I love Italian food but can't always put in the effort... yes, we always make our own sauce. Chopping veggies, simmering on the stove for hours and puree it up! And sometimes, yes, we even make the pasta. Lately we've been looking to alternative grains and gluten free options, which we have not had much success with making from scratch.
On a trip to Whole Foods we skeptically decided to try some ready made options. Taste Republic pasta in the refrigerated section caught our eye. Being from Wisconsin we tried the cheese tortellini. It's gluten free, made with a blend of brown rice flour and tapioca. Most of those gluten free pastas we've tried we've struggled to make successfully. This tortillini we followed the instructions and it cooked up perfectly. It had a great texture and taste, not gummy or soggy like many other GF pastas. This was very close in taste to a handmade conventional pasta. Next time, we will try the other varieties - they have fettuccini, linguini, vegetable based doughs, and even chickpea/lentil doughs! In looking to learn more about this company that makes this good stuff I was excited to see it's made by RP Pasta who we used to buy from at the Farmer's Market in Madison, Wisconsin. It's great to see a small company grow nationwide. Now that I'm in North Carolina I can enjoy a treat from back home. Website currently has $1 coupon towards the pasta - check it out here!
For sauce we went with Cucina Antica, tomato basil. When we make our own sauce we always use San Marzano tomatoes. We were drawn to this as they do as well. All of the ingredients I recognize, no strange fillers - all legit vegetables and spices in there, just like we'd make at home. The taste was of fresh tomato flavor. I like seeing the garlic and basil pulsed together with tomatoes. I just put it in a saucepan and heated it up. In a few minutes I had something like I'd be simmering away all day to make. So easy and delicious! I looked into getting more on the regular and am happy to see it's on amazon!!
To complete the meal, I roasted some ready cut butternut squash and grabbed some kale and spinach from the garden to toss in a raw handful. We added some protein and topped with basil from the garden. Such an easy fancy dinner that we look forward to repeating again!
Kind friends keep bringing us zucchini from the garden. I'm so grateful since I planted late and didn't get any in this year and it's one of my favorite veggies! I was looking for some new dishes to try out and came across one from Vegetarian Times that sounded easy enough for a weeknight dinner. I didn't have exactly everything on hand so I improvised with some of that Clock Shadow Creamery Quark I picked up on a recently.
8 oz dry pasta (2 cups) I used a long twisted noodle called Strozzapreti
4 small zucchini, julienned (4 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup quark
1/2 torn fresh basil (with this hot weather my basil was looking sad so I used half fresh and half dried and still turned out great)
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions; add zucchini to pasta water 1 minute before end of cooking time.
Meanwhile, whisk together garlic and ricotta in large bowl. Drain zucchini and pasta, and add to ricotta mixture. Stir in basil, and season with salt and pepper.
is the smallest kitchen ever. We used to watch those decorating shows that said they were doing small kitchens and then could see that 4 of my kitchens would fit in their "small kitchens".
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