Recently I had the pleasure to attend an Exclusive Gluten Free Pasta Event at George Brown College sponsored by Catelli. Back in September, Catelli had launched their Gluten Free Pasta line which included penne, fusilli and spaghetti. You can read my review here. With the success of the gluten free line, they recently added macaroni. Our host for the evening was Chef John Higgins. Chef Higgins is director of George Brown Chef School, former personal chef to the Queen Mother and a judge on Food Network's Chopped Canada.
|Photo courtesy of Catelli|
The evening started out with a tasting. We were served grilled vegetables with some cheese, pasta with pesto, olive oil and tomato sauce to dip in. Each dish of pasta was cooked for a different amount of time for us to compare the texture.
|Chef Higgins (Photo courtesy of Catelli)|
Chef Higgins shared with us some tips on cooking pasta. He emphasized to always follow the directions on the box. When cooking pasta use a large pot so the pasta has room to move around and the water should be over-seasoned with salt...it should taste like the ocean. Don't add oil to the pasta water or rinse the cooked pasta under water. Both will prevent the sauce from adhering to the pasta.
He went on to show us how to make the Ginger Edamame Macaroni Salad pictured at the top of the post and his recipe for a wonderful tomato sauce. Next we all had a chance to work in the kitchen at George Brown College and make our own Ginger Edamame Macaroni Salad. I really liked this salad. The only element that is cooked is the pasta so it was very quick to put together. I took a taste of the dressing with all the vegetables prior to adding the pasta and it was great just on it's own! Chef Higgins suggested to start off with adding half the amount of rice vinegar, taste and then adjust the amount to your liking.
|Photo courtesy of Catelli|
It was a great experience and a lot of fun! Chef Higgins is a great teacher, very approachable and friendly. To top it off I got to learn 2 great recipes which I will be making in my own kitchen very soon.
|Photo Courtesy of Catelli|
We usually don't buy Gluten-Free products. I have heard that some Gluten-Free products don't match up to their gluten equivalents. If I had to do a blind taste test, I wouldn't be able to tell that Catelli's Gluten-Free pasta was gluten free. The taste and texture are very good. If you follow a gluten free diet I would highly recommend giving it a try. It is produced in a dedicated gluten free facility, Catelli Gluten Free pasta is certified by the Canadian Celiac Association’s Gluten-Free Certification Program.
You can get a $1 off coupon from Websaver. Coupons are available while quantities last.
Ginger Edamame Macaroni Salad
Recipe courtesy of Catelli
Prep Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 5 - 6 min
1 pkg (340 g) CATELLI® Gluten Free Macaroni
2 cups (500 mL) frozen edamame
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
1/2 cup (125 mL) rice vinegar
2 tbsp (30 mL) each granulated sugar and water
4 tsp (20 mL) gluten-free soy sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper
1/3 cup (75 mL) canola oil
1 cup (250 mL) each diced red pepper and cucumber
1 cup (250 mL) each shredded Napa or Chinese cabbage and carrot
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped green onions
1. Cook macaroni according for 3 to 3½ minutes. Drain in colander, then place pasta on a flat tray to cool. Once cooled, sprinkle with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of olive oil and mix gently with fingers.
2. Blanche edamame in 2 cups (500 mL) of salted water for about 2 minutes and drain.
3. Meanwhile, whisk vinegar with sugar, water, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper until sugar is dissolved; whisk in oil. Add cooked edamame to mixture.
4. Toss macaroni and edamame mixture with red pepper, cucumber, cabbage, carrot and green onion to combine. Serve immediately.
Add hot sauce, chili flakes or diced jalapeno peppers for a little extra kick.
Serve alongside grilled chicken or fish such as salmon or trout.
This salad can be made ahead and reserved for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. If making ahead, reserve 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the dressing and add just before serving to moisten the salad.
For an equally delicious salad, replace the soy sauce with miso paste. Another gluten free option, miso paste (or fermented soy paste) is often found at the fresh sushi counter located in the produce department of many supermarkets.
Replace the granulated sugar with honey if preferred.
Per serving (1¼ cups/300 mL): 334 calories, 14 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 560 mg sodium, 45 g carbohydrates, 3 g fibre, 8 g sugars, 8 g protein. Excellent source of vitamin C.
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