Gluten Free Living – 2014
Gluten Free Baked Penne is awesome. I love pasta. Any kind and any shape will do. I suppose that’s because I really enjoy Marinara and Alfredo sauces so much. I’m a tomato fiend and a cheese sauce fiend! Gluten Free Baked Penne gives me the best of everything. There’s gluten free pasta, lots of spaghetti sauce, and an abundance of cheese. This meatless main dish is simply mouthwatering. It’s really easy to prepare as well. I actually made this dish up the day before I needed it and baked it the following day on a time bake when I was at church. I came home to the lovely fragrance of Italian. Yum.
As I noted in my post on Gluten Free Strawberry Dump Cake Cobbler, we have a friend who has Celiac Disease and has to be very strict with her diet. Any slip ups–even accidentally, and she’s in big trouble. I promised her a gluten free pasta when we had an Italian potluck at her home last Sunday. This recipe substituting gluten free noodles fits the bill entirely. She loved it, as well as a host of other people who aren’t on gluten free diets. Most of them couldn’t even tell it was gluten free pasta.
Let me give you some advice about using gluten free pasta. All gluten free pasta is not equal! The corn-based pastas are absolutely wretched! They taste awful and become gummy and hard after cooking. Don’t bother spending your money on them. The penne pasta I used for this recipe had a combination of rice flour, amaranth flour and quinoa. It was a little more fragile than I like and started breaking up before even half the suggested cooking time. I don’t recommend it either. I recommend a plain brown rice flour pasta with these cooking directions: Boil the pasta 2 minutes at a rapid boil, then turn off the heat and leave the pot with the pasta on the burner and allow it to continue cooking without heat for about 15 minutes. Then use as needed for your recipe. I read those directions on the back of one of my gluten free rice pastas last week and those are the perfect directions for gluten free pasta so it holds its shape and doesn’t break up and tear apart so easily while boiling. Apparently wheat is a lot stronger and more durable than brown rice, quinoa or amaranth flours! But not everyone can eat it.
Gluten Free Baked Penne is a great Meatless Monday recipe. It’s hearty, filling and satisfying and really doesn’t use many ingredients or have a lot of steps to it. I can’t tell you how many people came up to me raving over this pasta last Sunday. When I told them it was gluten free they were astounded. Almost everyone went back for seconds. I’ve made this recipe before using regular pasta with meatballs and regular pasta with Italian sausage. All three are excellent in taste. But if you prefer a meatless version then this is it. If you’re not gluten intolerant, regular wheat pasta will also work fine. For that matter, you can use almost any kind of pasta: ziti, bow-ties, extra large elbow macaroni, rotini or the ribbed tubular pastas.
I first sampled this recipe (not a gluten free version) at my son and daughter-in-law’s when we were visiting them last year. Candice’s version sticks pretty close to the original recipe, but I’ve tinkered with the recipe to get it more like we like it. For instance, we prefer a lot more sauce in our pasta recipes. In its original state this dish seemed to be all cheese and very little of anything else! We use a whole bottle of spaghetti sauce to top the pasta-cheese mixture which really balances out the tastes a little better. Secondly, the recipe is a little bland by itself. I add a tablespoonful each of Italian seasoning and basil as well. I sprinkle them over top of the pasta layer or the sauce layer. Either way works fine. Another option would be to stir the seasonings into to the spaghetti sauce itself. The next time I make this recipe I plan to add some crushed red pepper flakes, minced garlic, parsley and fennel seed to increase the flavor even more. We prefer a vibrant flavorful sauce so a few enhancements like these will greatly augment this recipe.
If you’re looking for a dandy gluten free pasta recipe then you’ve come to the right place. Gluten Free Baked Penne is a fantastic recipe you’re family is sure to love. It has so much cheese in it you won’t even miss the meat. This tasty Italian dish is excellent for company, too. And, of course, it’s one the best comfort foods you’ll ever consume!
Gluten Free Baked Penne is awesome!
Anyone who eats this tasty main dish will be joining the “clean your plate” club because you will want to eat every bite!
Gluten Free Baked Penne is a fantastic Meatless Monday dish.
Here’s what I did.
I used these ingredients plus Italian seasoning and basil.
Boil gluten free pasta according to package directions. I highly recommend using Ronzoni GF pasta as it has the best texture and taste that compares to regular pasta. Remove from heat and drain. Place pasta into a large mixing bowl. Add Ricotta cheese and egg.
Add mozzarella cheese and a bottle of spaghetti sauce. Any flavor will do but make sure your spaghetti sauce is gluten free. I used Ragu Traditional Flavor and it was gluten free.
Stir ingredients to combine.
Spread pasta mixture into the bottom of a greased 10×15″ glass baking dish. Sprinkle heavily with Italian seasoning and basil. I used a tablespoonful of each. You can also add roasted minced garlic, fennel seed, parsley and crushed red pepper flakes for a little more zip.
Spread remaining jar of spaghetti sauce over top of pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Cover with foil and bake pasta dish at 350 for about 45 minutes to an hour or until hot and bubbly.
Everyone raved over this delicious pasta dish. I believe you’ll enjoy it too.
Gluten Free Baked Penne is really easy to prepare.
Here’s the recipe.
GLUTEN FREE BAKED PENNE
(Recipe inspired from my daughter-in-law, Candice’s Baked Ziti, source: inspired from All Recipes)
- 16-oz. DeBoles Gluten Free Multi Grain Penne (with rice, quinoa and amaranth)
- 24-oz. ricotta cheese
- 16-oz. mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 24-oz. jars spaghetti sauce (gluten free) – I used Ragu Traditional
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp. basil
- Bring pasta to a boil and boil 2 minutes.
- Turn off heat and allow pasta to soak in hot water for 15 minutes.
- Place pasta in a large mixing bowl.
- Add ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, egg and one jar of spaghetti sauce.
- Stir to combine.
- Place in a greased 10×15” baking dish.
- Top with remaining jar of spaghetti sauce.
- Sprinkle with a tablespoon each of basil and Italian seasoning.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Bake, covered at 350° about 45-60 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
You will be hard-pressed to eat less than two servings of this amazing pasta.
Every bite is so enjoyable. If you enjoy pasta, you will make this dish over and over and over!
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