Gluten Free Macaroni and Beans

I’ve been making this fast and easy peasant dish for over 30 years.  Long before I knew I had Celiac!  It satisfies my craving for comfort food with a minimal amount of fuss.  I serve it right in the pan for easy cleanup.

After I was diagnosed, I quickly realized that the pasta was the only ingredient that had to be changed to make this meal gluten free!  I used one of my favorites, Jovial Brown Rice Fusilli cooked to al dente.

The recipe is not difficult, and you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry!  Here’s what you will need…

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Ingredients:

  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, small dice
  • 2 oz. pancetta or bacon, diced
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 8 oz. gluten free pasta
  • fresh basil
  • fresh Italian parsley
  • parmesan cheese

Preparation:

Render the pancetta or bacon in a deep skillet.  Add a little olive oil, along with the celery.  Cook for 3 minutes then add the garlic.  Cook for 1 minute more, stirring frequently.

Make a space in the center of the skillet and drop in the tomato paste.  Toast it for just a minute, then stir in the drained beans and diced tomatoes, with all of their juices.

Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and fresh ground pepper to taste, then simmer on low for 15 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Drain the pasta and add it right into the skillet.  It’s peasant food, you don’t need a serving dish!  Toss well and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and some chopped fresh herbs.  I used Italian parsley and basil from my garden.

Serve with grated cheese if you like.

Notes ♪♫ Is pancetta a part of your gluten free pantry?  I buy the 4 oz. packages of diced uncured pancetta and store them in the freezer.  It adds just the right amount of salt and flavor to dishes like this one!

Originally published July 19, 2022                      Updated August 8, 2023

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Sausage Stuffed Turkey Rolls

Italian sausage, crumbled with celery and panko, all rolled up in thin sliced turkey cutlets.  This was one of my favorite meals of late.  A bit reminiscent of Thanksgiving dinner, minus the 20 side dishes but still nice enough to serve to guests!

For this recipe, you only need a handful of ingredients, and buying thin sliced turkey cutlets makes the prep easy.  I like the 4-pack from Shady Brook Farms, available at local grocers like Stop & Shop, and Perdue also has a similar product available at Walmart.

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb. thin sliced turkey breast cutlets (4 cutlets)
  • 6 oz. Italian Sausage (2 links)
  • 1 small celery stalk, minced
  • 1/4 cup gluten free panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

Heat olive in a stainless-steel skillet and begin cooking the sausage and celery, breaking up the meat with a spatula.

Brown the meat (it does not have to be cooked through), then transfer to an electric chopper and pulse a few times to further break down the meat into small crumbles.

Return to the skillet to finish cooking.  Stir in the panko breadcrumbs and set aside to cool.

Lay the turkey cutlets on a baking sheet or flat work surface.

Spread the sausage mixture over the turkey cutlets and roll them up, securing with toothpicks.  Wipe the skillet clean.  Add a little more olive oil and begin browning the cutlets starting with the seam side down.

Continue turning to quickly brown on all sides.  Do not cook through, they will finish in the oven.

Mist a baking dish with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 375º.  If you had any extra sausage stuffing, spread it in the bottom of the dish.  Add the turkey rolls.

Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160º (check with a thermometer).

Serve with a side of wild rice and Mushroom Sauce or Turkey Gravy.

Notes ♪♫ The mushroom sauce that I spooned over the turkey rolls came out so good that I thought it deserved its own post.  Especially when Mr. Cucina started putting on everything!  Who knew?  Get the recipe here!

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Gluten Free Meatloaf Ramekins

Look at these cute little ramekins!  They can elevate the humblest of meals to dinner party status!  Gluten Free Meatloaf Ramekins are fun to make and perfectly portioned for kids, small plates and small appetites.

You can vary the veggies in this meatloaf to suit your taste.  I used onion, zucchini and bell pepper.  Unlike my other meatloaf recipes, this one contains no oats.  So, if you can’t have oats or are avoiding them for the time being, this one is for you!

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Servings: 4 ramekins

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Heat olive oil in a small skillet and sauté the veggies until they have released their liquid and reduced to about 1/3 cup.  Season to taste.

