When I think pasta salad, I think S-U-M-M-E-R! Are you not just ecstatic over the warmer weather? Picnics, BBQs, backyard dinners – that’s where it’s at folks, and boy do I have an amazing recipe to share with you today. Catelli® is launching their new gluten free macaroni and it’s the perfect beginning to any delicious pasta dish. Their balanced blend of four grains – white rice, brown rice, corn and quinoa, creates a scrumptious, can’t-believe-it’s-gluten-free noodle that everyone will enjoy!
I had the pleasure of virtually attending a cooking demo last week, by the renowned Chef John Higgins, who helped officially launch the new cut of pasta, Catelli®Gluten Free Macaroni. Chef Higgins, Director of the leading George Brown Chef School in Toronto, is also a judge on the Food Network’s Chopped Canada and was formerly personal chef for the Queen Mother.
He showed us the step-by-step for preparing this mouth-watering gluten free macaroni salad.
- 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
- 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.
- Blanche edamame in 2 cups (500 mL) of salted water for about 2 minutes and drain.
- Meanwhile, whisk vinegar with sugar, water, soy sauce, ginger, salt and pepper until sugar is dissolved; whisk in oil. Add cooked edamame to mixture.
- 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.
Top 10 Pasta Cooking Tips from Chef John Higgins
Director, George Brown Chef School
1. Pasta should be cooked according to the directions on the pasta box. For some recipes that require the pasta to be cooked in sauce following boiling, however, an al dente consistency is preferred (an al dente consistency has some bite and a pleasing resistance to the chew – not gummy or sticky). For such recipes, cut one to two minutes off the cooking time on the package.
2. When cooking pasta, use a large pot. You will need one quart of water to approximately 100 grams of pasta. Using a large pot will give the pasta room to boil and not stick together.
3. Over-seasoning the water with salt – bringing it almost to the taste of the sea – will substantially enhance the flavour profile of the dish. As a rule of thumb, use 10 grams of salt for one litre of water and 100 grams of pasta.
4. Never add oil to the water when cooking pasta. It does not keep it from sticking together. In fact, the oil creates a coating that prevents the sauce from adhering to the pasta. This is undesirable because you want the pasta to soak up the sauce.
5. Always stir the pasta for about 45 seconds after adding it to boiling water. Then, stir occasionally as the cooking process continues, especially during the first three minutes, as that’s when the pasta can stick together.
6. To test if the pasta is ready, bite into a noodle. If the external noodle is soft and yellow in colour (indicating doneness) and the core is a chalky white colour (indicating that it is a little underdone), the pasta is ready to be removed from the water.
7. Never rinse pasta after cooking, as it’s important to retain the starch to enable the sauce to coat.
8. For some recipes that require the pasta to be cooked in sauce following boiling (see first bullet point), add the pasta to the sauce in a separate pot. Finish cooking the pasta in the sauce for the final minutes of cooking, allowing the starch to fully release from the pasta into the sauce, adding full flavour to the pasta and making the eating experience more enjoyable.
9. When making a pasta dish, think about the harmony of taste, texture and balance between noodle and sauce. Thin pasta strips, for example, work best with a classic tomato, seafood or pesto sauce. Thicker pasta cuts, such as fettuccine, are wonderful for a cheese or cream-based sauce. Filled pasta is ideal with a light tomato broth or cream sauce.
10. Use herbs generously for added flavour. When using parsley – the most used herb in the Italian kitchen – don’t chop it, but rather, slice it with a sharp knife. If you see a green stain when you cut herbs, that means your knife is not sharp and you are losing flavour. For basil, another popular pasta-enhancing herb, tear the leaves rather than chop them to avoid bruising the herb. Always add herbs to the pasta at the last minute to retain their vibrant colour and natural flavour. To keep stored herbs fresher and longer, wrap them in a tightly-moistened paper towel, then place in a Ziploc bag in the fridge.
You’ve got to try the New Catelli® Gluten Free Macaroni for yourself! 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 find a Save $1 off coupon for Catelli® Gluten Free pasta by clicking here. Coupons are available while quantities last, so please act quickly!
I’m also pleased to announce that Catelli® is giving Canadians the opportunity to win an entire year’s worth of Catelli® Gluten Free Macaroni!! Isn’t that just incredible? That’s A YEAR’S SUPPLY!! Wow.
How to Enter the Giveaway
- Leave a comment on this post letting us know what your favourite way to enjoy macaroni is (ie: mac & cheese, macaroni soup, macaroni salad, macaroni bake…etc.).
- This will unlock several ways to earn extra entries. All entries are verified. Only legitimate entries will qualify.
- Giveaway is open to Canadian Residents only.
- Giveaway will run until May 30th, 10:00am EST. Winner will be drawn using random.org soon there after.
- Winner has 48 hours to claim their prize!