From the Pan into the Fire

Culinary Wanderings in Gluten Free Living

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Pasta with Pepper Sauce
It's been a number of years since my last post here. Lots of water under the bridge. I started posting after going gluten free and am now dairy free, egg free and legume free. The variety of prepared foods on the shelves within my diet range is small and the price is high but sometimes I'm just too busy or too tired to put extensive time into cooking.

Like so many others, no matter what range of the political spectrum they are in, I worry about the future and stock up on food. Mostly dried food. I guess that makes me something of a prepper except that I don't own any guns.

So to put the two together, I've been experimenting with making my own seasoned rice, quinoa, buckwheat, and soup mixes. Over the past couple of years I've come up with recipes that both my guy and I like. I will start posting them in hopes of getting feedback.

Recently we bought a box of gluten free pasta with sauce, mostly just to see how they did it so I could experiment. Before cooking it I measured out the pasta -- about 1 and 3/4 cup. An eyeball estimate of the sauce mix made it out to be between 2 and 3 tablespoons, and it included corn starch as a thickener. The directions were to cook the pasta and sauce mix in 2 cups water with a tablespoon of added oil. The sauce was a bit thin and lacked flavor. I was pretty sure I could do better.

I'm fond of pepper sauces. Peppers are my favorite food. Any time of day is a good time for peppers. Pepper sauce is great for anything -- meat, potatoes, vegetables, pasta! So off to the kitchen I went to come up with a pepper pasta sauce. My guy and I liked this a lot. It's thick and sticks to the pasta. We served it along side bratwurst cooked in cider and steamed broccoli.

Pasta with Red Pepper Sauce

2 tablespoons dried red pepper *
1 teaspoon dried celery
1 tablespoon dried tomatoes
1/8 teaspoon dried garlic
2 teaspoons dried leeks
1 tablespoon dried carrots
1 tablespoon dried potatoes (for thickening)
1/4 teaspoon aleppo pepper flakes **

Blend the above in a spice grinder and then stir in:

1/8 teaspoon black pepper
3/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon cilantro (or basil)
1/4 teaspoon oregano (or tarragon)

Makes about 1/4 cup dry mix.

To use:

  1. Bring 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon oil to boil.

  2. Add 1 3/4 cup pasta (I used Sam Mills corn pasta, Pasta d'Oro variety).

  3. Turn burner down so that water is at a gentle boil and set the timer for the length of time specified on the package.

  4. Stir occasionally, cover it when it starts to get dry and stick to the bottom and turn down to low.

  5. Test pasta for tenderness -- slightly al dente is good. Serve and eat. Makes enough for two hungry, plump adults.

* I've been purchasing dried vegetables from North Bay Trading Company. In the product descriptions they note if the item is gluten free. Their web site is

** I bought Aleppo pepper once just out of curiosity, then I started using it in spice blends that I sell (, and now I have a ton, well ... ounces, of it left. It's fine to leave it out or use paprika or some other pepper. Aleppo is medium-hot.


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