Transfer to a bowl to cool (so you don’t cook the egg).

When cooled, whisk in the ketchup followed by the egg and more seasoning.

Next add the beef, working it in with your hands.  Gradually add the potato flakes and breadcrumbs and combine well.

Mist the ramekins with cooking spray and place them in a square baking dish.  This will make them easier to handle when going in and out of the oven.

Divide the meatloaf mixture between the 4 ramekins.  Top with ketchup and smooth the tops with a fork.

Bake at 375º for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150º (check with a thermometer).

Serve with ketchup or your favorite BBQ sauce (my favorite is Stubbs Smokey Mesquite).

Notes ♪♫ Love ramekins?  Check out my Shepherd’s Pie Ramekins, Ramekin Stuffing cups and Gluten Free Apple Crisp!

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Gluten Free Veal Stew with Peas (Spezzatino con Piselli)

This Italian classic is comfort on a plate!  A rich tender veal stew, slowly braised with mushrooms and peas in a light wine sauce.  It pairs beautifully with rice or pasta.

While veal can be quite expensive, veal stew meat is an economical cut that when cooked slowly over low heat becomes melt in your mouth tender.  No wonder this “peasant food” dish is so popular.

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I used a 4-quart nonstick sauté pan for this one dish meal.  It was a gift (thank you Santa), but you can get one here!

4 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb. veal stew meat
  • 1/4 cup superfine rice flour
  • salt to taste
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine (not cooking wine)
  • 1-1/2 cups gluten free broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Preparation:

Season the meat and coat with flour.  You can use any gluten free flour, but for browning meat I like superfine white rice flour, (the finer grind assures your dish won’t taste gritty).  Save your expensive gluten free blends for baking.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick sauté pan and begin cooking the shallots.  Add the meat, leaving space in between.  Brown the meat about 5 minutes per side.

Add 1/4 cup of wine to the pan.  When it has almost evaporated stir in 1-1/2 cups of broth and 2 tbsp. tomato paste.  Cover and simmer on low for 90 minutes.

During the last 20 minutes of cooking add the sliced mushrooms, cover and continue simmering.

During the last 10 minutes of cooking add the peas, and finish cooking uncovered to thicken.

How to serve

This stew is great served over rice, pasta or polenta.  Here’s mine served over white rice.

Notes ♪♫ Like many of my recipes, this classic Italian dish required only one ingredient change to make it gluten free.  You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to follow a gluten free diet and still enjoy healthy, delicious food.

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Gluten Free Chicken Orzo Casserole

Look at the beautiful colors in this casserole!  Would you believe it’s gluten free?  It absolutely is!  I love that we can enjoy popular orzo dishes like this one, made with gluten free Orzo pasta from DeLallo.

But what I especially love about this recipe is that it uses healthy fresh ingredients, like boneless, skinless chicken thighs, peeled and seeded butternut squash, and bagged baby spinach.  The prep work is a snap!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups butternut squash, cut into small cubes
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 5
  • 1 cup uncooked gluten free Orzo pasta, (I used DeLallo)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 5 oz. bag baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup white wine, divided use
  • 2 cups gluten free chicken broth, divided use
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • olive oil
  • Italian seasoning (I used this one)
  • paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cooking spray
  • fresh Italian parsley for garnish

Preparation:

Cut the butternut squash into small cubes.  Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.  Line a baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.  Spread the squash cubes in an even layer, bake at 425º for 20 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Season the chicken thighs with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and paprika.

Heat a nonstick skillet with olive oil and add the chicken.  Cook 7 minutes per side, turning once.  Toward the end of cooking add 1/4 cup white wine to the pan and cook several minutes more until mostly evaporated.

Transfer the chicken to a plate and wipe the skillet clean.  Set up a pot of salted water for the gluten free orzo and cook according to package directions.

In the skillet, add 1 tbsp. of olive oil, the minced garlic and pinch of red pepper flakes.  Cook just until fragrant (30 seconds) then add 1/4 cup of white wine.  Add the baby spinach and simmer until wilted.  (It looks like a lot of spinach, but don’t be afraid to add it all, it will cook down to nothing!)

