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Italian Pasta: Best Gluten-Free Pasta Options (Plus recipes for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle)

From 2009 until today, the number of Americans who refuse to eat gluten has tripled. While this number may be surprising, it’s not unwarranted, considering about 18 million people in the U.S. have gluten sensitivity. This rising number of gluten-free consumers has caused demand for alternatives, from Italian pasta to bread. 

Luckily, authentic Italian companies have begun producing some of the best gluten-free pasta options. These alternatives are made with ingredients like corn and quinoa, which can help mimic the same consistency as standard wheat pasta.  

By curating these gluten-free pastas, those with gluten sensitivities and intolerances can again eat a comforting bowl of pasta without any negative effects. 

Below, we explore what a gluten-free diet looks like and offer options for gluten-free pasta recipes which you can easily make at home. 

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein in wheat, rye, barley, triticale, and other grains. Gluten is typically found in items like bread, pasta, and sauces. It’s also found in certain drinks and even some spice mixtures. Additionally, gluten can be in cosmetic products and other non-food items.  

 

What Is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that some people have. In this case, the symptoms are much worse when people have celiac disease and eat gluten. When people consume gluten and have celiac disease, the immune system is triggered, damaging the small intestine. Eventually, this causes the malabsorption of nutrients from food.

Gluten Intolerance Vs. Allergy Vs. Celiac Disease

Multiple medical conditions are connected to gluten, including gluten intolerance, gluten allergy, and celiac disease. While some people may confuse one with the other, they are each separate conditions that cause various reactions within the body. An allergy to wheat means the body recognizes wheat as a disease-causing agent that it needs to fight. This reaction typically causes itchiness, vomiting, and other similar symptoms. 

What Is a Gluten-Free Diet?

A gluten-free diet is one that avoids gluten. Depending on the person, this diet may include removing all items that typically have gluten. For others, a gluten-free diet means a search for alternatives that do not contain gluten, such as gluten-free Italian pasta. When on a gluten-free diet, it’s necessary to read all food, drink, medicine, and cosmetic ingredients, as it can be in unexpected items. 

Gluten-Free Pasta – Best Recipes

Receiving a diagnosis that notes a gluten-related condition does not mean you must stop enjoying your favorite foods. With the rising number of gluten-free alternatives on the market, you can easily find swaps for commonly eaten food. Once you’ve purchased your swaps, you can begin crafting delicious recipes. The below dishes focus on meals that use gluten-free pasta as an alternative.

 

Gluten-Free Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is a quick recipe that requires minimal ingredients. It’s served cold, like regular pasta salad, so you can consume it anywhere. Common ingredients in pasta salads include a gluten-free pasta of choice (cooked) like fusilli, fresh sliced vegetables (such as multi-colored bell peppers), salad dressing, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, salami slices, and black olives. The ingredients are sliced into bite-sized morsels and then tossed with dressing and noodles before being combined and refrigerated in a bowl.

Gluten-Free Lasagna

Gluten-free lasagna is one of the easiest recipes to make when craving a hearty meal. You’ll only need six ingredients for a flavorful dish, including cooked lasagne noodles, ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella, fresh herbs, an egg, and a tomato sauce (with or without meat). Then, it’s time to layer the ingredients. Start with the tomato sauce, then the noodles and ricotta mixture (ricotta, herbs, and egg), and repeat until you reach the top of the baking dish. Then, add a hearty helping of mozzarella cheese to the top and bake until the cheese is melty.

Gluten-Free Stuffed Cannelloni

Another favorite among pasta lovers is stuffed cannelloni. This dish is also quite simple and requires many of the same ingredients as the lasagna recipe above. In addition to the lasagna ingredients, parmesan cheese, spinach, and an additional egg are needed. 

A similar ricotta cheese mixture will be made, then stuffed inside the cannelloni noodles. Pour a tomato sauce on top and sprinkle parmesan and mozzarella before baking them in the oven. 

 

Gluten-Free Lemon Olive Oil Pasta

In Italy, dishes are kept simple yet still provide an incredible flavor. This recipe mirrors the simplicity of traditional Italian dishes. You’ll only need gluten-free spaghetti noodles, pan-seared tomatoes, basil, lemon zest, garlic, olive oil, and grated parmesan cheese. After boiling the pasta, toss it with the tomatoes, basil, lemon zest, olive oil, and garlic. Finish with a healthy helping of parmesan cheese on top.

Gluten-Free Gnocchi with Pesto

A simple dish made with homemade pesto, gluten-free gnocchi is delicious and filling. Homemade pesto requires fresh basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Blend the ingredients in a food processor until it has only a slightly chunky consistency. Then, toss cooked gnocchi with the pesto and serve with an extra topping of parmesan cheese. This dish is easy to reheat, making it an ideal meal for lunches and dinners during the week.

 

Gluten-Free Stuffed Tortellini

Stuffed tortellini is similar to ravioli but smaller. This pasta already has many flavors packed in, with various cheese, meat, and vegetable fillings. In Italy, stuffed pasta is typically served with a broth or tomato sauce that allows the filling and pasta flavors to shine through. You can make a quick broth by heating chicken or vegetable broth on the stove. Then, add a handful or two of fresh spinach. Finally, you can add the stuffed tortellini and serve it in a bowl.

Gluten-Free Pasta with Spicy Sausage

Another easy recipe to create at home, this dish requires gluten-free pasta (spaghetti or your favorite variety), spicy sausage, olive oil, onion, red or yellow bell peppers, and fresh basil. The first step is cooking the gluten-free pasta to an al dente consistency. Then, sauté the sausage with olive oil and chopped onion until nearly fully cooked. Add the bell peppers and continue cooking until the peppers have softened. Add the spaghetti to the pan with the peppers and season accordingly. Top with basil after plating, and you’ll have a comforting, filling dish ready to enjoy.

Where Can I Find the Best Gluten-Free Pasta?

It may be tempting to purchase pasta from any gluten-free pasta brands on the shelf. These pasta options can be made with various ingredients, such as almond flour. There are also alternatives like veggie pasta and brown rice pasta. However, many versions create mushy or gooey pasta once cooked because of the ingredient substitution. Skip odd textures and flavors by purchasing authentic Italian pasta with gluten-free ingredients. Companies such as Molino di Ferro, La Fabrica Della Pasta di Gragnano, and Granoro are great options that use ingredients that mimic traditional pasta as closely as possible, making them some of the best gluten-free pastas. 

Additionally, you can search through the newly added gluten-free pasta options on Maveat. Maveat is a company that specializes in authentic, quality Italian foods with carefully vetted suppliers. Each package arrives in eco-friendly packaging with carefully packed products to ensure items arrive as safely as possible.

Each of these companies provides an array of gluten-free pasta options to help satisfy your cravings. They cook similarly to regular pasta, and you can use them with your favorite sauces, including alfredo sauce. Whether you prefer penne, rigatoni, fusilli, or another type of pasta, you’ll find an excellent substitute with high-quality ingredients. 

MaveatStaff
MaveatStaff
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