So GoodJun/Jul 2012 Issue

Gluten-Free Pasta-bilities

Gluten-free, dairy-free pasta recipes for summer feasting

For many years, I set aside an afternoon each week to make gluten-free pasta from scratch. It was the only thing to do if I wanted to enjoy any of my favorite pasta dishes. Today, grocery shelves abound with gluten-free pastability, inspiring quick and easy dishes. There’s pasta made with corn, rice, brown rice, quinoa, and rice and corn in shapes ranging from elbows to shells, penne to rigatoni, thin long strands like spaghetti and fettuccine to broad lasagna noodles. Who needs to stand in the kitchen rolling out dough when these products are readily available and taste great, too?

These gluten-free pasta recipes were created to showcase the season’s bounty of fresh vegetables, bringing out the best of summertime flavor and the wide variety of gluten-free pasta choices. Keep them cool and they can be packed up and toted to potluck or picnic.

Vary these recipes to make them your own. Combine your favorite gluten-free pastas with just-picked produce from the farmers’ market to suit your palate and special dietary needs.

Mediterranean Greek Pasta Salad


This refreshing salad, which can be made with any short cut of pasta, takes advantage of fresh tomatoes and herbs. Feta cheese can be omitted or replaced with a dairy-free cheese replacement.


1 teaspoon salt
1 (8-ounce) package small pasta shells, penne or elbows, under cooked by 2-3 minutes
¾ cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
20 cherry tomatoes, quartered
¾ cup roasted red peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese or dairy- free cheese replacement, optional
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil


¼ cup good-quality olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon fresh or dry oregano
2 teaspoons fresh or dry basil
1 teaspoon sugar
-Salt, to taste
-Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt and add pasta. Undercook pasta by 2 to 3 minutes or until it’s opaque but firm. Rinse in cold water and drain well. Return to pot.

2. Add olives, tomatoes, red peppers, feta cheese (if used), 2 teaspoons thyme and 1 tablespoon basil to drained pasta, tossing to combine.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Drizzle dressing over pasta, tossing gently until ingredients are evenly coated. Taste before adding salt and pepper, as feta and olives are salty. Transfer to a serving bowl and chill for 2 hours or let sit at room temperature until ready to serve. Leftover salad will keep for one day in the refrigerator.

Each serving contains 305 calories, 16g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 17mg cholesterol, 358mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 4g protein.

TIP To make salad ahead, toss pasta with 2 tablespoons additional olive oil and refrigerate 2 to 8 hours. Combine remaining salad ingredients in a separate bowl and refrigerate. When ready to serve, assemble salad and toss with dressing.


Summer Gluten-Free Squash Lasagna


This dish is as colorful as it is flavorful. It can be served warm or at room temperature, making it perfect for summer dining.

1 teaspoon salt
15 brown rice or corn lasagna noodles
1 (5-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large shallot, minced
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/8-inch- thick discs
2 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/8-inch thick discs
-Salt and pepper, to taste
2 pounds part-skim ricotta cheese or dairy-free ricotta replacement, divided
4 large eggs or flax gel
2 tablespoons dry parsley or 4 table- spoons fresh parsley
4 cups good-quality gluten-free marinara sauce, divided
2 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded, or dairy-free cheese replacement, divided
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese or dairy-free cheese replacement, divided

1. In a large pot, bring 6 quarts water to a boil. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt. Add pasta and cook until softened but not fully cooked, about 6 minutes. Rinse with cold water and drain. Lay noodles flat on foil to cool.

2. Preheat oven to 375°F.

3. In a large skillet, sauté spinach in 1 tablespoon olive oil just until wilted. Remove from pan and transfer to a plate to cool. Add 1 tablespoon additional oil and sauté minced shallot for 1 minute. Add zucchini and yellow squash and sauté for about 3 minutes or just until squash begins to soften but is not wilted. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

4. In a small bowl, combine ricotta cheese, eggs (or flax gel) and parsley. Add spinach and mix well.

5. Spread a small amount of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan with 2-inch high rim. Arrange 4 noodles lengthwise over sauce and one across the bottom, overlapping edges. Spread one-half ricotta mixture over pasta. Arrange half the squash over the top. Sprinkle with ¾ cup mozzarella and ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Top with another layer of lasagna noodles followed by half the remaining pasta sauce. Top with remaining ricotta mixture, squash and ¾ cup mozzarella. Top with remaining lasagna. Spoon remaining marinara sauce over pasta.

6. Cover lasagna loosely with aluminum foil. Set on a baking sheet and bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Remove foil and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving or serve at room temperature.