Add the roasted butternut squash back to the pan.

When cooked, drain and rinse the orzo under warm water to remove some of the starch.  Use a fork to break up the orzo if it seems to be sticking together.  Gradually add it to the skillet with the spinach mixture.  Add a pinch of salt, or to taste.

Stir in 1 cup gluten free chicken broth and 2 tbsp. heavy cream.

Simmer several minutes to reduce the liquid slightly, then transfer the mixture to a casserole dish that has been coated with cooking spray.  Arrange the chicken thighs in the casserole, cover with foil and bake 20 minutes at 350º.

Remove from the oven and garnish with fresh Italian parsley.

Notes ♪♫ Some recipes add the uncooked orzo pasta right into a casserole, but for gluten free pasta I always recommend cooking it separately.  Since some gluten free pasta can be quite gummy, you are able to rinse off some of the starch before adding to your dish.

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Gluten Free Tuscan Kale Soup

Tuscan Kale Soup, also called Zuppa Toscana is a restaurant favorite.  Made with potatoes, sausage, cannellini beans and (of course) kale, it is a hearty soup that can be a meal in itself.  Most of the ingredients are naturally gluten free, just watch labels on sausage, broth and seasonings.

The recipe makes 6-8 cup size servings or 4 dinner bowl size servings.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 strips of bacon
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 oz. gluten free Italian sausage (I used Premio)
  • 3.5 cups gluten free chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. Tuscan seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 bunch of Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed
  • 15.5 oz. can cannellini beans
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
  • grated cheese, for serving

Preparation:

Heat a 4 qt. soup pot on medium low.  Cook the bacon and drain on paper towels.  Crumble and set aside for serving.

Next, remove sausage from casings and cook, breaking up the meat with a spatula.  Drain on paper towels.

Remove all but 1 tbsp. of fat from the pot.  Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, diced potatoes, chicken broth and seasoning.  Simmer 15 minutes.

Drain and rinse the beans.  Add the beans and sausage back to the pot and simmer 5 minutes.

Rinse the kale thoroughly, remove ribs and stems, and tear into small pieces.  Add kale to the pot and simmer 15 minutes more (don’t worry, it will cook down).

Stir the cream in just before serving.  You can leave the soup just like this, or partially puree it with a stick blender.

Ladle into bowls, garnish with crumbled bacon and grated cheese.

Notes ♪♫ Gluten free sausage is widely available today, but it is usually smoked or fully cooked.  When I spotted this fresh Italian sausage from Premio at the market, I knew exactly what I was going to make with it.  Here is a link to the sausage I used in this recipe.  Premio Sweet Italian Sausage 

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Skillet Farfalle with Diced Ham

I love easy skillet dinners like this one for busy weeknights!  You can make the whole meal beginning to end in about 30 minutes.  Honestly, if you prep the veggies the night before it can be ready in less time than that.  It’s a great way to use leftover ham, or you can purchase a ham steak which is what I did here.  Don’t forget those little finishing touches that can make a meal special, in this case it’s a sprinkle of toasted Pignoli (pine nuts), a favorite at our house!

3-4 Servings

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Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. boneless ham steak, cut into small cubes
  • 4 oz. gluten free pasta
  • 1 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. gluten free Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. pignoli (pine nuts), toasted
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • fresh Italian parsley, for garnish
  • grated Parmesan, for serving

Preparation:

Toast the pignoli until lightly browned and fragrant.  I like to use a small saucepan, so they don’t jump all over the place.  Set aside for garnish.

Cook the pasta to 1 minute less than package directions, drain and set aside.  While the pasta cooks, heat a large, nonstick skillet with 1 tbsp. olive oil and cook the ham 3 minutes.  Remove and set aside.

Add a little more olive oil and cook the onions until just beginning to brown, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and peas, cook 2 minutes more stirring frequently.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the tomatoes with their liquid, toss well to combine and cook until liquid almost evaporates.  If the pan is too dry add a ladle of pasta water.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Add back the ham.

