When Barilla approached me recently and asked if I would be interested in sampling their new gluten free pasta, naturally I was delighted.
Barilla, already the world's largest pasta producer, has recently launched a gluten free pasta range that I was more than happy to road test.
Tonight I made my family a Chicken, Chorizo and Olive pasta dish using the gluten free Penne and incorporating the Barilla Basilico pasta sauce.
Let me start by saying that there are only 2 Coeliacs in my house, myself being one of them. The other - my 7 year old daughter hasn't quite developed the discerning palate as that of her older brother and dad - the two biggest and heartiest eaters in the house. So whilst there are endless variations of delicious pasta dishes, this particular dish was aimed at the big boys.
Tough crowd. I had my work cut out for me. Let's do this.
340g Barilla Gluten Free Penne
1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 garlic glove finely chopped
1 long red chilli de-seeded and finely chopped
1 red onion finely sliced
2 medium chicken breast finely sliced
1 GF Chorizo sausage finely sliced
400g jar of Barilla Basilico sauce (Tomato Sauce with Basil)
A generous handful of gluten free Kalamata olives
Finely chopped Continental Parsley to serve
Plenty of good quality shaved Parmesan to serve
To 3 litres of boiling salted water I added the Penne and cooked for 10 minutes as recommended on the pack.
Whilst the pasta is cooking, in a heavy based fry pan over a medium heat, add olive oil, garlic and an equal amount of de-seeded & finely chopped chilli. Sauté for about a minute before adding onions. Once onion becomes limp and slightly translucent, remove from pan.
Add thinly sliced chicken breast & sliced chorizo and sauté until chicken is just cooked through and desired colour is achieved. Turn heat down to low, return onions to the pan and add Basiico sauce. Drain pasta straight from the pot (I use a small sieve) - don't rinse and add immediately to sauce. Make sure pasta is coated well.
Add a generous amount of Kalamata olives. Dish up a generous serving, dress with Continental Parsley and Parmesan and enjoy.
Barilla pasta is made in Italy in a dedicated gluten free factory and is a unique formulation of naturally gluten free flours (corn and rice) rather than refined starches.
The pasta is available in Spaghetti, Penne or Elbows and will be available nationally in Woolworth's stores from October and currently in independent grocers (RRP $3.69).
and the verdict..
Well.. from my point of view as the 'cook' AND the 'coeliac' the pasta cooks and tastes like regular pasta. There was no strange aftertaste, no gritty or slimy end product and an
al dente result was easily achievable.
and the big boys..
Let's just say there was almost no need to clean plates as they were almost scraped clean. My husband stated, and I quote.. "That tasted just like normal pasta!"
I'd say that's a WIN right there. Nice one Barilla.
and if you were wondering what the small people in the house ate.. they most certainly did not miss out. I whipped them up an extra special Broccoli Mac and Cheese Gratin using the Barilla Elbows. Perfect for little tums and taste buds. A post for another day..
Barilla sent me the above products to sample
All opinions expressed are my own. I was not paid for this post.