I have severely cut back on my pasta intake the last few months. I am so seriously obsessed with pasta, but since I do try to limit my intake of grains as much as I can, pasta is a great place to start. But in total honesty, it is also the hardest one for me to eat less of. I adore good organic brown rice pasta, I like both Jovial and Tinkyada organic brown rice pastas, I like how light they are and there is something just so comforting about pasta.
When Cappello’s offered to send me some of their grain-free pastas to try, I of course jumped at the offer. Pasta that is grain-free and ready in less than 1 minute (not counting the time it takes for the water to boil) – sounded pretty darn good to me.
Cappello’s sent me some of their fettuccine, gnocchi and lasagna sheets. I made the fettuccine first, to get an idea of how it cooks and tastes. It is really good and similar to a lot of fresh (grain-containing) pastas, though it has been very many years since I have had fresh pasta made with gluten, so I cannot say how similar it is to that specifically. Their pasta is made up mostly of almond flour and eggs. It is firm but properly tender and not at all mushy, which I honestly expected. The pre-portioned container says “two servings”, but I found it to be heavier than the usual brown rice pasta I have gotten used to, I found myself getting full very quickly. Which isn’t always the case with pasta, sometimes I feel like I could eat it until I explode. It didn’t reheat the next day quite as nice as my usual organic rice pasta, but that is to be expected with a fresh pasta. I do find that rice pasta is quite firm after coming out of the fridge as leftovers, that I am not always a fan of since it HAS to be reheated. So there is no cold pasta eating with the rice pasta. This pasta is definitely possible to eat cold and was quite good that way actually. Hubby really liked the Cappello’s pasta as well, but he still prefers rice pasta as his first choice.
I know it isn’t totally fair to compare this grain-free pasta to rice pasta, since they are quite different, but since I am not 100% grain-free or paleo, I thought this was a fair assessment on my end. However, if you do eat a completely grain-free diet, 100% of the time, and you love your pasta – you would be a total FOOL not to try Cappello’s pastas. It hits the spot and nails that pasta craving right on the head.
I decided to make this delicious pesto to enjoy the second package of fettuccine. I had bought a package of hemp seeds at the market that I have been sprinkling on everything. Salads, smoothies, in baked goods and now in this pasta. I am kinda obsessed. This pesto is honestly better than any cheese containing pesto I have had, there is a wonderful peppery flavor from the arugula and the nutritional yeast actually brings a hint of a cheesy flavor.
Besides pasta, this pesto would be great as a spread on wraps or sandwiches, as a sauce on pizza, as a topping on grilled meat or veggies, etc. If you are vegan and can’t eat Cappello’s pasta because of the eggs, this pesto would obviously be delicious on whatever our favorite gluten-free pasta is, I ate some this week on zucchini noodles and it was the best way I had it.
[print_this]Arugula and Hemp Seed Pesto – (Gluten-free, Vegan and Nut-free option)
- 3 cups organic arugula
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds, plus a little more for serving
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil (this would also be great with Vega’s Antioxidant Omega Oil Blend)
- 1/2 cup walnuts or almonds (optional)
Add the arugula, basil and garlic to the food processor. Pulse it a handful of times to break it all up a bit. Then add the hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, nuts (if you are using them), salt and pepper. Pulse a few more times then slowly pour in the olive oil, while pulsing a bit more to bring it all together. You could certainly just turn it on and let it process, but I like my pesto a bit on the chunky side.
Once your pasta is cooked, reserve a 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and place in a large bowl. Mix the pesto into the pasta, adding in a little of the cooking liquid if you need to thin it out at all. Serve immediately topped with a sprinkle of hulled hemp seeds. [/print_this]