Next add back the drained pasta and toss well.  Drizzle with olive oil, stir and toss to finish cooking the pasta, 1 minute more.  Sprinkle grated cheese.

Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with parsley and toasted pignoli, and serve with grated cheese.

Notes ♪♫ I used Jovial gluten free farfalle (bowtie pasta) in this recipe.  One of my favorites, it has great taste and chew.  The Smithfield ham steak was labeled gluten free.  Always check ingredient labels for hidden gluten, especially in processed foods and seasoning blends.

Originally published 5/16/2020        Updated 12/10/2022

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Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Turkey Meatballs

A word of Caution- This recipe contains oats.

A recent statement from Gluten Free Watchdog states that they cannot currently recommend ANY brand of gluten free oats.

Whether or not you continue to consume oats is a personal choice.  As we await more information, I will preface any recipes that include oats with a link to this important statement from Gluten Free Watchdog, an independent, subscriber-driven gluten-testing organization.  About | Gluten Free Watchdog

***

This rustic pasta dinner was perfect for an autumn afternoon.  Making the two-color gnocchi was a fun experiment as well as a learning experience.  I found the whole process relaxing and enjoyable.  The end result was a delicious dinner for two!

I have made potato gnocchi before, using Hannah (white) Sweet Potatoes, and they were fabulous.  My idea was to make a half batch with white sweet potato and replicate another half batch with traditional orange sweet potato.

The biggest takeaway from this was that not all potatoes are created equal in terms of moisture content.  The orange potato held many times more moisture than the white sweet potato.  So, the amount of flour needed for each batch was quite different.  In the end, I lost track of the measurements and just gradually incorporated more flour until the right consistency was achieved.

Note that this was a very small batch.  Enough for the two of us with just a bit leftover.  Next time I will make more!  The flour is a 2.5/1 blend of cassava flour/arrowroot flour.  You can mix up a batch ahead of time, so you have enough for rolling and dusting.  I finished the gnocchi in a simple browned butter sage sauce and served with turkey meatballs.

Dinner for two (recipe can be doubled)

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Ingredients:

For the Gnocchi

For the Meatballs

For the Sauce

  • 1/2 stick (1/4 lb.) butter
  • 8 fresh sage leaves

Preparation:

I peeled and steamed the potatoes the day before.  I weighed 2.5 oz. of each potato and set aside the rest for another meal.

The next day I began by mixing up a batch of 1-1/4 cups cassava flour + 1/2 cup arrowroot starch.  I warmed the potato for 30 seconds in the microwave and placed in 2 separate bowls, mashing with a fork.

I whisked the egg, salt, xanthan gum, then added 2.5 tbsp. of the flour mixture.  I divided this mixture between the two bowls of potato.

I then gradually added more flour to each bowl and worked it in until I could roll the dough into a ball.  I covered each in plastic wrap and rested 15 minutes.

I liberally floured a cutting board and started with the white sweet potato, gradually incorporating more flour until I could roll the dough into a long smooth rope, like this.

I used a bench knife to cut the rope into 1/2″ pieces.

I repeated the same process with the orange sweet potato, and here is where I lost track of the flour measurements.  The orange sweet potato dough had absorbed all of the flour and was still very wet.  It required quite a bit more flour to achieve the right consistency.  All in all, I would say I used 3-4 times more flour for the orange potato dough as was needed for the white potato.

For the final step I rolled each piece of dough over a floured gnocchi board.

I placed the formed gnocchi on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper and dusted with flour.  I recommend refrigerating for at least 1 hour before cooking for firmer texture.

Here’s how to finish the meal.

Combine all of the meatball ingredients and form 6-7 meatballs.  Line a baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray.

Place the meatballs on the baking sheet, and broil 5 minutes per side on high.  Keep warm.

Boil salted water for the pasta.  In a nonstick skillet melt the butter, and as soon as the butter begins to foam, add the sage leaves.  When the white solids begin to separate, use a slotted spoon or spatula to push them to one side of the pan, skimming off as much as possible.  Remove from the heat when the butter is just beginning to turn brown.