Each serving contains 514 calories, 23g total fat, 11g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 138mg cholesterol, 882mg sodium, 50g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 28g protein.

Quinoa Spirals with Roasted Tomatoes, Orange and Olives


A blend of roasted vegetables coupled with orange zest makes this a refreshing and hearty dish. Quinoa pasta adds flavor and protein.

1 (8-ounce) box quinoa rotelle pasta
6 large plum tomatoes, each cut into 6 to 8 wedges
1 large onion, halved lengthwise, cut into thin wedges
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
-Juice and zest of 1 orange, divided
-Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
-Fresh basil, cut into thin strips (about ¼ cup)
½ cup halved, pitted Kalamata olives
½ cup fresh feta cheese crumbles or dairy-free cheese shreds
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water 6 to 7 minutes or until tender but still firm to bite. Rinse in cool water and drain well. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 450°F. Oil 2 rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray.

3. Spread tomato wedges on one sheet and onion wedges on the second sheet.

4. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic and juice and rind of one orange. Drizzle half over vegetables on each sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in preheated oven until vegetables are very tender and brown around edges, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes for onions and 45 minutes for tomatoes. Cool slightly. Set aside.

5. Transfer pasta to a large serving bowl. Add roasted tomato and onion mixtures, basil and olives to pasta. Stir gently. Add cheese, 2 tablespoons orange juice and olive oil. Toss. Add more salt and pepper, to taste.

Each serving contains 306 calories, 13g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 11mg cholesterol, 241mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 8g protein.

Gluten-Free Caesar Spaghetti


Anchovies are standard in this recipe. If you don’t tolerate them (or don’t care for them), they can be omitted. Instead, season with additional salt or a sprinkle of gluten-free soy sauce, if desired.

1 (10-ounce) package gluten-free corn or other spaghetti
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 small heads Romaine lettuce
4-5 slices gluten-free white bread, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ cup gluten-free chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons anchovy paste, optional
2 teaspoons gluten-free Worcester- shire sauce
4 plum tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese or dairy-free cheese replacement

1. Cook spaghetti in lightly salted boiling water about 3 minutes less than instructed on the package. Spaghetti should be tender but firm. Rinse under cold water and drain well. Set aside.

2. Brush both sides of lettuce with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Grill or broil until edges are brown. Turn and grill or broil until lettuce is brown on the other side. Cool. Cut crosswise in strips (6 to 8 cups) and reserve.

3. Preheat oven to 450°F. Set bread cubes on a baking sheet and coat with vegetable spray. Bake 5 to 7 minutes until toasted, shaking the pan occasionally to brown croutons evenly.

4. Heat remaining oil in skillet. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute or until fragrant. Add broth and Romaine. Simmer briefly. Add lemon juice, anchovy paste (if used) and Worcestershire sauce, stirring to combine. Add cooked spaghetti and tomatoes and toss to mix and coat. Simmer 1 minute. When mixture is heated through, transfer to a serving platter. Top with cheese and croutons.

Each serving contains 391 calories, 12g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 8mg cholesterol, 275mg sodium, 65g carbohydrate, 10g fiber, 10g protein.

Gluten-Free Asian Vegetables with Beef and Rice Noodles


This fragrant recipe can be made using chicken or tofu in place of beef or omit entirely for a delicious vegetarian meal. Keep dish chilled until ready to eat.

1½ pounds sirloin steak (about 1½ inches thick)
6 ounces dry Asian rice noodles, medium thickness


2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons honey
6 tablespoons gluten-free tamari
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
-Red pepper flakes
½ small head green Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
½ small head red cabbage, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced
6 ounces snow peas, trimmed and cut into thin strips, lengthwise
3 green onions, tops removed, remainder sliced very thin

1. Combine marinade ingredients and pour over steak. Marinate for 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. (If using chicken or tofu, marinate for 2 hours.)

2. Combine dressing ingredients and toss with cabbages, cucumber, snow peas and green onions. Set aside.

3. Heat a pot of water to boil and add rice noodles. (Do not add salt.) Turn off heat and let soak about 6 to 8 minutes or until noodles soften and expand. Drain well. Add noodles to vegetables and dressing. Toss and transfer to a large serving platter.

4. Grill or broil the steak to desired doneness. (To cook a 1½-inch steak to medium rare, grill 6 minutes on one side and 5 to 6 minutes on the second side.) Let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into thin strips.

5. Arrange beef strips over noodle mixture. Serve with additional dressing, if desired.

Each serving contains 229 calories, 9g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 39mg cholesterol, 360mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 15g protein.

Food editor Beth Hillson is author of Gluten-Free Makeovers (, available at

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