September 8, 2011

Linguini with Peppers and Sweet Onions

There are bound to be challenges to overcome when you commit to a Vegan and Gluten Free diet. Giving up animal proteins was easy for me, but a life without pasta was an entirely different story. I have tried several varieties of gluten free pastas in the past few months.  A few of them were passable, but not quite satisfying the craving. That was until I tried Ancient Harvest Quinoa pasta.  It is a healthy pasta made from corn and quinoa that manages to come pretty darn close in texture to wheat pasta, and at the same time, tastes good. The ultimate endorsement for it came from my children who thought it was better than what they usually have (Barilla Plus). 

The next challenge came in the form of recreating a dish that my son requested I make for dinner that I would still be able to enjoy along with my family; Pasta with Peppers, Onions, and Sausage. There are veggie based sausages out there, but they are loaded with vital wheat gluten which is a natural protein found in wheat.  Since my kids love beans of all sorts, I replaced the sausage with Cannellini beans.  The result was outstanding. My kids enthusiastically suggested that I put the recipe on my blog. 

Gluten Free Linguini with Peppers, Sweet Onions, and Cannellini Beans
Serves 4-6
For all of the ingredients, please use only those that are organic or pesticide free.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red peppers
2 red peppers, julienned
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 boxes Ancient Harvest spaghetti or any favorite brand
  fresh basil, chiffonade
Fill a large stock pot with water and put over high heat to bring to a boil.
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and salt and stir. Reduce the heat to a medium flame, and allow the onions to soften stirring occasionally. After about 10 minutes, the onions should be translucent.
Add the crushed red peppers and stir to incorporate their spice.
Add the prepared red peppers to the onions. Lower the heat slightly and get ready to cook the pasta.
Salt the boiling water with about 2-3 teaspoons of sea salt and put the noodles in. Stir the noodles into the water until they are all submerged. If you are giving the Ancient Harvest pasta a try, you will see that the pasta water will turn a yellowish color. This is a result of the corn base in the noodles. The pasta will take approximately 6-7 minutes to cook. If in doubt about the doneness, err on the side of being underdone.
When the peppers are softened, add the beans to the pan.
Drain the pasta in a colander and add to the sauce. Drizzle with an additional tablespoon or so of olive oil if desired. Toss together and serve with fresh basil chiffonade.
One of the better things about this particular pasta as opposed to other gluten free types is that it holds its texture and shape the next day. It does not become gummy or mushy. This dish is great cold as a pasta salad.

Categories: Beans & Legumes, Gluten Free, Pasta & Risotto, Vegan Entrees, Vegetables

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