Have you seen the growth in new products in the gluten free section of the supermarket? When one of Italy’s iconic pasta brands decides to launch a gluten free range, you know that it has well and truly gone mainstream. And we knew they would have worked hard to get Barilla Gluten Free Pasta products just right, so we sent Summer Sub Laura off to investigate. We even have a hamper to giveaway too!
About our expert:
Laura is about to undertake her 3rd year as a Nutrition and Dietetics student at Monash University. Prior to commencing her degree at Monash, she completed a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Japanese and Political Science at the University of Melbourne and then decided to change career paths after enrolling in a postgraduate diploma in Human Nutrition at Deakin University. Laura is a devout foodie and is passionate about making healthy food appealing, easy and most importantly, delicious! Her Instagram account (@laurafordnutrition) is littered with Melbourne food hangouts, healthy treats and various Vietnamese delicacies.
There once was a time when the gluten free diet was a thing followed only by people living with Coeliac Disease. Nowadays gluten free seems to be almost a fad in itself and a quick search on Huffington Post highlights some of the controversy around the diet. In fact last week, we had the pleasure of hearing Philip Mohr of Adelaide University talk about his recently published article on how many people these days consciously avoid products that contain gluten without any formal diagnosis. But at the end of the day it has meant a surge in new products for people on special diets, and that certainly is a good thing.
Initially I couldn’t fathom how corn and rice could have the same texture as wheat but I was particularly delighted with the taste and texture of the spaghetti. I must confess I frequently buy the Barilla pre-made sauces when I need a quick meal, learning that they are gluten free was just a little bonus. Of course you should add some vegetables sautéed in olive oil and garlic to boost the nutritional content, like I did with this sliced eggplant and ricotta salata. Zucchini or mushrooms would also be divine.
For this Friday Foodie post I thought I would share with you how I like to cook mussels in white wine. I used to despise mussels but persistence and a Julia Child’s recipe converted me and now I adore them. I had originally made this recipe to eat with a fresh spelt sourdough but after I reduced the sauce too much I had the perfect pasta sauce consistency and quickly cooked up the Barilla spaghetti. The results speak for themselves.
Creamy mussels in garlic and white wine
1kg uncooked mussels – scrubbed and debearded
½ teaspoon olive oil
1 shallot – finely diced
3 cloves of garlic – crushed (I’ll be honest I actually use 5 but I LOVE garlic and have a long term boyfriend, so use as much as your own discretion allows)
2 glasses of white wine (I like Sauv Blanc because that’s what I drink)
Handful of chopped fresh parsley (about ½ cup)
200ml thickened cream
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan on medium low heat for about 10 seconds. Add butter and shallot and allow butter to slowly melt down and for shallot to become translucent.
- When shallot is softened, add garlic and cook for 1 minute until softened and fragrant.
- Add white wine and mussels. Quickly turn mussels in pan and cover with a lid for 5 minutes. Check mussels after 4 minutes.
- Start to cook pasta while mussels are cooking.
- After 4 minutes, check to see if the mussels are opened. Remove any opened mussels with tongs and set on a plate. You want to remove these mussels to stop them from cooking and becoming tough.
- When most of the mussels have been removed, add in the cream and a table spoon of parsley and boil the mixture to reduce the liquid.
- If the remaining mussels stay closed they are bad and must be discarded.
- When the liquid is thick and is able to coat the back of a spoon it is ready. Check to see if it needs any salt and add pepper.
- Toss the pasta through and serve on a plate with the mussels on top, a sprinkle of parsley and a wedge of lemon.
As a side note. This recipe is entirely gluten free but the use of cream and butter should indicate that not all gluten free recipes are healthy. (Or boring and tasteless.) If you want to keep it healthy, just substitute the cream and butter for the Barilla Arrabiatta sauce. The results are spectacular.
Wow Laura you certainly did a thorough and delicious road test. We have a fabulous hamper giveaway thanks to Barilla for one lucky reader. Tell us below in a creative comment, what you would cook up with Barilla Gluten Free Pasta? Entries open to Australian residents only and close 5pm Friday 12th December.