Thursday, September 26, 2013

Gluten Free Garden Pesto Sauté

When I was at Noodles & Company last weekend in Pittsburgh, I tried their Garden Pesto Sauté and loved it so much, I was determined to recreate it at home.  For pasta, they use Heartland Gluten Free Fusilli, which can be purchased at Walmart.  I was really impressed with Heartland, but I have a ridiculous amount of pasta in my pantry, so I used a bag of BiAglut Rigatoni.

BiAglut can be hard to find in the United States, even though this Italian company is owned by Heinz.  I order BiAglut Penne, Rigatoni, and Shells (Pipes) from amazon in bulk.  It was recommended to me by the owner of Gluten Free Zone in Pittsburgh.  I can see why it's his favorite pasta.  Several of my followers on Facebook have tried it and told me it is the best gluten free pasta they have eaten.  BiAglut is not recommended for individuals with peanut allergies because it contains lupin flour and lupin protein. 

I cut about 3/4 of a sweet onion and 7 or 8 mini red bell peppers into long, thin strips while my pasta water and stainless steel frying pan were heating up.  

I would have preferred to use fresh corn for this recipe, but none was available at Publix, so I used my girls' favorite frozen corn.  I let it defrost in the fridge for a couple of hours.  

My preferred brand of boxed/bagged lettuce and spinach is Organic Girl.  It's available at Publix and Whole Foods.

I added 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and the sweet onion to my pan, which I preheated to medium heat.  After the onions began to brown, I added the red pepper.  

After a few minutes, I added some corn.  If it had been fresh, I probably would have waited until I added the spinach.  

I added the spinach for the final minute or two.  I should have used much more!  Season with kosher salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste.

After draining my pasta, I returned it to the pasta pot, added the vegetables, homemade pesto, and feta.  To finish it off, I squeezed most of the juice out of a half a lemon on top.  My daughters were very skeptical when they saw what I had made, but they asked to take the leftovers for lunch.  I guess they liked it!  

I didn't write the exact measurements for many of the ingredients in this recipe because I didn't measure most of the ingredients.  This is a recipe that you can determine the quantity of ingredients like pesto, feta, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and vegetables to suit your personal taste.  At Noodles & Company, their Garden Pesto Saute contained mushrooms and  pecans, which I knew my daughters would not like, so I left them out.  

Here's my homemade pesto recipe:



1 C fresh basil -- packed

2 T pine nuts

1 clove garlic -- minced

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp coarse ground black pepper 

1/3 C extra-virgin olive oil 

1/4 C grated Romano or Parmesan cheese


Combine the first 5 ingredients in a food processor, and pulse until they are well combined.  Add the oil and cheese.  Pulse until smooth.  


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