With water at a rolling boil, add the gnocchi and cook 3-4 minutes.

Remove the cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon and add to the browned butter.  Cook for 1-2 minutes longer.

Transfer to a serving platter along with the meatballs and drizzle with any remaining browned butter sauce.  Garnish with fresh sage.

Notes ♪♫ I love making pasta from scratch!  Check out this earlier recipe, for Gluten Free Potato Gnocchi with Cassava Flour that was the springboard for this meal.  You may also like this Trofie Pasta, or this one for Gluten Free Garganelli, one of my first posts.  Thanks for stopping by today and I welcome all your comments!

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Gluten Free Mushroom Soup

Homemade Mushroom Soup is always my first soup of the season.  An annual tradition signaling the end of summer, I make a pot right after Labor Day as our thoughts turn to cooler weather and comfort food.

This soup is the foundation for so many of my favorite winter stews and casseroles.  I keep some on hand in my freezer pantry, for those recipes that call for “a can of”.

Turmeric and saffron give this soup its beautiful golden color!  The recipe is so fast and easy, you can make a batch in under an hour.  I use a combination of mushrooms, such as white button, cremini and shitake. 

You can finish with cream for a Cream of Mushroom soup that is better than any canned.  Puree the soup or leave it chunky, your choice.  It freezes beautifully so make some now to have ready for the holidays!

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Ingredients: 

 Preparation: 

Whether you slice the mushrooms yourself or buy them pre-sliced, you will need to give them a good rinse.

Melt butter in a Dutch oven or 4-Quart soup pot.  Sauté the onions and celery in the butter until translucent.

Add all the mushrooms to the pot. 

Continue cooking over medium heat until the mushrooms release their liquid.

Have the chicken broth ready and stir in the flour.  It will immediately begin to thicken. 

Slowly stream in the chicken broth, stirring constantly so the flour doesn’t clump.  Add the salt, pepper, turmeric and saffron. 

Simmer 15 minutes then remove from heat.  Soup can be prepared ahead and frozen up to this point.

Here it is after cooling down for an hour or so.

I ladle the soup into freezer containers, about 1-1/2 cups each.

Notes ♪♫ If you plan to freeze the soup, I recommend not adding cream at this point.  For Cream of Mushroom Soup, drizzle in cream or half and half just before serving.

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Gluten Free BBQ Beef Short Ribs

We love beef short ribs!  So, when they go on sale it’s time for a BBQ dinner, rain or shine.  In this very easy recipe, boneless beef short ribs are baked slowly at a low temperature and basted with a simple homemade barbecue sauce that Mr. Cucina said was better than his favorite store brand!  It’s a meal that you can enjoy no matter what the weather or the season.

The beef will shrink considerably during cooking, so start with twice as much as you think you need.  For the two of us I used 1.5 lbs. of boneless beef short ribs.  It looked like a lot to begin with, but there were no leftovers 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs. boneless beef short ribs
  • salt and pepper
  • cooking spray
  • 1 batch homemade Gluten Free BBQ Sauce
  • fresh chives for garnish

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 300º.  Cut each short rib into 3 pieces and place in a square baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Whisk together the BBQ Sauce ingredients or use your favorite store brand (I won’t tell).  Spoon 3 tbsp. of the sauce over the ribs.

Turn them over and spoon another 3-tbsp. sauce to coat.  Cover tightly with foil.

Roast for 2 hours at 300º, then use tongs to carefully remove the foil.  If there is too much liquid, you can remove some of it with a ladle.  Cook 30 minutes more, uncovered.

Warm the remaining sauce for serving.  Remove the short ribs and arrange on a serving platter.  Brush with the extra sauce and garnish with fresh chives.

This meal was so good!  I served the ribs with roasted carrots, parsnips and baby potatoes.  Use your favorite seasonal sides (sweet corn in summer for sure).

Notes ♪ ♫: If you prefer to buy the BBQ sauce, I recommend Stubbs.  All of their BBQ sauce flavors are delicious and gluten free.

Originally posted 05.27.2018                       Updated 08.06.2022

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