I'm convinced my husband was an Italian grandma in a past life. He seriously makes some of the best pasta sauce I've ever had, and does it from scratch every time. I haven't had pasta sauce from a jar in years. I count myself really lucky that he enjoys cooking, and does it well. It often means though that I spend much more time at the gym than I care to, so I can work off all of those decadent calories. ;-)
Since pasta is a staple in our house, we spend a lot of time trying all of the gluten-free options out there. I've tried a zillion different kinds - rice, rice and corn, corn, etc. My favorites tend to be the rice & corn versions like Le Veneziane, which is my hands-down favorite of all of the gluten-free dried pastas I've tried.
The one thing I miss though is fresh pasta, and the taste and texture that only fresh pasta has. It's almost impossible to find fresh gluten-free pasta anywhere and I've even tried making it at home myself with disastrous results. I stumbled upon RP's gluten-free pasta at a local Italian store and didn't think much of it because I figured it would probably taste bad, but after a glowing endorsement from the head of the NYC Celiac Meetup group Erin, I went back to the store and picked it up.
I was a bit nervous about it, thinking that it might be gummy or just completely fall apart in the water, but I kept an open mind (and an extra bag of dry pasta on hand) and figured that the hubby's insanely good red sauce would carry it through if it all went south.
The pasta was frozen when I bought it so I thawed it in the fridge for a few hours to let it slowly defrost. It was also left out on the counter for an additional 20 minutes to soften up even more. When cooking the pasta, bring your water to a rapid boil and add a few tablespoons of olive oil to the water with salt. Once you put the pasta in, grab a fork and swirl it around a few times until the strands come apart. After it cooks for 3 minutes, you're good to go. Strain your pasta in a colander and then run it under cold water to stop the cooking process. The texture and taste of RP's pasta was amazing. It tasted as close to real pasta as I've had in a long time. Even the "Italian grandma" husband of mine thought it was realistic for "fake stuff" as he calls all gluten-free products. Need more of an endorsement? RP's gluten-free pasta made the Oprah Magazine “O” List for January 2012! RP's also manufactures regular pasta, but you don't have to worry about cross-contamination because the gluten-free pastas are made in a dedicated room on dedicated machines and are lab tested (test results for gluten are non-detect; i.e. below 5 parts per million).
Want to try RP's gluten-free pasta for yourself?
Enter my giveaway and you could win a pasta bundle of all four cuts of their gluten-free pasta and thanks to the generous folks at RP's, there will be TWO winners for this giveaway! Plus, I convinced the hubby to share a basic pasta sauce recipe which you can jazz up in any way you want, but it tastes pretty great just as is (recipe below).
To enter my giveaway, all you have to do is post a comment telling me which one of the RP's gluten-free pasta cuts you are most looking forward to trying: Fettuccine, Linguini, Fusilli or Spinach Fettuccine.
- Get 2 entries by following me on Twitter and posting a comment below with your Twitter name and your RP's gluten-free pasta pick.
- Get 3 entries by by following me on Twitter, following RP's Pasta on Twitter and posting a comment below with your Twitter name and your RP's gluten-free pasta pick.
- Get 4 entries by doing all of the above in addition to posting a comment on the Misterbelly Facebook page.
Enter by 11:59 PM ET on December 31st. Winner will be selected randomly and announced by Monday, January 2nd. Giveaway open to US residents only. Prize shipped directly by RP's Pasta. Misterbelly.com does not guarantee condition of product upon receipt. Good luck! For more information on RP's Pasta visit: http://rpspasta.com
Mr. Misterbelly's Classic Spaghetti Sauce
- 1 box of Pomi crushed or strained tomatoes
- 5 oz of pancetta
- 1 lb ground pork or beef
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 small can of tomato paste
- 1 small can of water (use the empty paste can)
- season to taste with garlic powder, onion powder, pepper salt, and oregano
Fry the pancetta in a large pot. Add the pork or beef and brown. Add onions and cook until translucent, then add garlic and cook for one minute, but do not brown. Add tomatoes, paste, water and seasonings. Simmer for at least an hour adjusting seasonings to your taste.