Monday, August 22, 2011

Gluten Free Stuffed Pasta

I am developing a sense of peace and determination when it comes to adapting recipes to fit my gluten free lifestyle.  Normally, my diet is very basic.  I tend to love certain foods, so I eat them over and over.  Occasionally, I like to spice it up and consider a food that we gluten-free-foodies don't have an opportunity to enjoy that gluten-eaters have at their fingertips.

I am currently obsessed with reading cookbooks, magazines and websites in an effort to learn the tricks to be a better GF cook.  So, I was thrilled when I found a recipe for stuffed pasta at  Yay!  It wasn't difficult to find these babies online:

The original recipe called for 12 oz. of cooked pasta.  That was too much. 8 oz. of pasta would have been plenty is you're using this brand.  The recipe online also called for a jar of spaghetti sauce.  We love my homemade sauce, so I made that change, too.  Finally, my daughter is not a fan of spinach, so I did use some, but probably only about 1/2 cup instead of the whole box.  Following is my gluten-free version of the recipe:

Pasta Shell Ingredients:

One 8-oz. box of Tinkiyada brown rice pasta Grand Shells
One 15-oz. container of ricotta cheese
Four cups of Mozzarella cheese
Frozen spinach to taste, thawed

Sauce Ingredients:

One pound of ground beef, chicken, turkey or pork
Three cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of chopped onion
Ground pepper
One large can of GF tomatoes with basil and garlic - Use the liquid, too.
One small can of GF tomato paste
One small can of GF tomato sauce
Three tablespoons of Italian seasoning
Three tablespoons of chopped fresh basil

Cooking Instructions:
  1. Brown ground meat with onions, garlic and pepper.  Drain.
  2. In a crockpot, add meat, all three kinds of tomatoes, seasoning and basil.  Sometimes I add about two good tablespoons of prepared basil pesto to the mixture.  Cook the sauce on low temperature for two-three hours.
  3. Combine the ricotta and mozzarella cheeses with the thawed spinach.  Set aside.
  4. Cook the pasta according to instructions.  Tinkyada recommends boiling pasta that is going into a casserole for two minutes less that you would for regular use, so I cook the large shell pasta for 17-18 minutes.  Drain the pasta and rinse it with cold water.
  5. Stuff the pasta shells with the cheese mixture.  Place them into a greased casserole dish.
  6. Use a ladle to spoon sauce over the shells. 
  7.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is soft and melted.

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