned, seeing no pink in the meat.

Next add spices, tomatoes, cream and cheese. Mix in; bring to boil, stirring constantly until well blended and starts to thicken some. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes.

Stir in pasta and toss gently to coat; cover and let stand with heat off for 5 minutes.

Plate and serve with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.

 

What Others are Saying About Penne Pasta:

Apple Chicken Sausage with Whole Wheat Penne Pasta

Apple Chicken Sausage with Whole Wheat Penne Pasta

There has been a lot of new information on processed foods, seed oils high in omega-6, refined sugar, as being the cause of bodily inflammation. We have also read about lowering our carbohydrate intake, as too much carb’s over works the pancreas and heightens insulin levels. Refined grains is the big culprit to weight gain. Refined grains digest fast and causing rapid use of glucose or a spike of sugar levels in the blood stream, causing the body to store the excess sugar not used, as fat.

But what about whole wheat pasta? Or better yet 100% whole wheat pasta? When consumed, can it be to blame for weight gain as well? No!!

When the fiber is not taken away from the grain, but processed together, is actually better for the body. Fiber causes food to digest slower and at the same time move faster through the digestive tract.  As  the whole grain pasta is digested, it releases a stead flow of glucose (not all at once as does white pasta without the fiber) giving sustained energy. The fiber then pushes the digested food out, not being stored as fat.

A 1-cup serving of cooked whole-grain pasta contains 3.9 total grams of fiber, while the same amount of white pasta contains 2.3 grams.

It is also worthy of noting, that whole grains lower blood pressure, were as grains with the fiber removed can cause blood pressure to raise.

Now for our featured recipe: Apple Chicken Sausage with Whole Wheat Penne Pasta. Here is what you will need:

12 0z. 100% whole wheat Penne pasta, cooked

1 package Al Fresco Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage

1 1/2 cups Alfredo sauce

3/4 cup bell pepper strips, mixed colors

1/2 cup french stringed beans

For the vegetables, I just buy them fresh frozen from the Whole Foods Market. You can use a jar of Alfredo Sauce, but I make my own.

1/4 cup butter

1 cup Heavy cream

1/2 to 3/4 cup Asiago cheese, grated fresh

Heat a small sauce pan, medium-high. Add butter and melt, not allowing to scorch, next add cream and stir while pouring. After the two are well incorporated, add grated cheese and mix in as it melts. Bring to a small rapid bowl, remove from heat and set aside.

Al Fresco Sweet Apple Chicken SausageSome Al Fresco brand sausages you can buy already cooked and at some markets they package it fresh, uncooked. Al Fresco is my preferred brand, as it is minimally processed and no preservatives added.  Click on image to go to their web-site to receive a $1.00 coupon off. I have been buying the package at about $3.50 to 3.99.

I prefer to buy the fresh uncooked sausage.

In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat. Let sausage crumble to small bits. Add Alfredo sauce, cooked pasta and vegetables. Stir until all are mixed well together.

Plate and serve.

Apple Chicken Sausage with Whole Wheat Penne Pasta  with Italian Rustic Bread and melted Provolone

We had an Italian Rustic Bread loaf and melted provolone cheese on slices of the bread. Wow what a great addition to the plated pasta.

 

What Others are Saying About Penne Pasta:

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