Anyone who follows my blog and social media channels knows that I am passionate about pasta. I always have an abundance of various shapes and sizes stocked in pantry and find it to be an incredible vehicle for culinary adventure. Whether hot or cold; boiled baked and sometimes even fried; dressed in sauce or simply drizzled with olive oil, the pastabilities are endless. While I consider myself quite fortunate to be able to enjoy it in any way, shape or form, I also recognize that for some, pasta cannot be as easily enjoyed due to dietary restrictions and intolerances.
Fortunately, more and more companies are also recognizing this and making great strides in creating products to address these issues. One such example, Catelli, who introduced their line of Gluten Free pasta in the fall of 2013. Following the overwhelming success of the product line which already includes, penne, fusilli and spaghetti, Catelli debuted their Gluten Free macaroni this past May during Celiac Awareness Month.
The macaroni, like all the other cuts, is made from a unique blend of four grains – white rice, brown rice, corn and quinoa and is certified by the Canadian Celiac Association’s Gluten-Free Certification Program. I had the opportunity to not only sample the macaroni at the launch event held at George Brown Chef School, but cook with it as well, under the guidance of Chef John Higgins, Director of George Brown, judge on Chopped Canada and former personal chef of the Queen Mother. Along with several other food bloggers, I donned my chef’s hat and apron and stepped into the learning kitchen where I had the chance to prepare a fresh and healthy Ginger Edamame Macaroni Salad, all while hearing the delightful stories of Chef Higgins and picking up some valuable cooking tips.
This was certainly an incredible learning experience as I am still familiarizing myself with cooking for friends and family with gluten intolerance. It was extremely beneficial to hear from Catelli that consumers and dieticians are giving the pasta high marks for taste, texture and cooking performance, and to have that information not only reiterated, but demonstrated by Chef Higgins.
After tasting the completed dish and stocked with my own supply of Gluten-Free Pasta I proceeded to test in my own kitchen a few of the delicious recipes provided by Catelli, several sensational pasta salads just in time for the summer picnic and barbecue season. Using the macaroni, fusilli and penne I prepared a savoury southwestern penne salad; an aromatic Moroccan macaroni bowl; and tangy fusilli with smoked salmon and capers, that highlighted the delicious taste and smooth texture of the pasta, and pleased the palettes of my family. Buon Appetito!
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Moroccan Macaroni Bowl
Prep Time: 20 min Cooking Time: 30 min Servings: 6
- 1 pkg (340 g) CATELLI® Gluten Free Macaroni
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) each lemon juice and olive oil
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) honey
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) each minced fresh ginger and ground cumin
- 2 tsp (10 mL) minced fresh garlic
- 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper
- 4 cups (1 L) cauliflower florets (about 1 small head)
- 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) slivered dried apricots
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) slivered green olives
- 1 cup (250 mL) crumbled goat or sheep’s milk feta
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) chopped fresh mint leaves
1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Whisk lemon juice, olive oil, honey, ginger, cumin, garlic, cinnamon, salt and pepper until combined.
2. Toss cauliflower and chickpeas with 3 tbsp (45 mL) lemon mixture. Spread out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes or until cauliflower and chickpeas are browned and tender. Toss after 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook macaroni according to package directions; reserve 1/2 cup (125 mL) cooking water before draining. Toss hot macaroni with roasted cauliflower and chickpeas, apricots, olives and remaining lemon mixture to combine.
4. Let stand for 5 minutes to mellow flavours. Toss in feta and mint. Stir in reserved cooking water to moisten as needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Southwestern Penne Salad
Prep Time: 20 min Cooking Time: 9 min Servings: 8
- 1 pkg (340 g) CATELLI® Gluten Free Penne
- 1 can (14 oz/398 g) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup (250 mL) thawed frozen corn
- 1 each large tomato and orange pepper, diced
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh coriander leaves
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) canola oil
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) lime juice
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) honey
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp (5 mL) each finely grated lime zest, ground cumin and chili powder
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper
- 1 avocado, diced (optional)
1. Cook penne according to package directions. Rinse under cold running water until cool; drain well.
2. Toss penne with black beans, corn, tomato, orange pepper, green onions and coriander.
3. Whisk canola oil with lime juice, honey, garlic, cumin, chili powder, lime zest, salt, and pepper until combined. Toss with the penne mixture. Stir in the avocado (if using) just before serving.
Fusilli with Smoked Salmon & Capers
Prep Time: 30 min Cooking Time: 7 min Servings: 4
- 1 pkg (340 g) CATELLI® Gluten Free Fusilli
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) thinly sliced red onion
- 4 tbsp (60 mL) lemon juice, divided
- 1/4 tsp 1 mL) salt
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped capers
- 2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated lemon zest
- 3/4 tsp (4 mL) freshly grated black pepper
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pkg (200 g) smoked salmon, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped fresh dill
1. Cook fusilli according to package directions. Rinse under cold running water to cool; set aside.
2. Meanwhile, toss onion with 2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice and salt; let stand for 25 minutes.
3. Whisk remaining lemon juice with capers, mustard, lemon zest and pepper; whisk in olive oil until combined. Toss cooled, cooked fusilli with smoked salmon, marinated onions, dill and dressing mixture.
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