Sunday, March 26, 2017

Bi Alimenta Gluten Free Pasta Rustica

A couple of weeks ago, we drove up to San Francisco to meet friends of ours for lunch.  We arrived a couple of hours early so we could have breakfast at Mariposa's Ferry Building Bakeshop.

After breakfast, I purchased two packages of gluten free orecchiette at Farm Fresh To You in the Ferry Building.  I was pretty excited, because I loved orecchiette before my celiac diagnosis, and I had never found a gluten free version before.  Bi Alimenta Pasta Rustica contains corn flour, rice flour, water, starch, salt, lactic acid, and sorbic acid.

My whole family loved the orecchiette, so I started to search for it online, and found it on Ditalia's website.  I also ordered Bi Alimenta trofie, a noodle I have never heard of before.  Bi Alimenta Gluten Free Pasta Rustica is made in Italy, and it is non-GMO, lactose free, and egg free.

The first time I made the orecchiette, I used my recipe for Cacio e Pepe (Romano cheese and black pepper), using two bags of Bi Alimenta orecchiette instead of spaghetti.  We topped it with Columbus diced pancetta and a soft boiled egg, which was cooked a little more than I would have liked.  Overall, my whole family loved this dish, and my daughter Emma started begging me almost every week to make orecchiette for dinner.

The second time I made the orecchiette, I used used my Cacio e Pepe sauce again, and topped the pasta with pancetta and peas.  I always add butter and sea salt to my peas before adding them to pasta dishes.  I preferred this version of orecchiette to the first one I made, but both were great.

I was also really impressed with the trofie, and wish I had bought a few more bags of it.  I cooked both the orecchiette and the trofie in a large pot of boiling water with 1 tablespoon of salt, but the trofie only takes four minutes to cook, while the orecchiette needs to cook for 10 minutes.  Neither requires a cold rinse, like many brands of pasta made from rice, which I have never been fond of.

I made garlic butter shrimp pasta using two 8-ounce bags of trofie.  While I was heating my pasta water, I melted four tablespoons of salted butter over medium heat in a large saute pan, then added two teaspoons of minced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, constantly stirring until the garlic started to brown.  I also added some extra virgin olive oil, which I did not measure, but it was probably about two tablespoons.  I then added two packages of 365 wild caught cooked Oregon mini shrimp (1 1/2 pounds total) from Whole Foods, and 1/2 teaspoon of coarse ground black pepper, stirring for a couple of minutes until the shrimp were warm.  While the pasta was cooking, I added a 5 ounce package of organic baby spinach (finely chopped) to the shrimp.  When the spinach started to wilt, we removed the pan from the heat until the pasta was done.  I did reserve some pasta water before draining the trofie, but we did not need it, because the butter and oil, and liquid from the shrimp helped create enough of a sauce.   When the pasta was done cooking, we added it to the saute pan with the shrimp, along with a couple of leaves of finely chopped fresh basil.  We garnished our pasta with fresh Romano, Asiago, and Parmesan cheeses.

My family loved the trofie, and we always love my garlic butter shrimp pasta, no matter what noodle I use.  We will definitely be buying Bi Alimenta Gluten Free Rasta Rustica again.  It is as good as my favorite brand of dry pasta, Le Veneziane, thought it does cost a bit more.  Other brands of gluten free pasta I recommend are Barilla and Cappello's.

What are your favorite brands of gluten free pasta?


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