Tuesday, 22 April 2014

There's a New Pasta on the Block!

I like to cook almost everything from scratch...that's part of the reason why I wanted a Thermomix so much, and it certainly has made cooking from scratch so much easier. Read more about the Thermomix here from one of my favourite Bloggers Quirky Cooking.

So the types of things I will cook from scratch include sauces, pestos, dips, soups, nut butters, nut milks, dairy free yoghurt, sorbet, ice-cream, custard, spice mixes etc. The list goes on! I love doing it because it means that I can be sure there are no allergens that will affect me, there are no preservatives or numbers, I can control salt and sugar content, it tastes better, and is cheaper too.

One thing that I have cooked from scratch once and will probably never try again is pasta. It takes so long to make pasta and is really hard to perfect so that definitely turns me off wanting to do it very often. I really like pasta, and like most people, it's quick and easy to prepare a beautiful meal after a hard day. Since going gluten free 9 years ago (wow that long?), I have been disappointed by lots of gluten free product alternatives, but gluten free pasta has been one substitute I really don't mind. This is reinforced when your boyfriend will eat it without complaining (unlike GF bread!).

This is the new GF pasta. Very excited to try!
So just like any other person following a gluten free diet, you get really excited whenever there are new products in the supermarket that you can eat. So when I found out that Barilla was releasing a GF pasta, I was excited to try it. I can't remember ever eating normal Barilla pasta, so it's not a brand I've ever bought, but I thought, how bad could it be?
This pasta sauce is full of vegies and low in onion which is a bonus for me

So to celebrate what the box claims as "Classic taste & texture", I thought I would cook up a delicious chorizo and vegetable spaghetti, using the Barilla Mediterranean Vegetables pasta sauce to go along with it. You can substitute this pasta with any favourite pasta recipe you might like.

In case you would like to try my recipe:
2 chorizo sausages sliced
400g mixed vegetables cut in 2cm pieces (capsicum, eggplant, zucchini, squash etc)
1 jar Barilla Mediterranean Vegetables pasta sauce
Handful fresh herbs chopped (rosemary, oregano, thyme)
200g Barilla Gluten Free Spaghetti
Lots of vegies- yum!
This was so simple. In a large heavy based pan, I cooked the chorizo until browned, and then added the vegies for a couple of minutes. I then added the Barilla Mediterranean Vegetables pasta sauce, tomato paste and fresh herbs, and simmered for 15 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, add to a large pot water and bring to the boil. I have never really payed much attention to the instructions on the packet of pasta before, but this one says you need at least 1l water per 100g of pasta. So I boiled 2L of water for 200g pasta, and added a good tsp of salt. Cook the pasta for 10 minutes, and then strain and add to the sauce. Serves 3-4.
Add the pasta for the last minute of cooking in the pan and stir through
I was so pleasantly surprised by this spaghetti. It wasn't gluggy and stodgy like lots of other GF pastas can be. This is because they are made with rice and corn, but even though the Barilla GF pasta is also made with rice and corn, you don't need to add oil after cooking it to prevent it from sticking together. It also holds it shape really well and doesn't break up into small pieces so you can eat it like real pasta. I did notice that when reheating the next day, it did break up a little though.

It definitely got the tick of approval from the boyfriend, and he loves pasta, so I think this says something. To quote him, he said "it's just like real pasta" I guess my only criticism is that it is made in Italy, and I love to support Australian farmers and producers as much as possible. I don't really eat pasta all too often, so I think this would be a special purchase where those rules don't apply...this is the case with lots of products I purchase anyway as sometimes it is impossible to get an Australian made option of the product.

I would definitely recommend it if you ever need a GF pasta for yourself, friends or relatives. They will probably want to check the box to make sure it really is gluten free, as it is so similar to regular pasta.

Bon app├ętit!
The best GF pasta I've ever cooked :)

Twolicious has been provided the Barilla products used in this blog post free of charge, however this in no way has impacted my review of the products.