My dietitian put me on a low FODMAP diet. This means, no gluten, no lactose, and no to a bunch of other stuff I absolutely love. (I can have hard cheeses though, go figure). I started this restrictive dietary process last Saturday. And what do I crave immediately? Pasta!
I decided to try making gluten-free fusilli and cheese. My first challenge (at least I thought it would be) would be to find gluten-free pasta and lactose-free milk. Apparently, these items are pretty easy to find. However, they are more expensive than the gluten-filled products.
I made it home with my loot but was kind of skeptical about the end product. I mean, how good can pasta made from quinoa and rice taste, what about texture and consistency? How will the lactose-free milk taste? I want to start out by saying that lactose-free milk is freaking gross! It’s unnecessarily sweet and if you can avoid it, never drink it. (Update: since making this meal, I have found another brand of lactose-free milk that is not sweet).
Even after tasting the monstrosity that is lactose-free, I was determined to make this meal work. I mean, I already spent the money and was really jonesing for some cheesy pasta.
For this meal, I used gluten-free pasta made from quinoa and brown rice, white cheddar, diced tomatoes (yum), lactose-free milk, ground nutmeg, a dash of cayenne, garlic granules, pepper, salt to taste, and smoked paprika on the finished product.
Since I can’t have gluten, I cannot make a roux. To ensure the cheese would not stick to itself, I cooked the pasta in with the milk. The flour from the pasta thickens the milk, and when you add the cheese it melts versus sticking! It’s great for lazy cookers like me!
For this to work, make sure to have to correct ratio of milk to pasta. I used 4 cups noodles to 4 3/4 cup milk. Bring the pasta to a slight boil then turn down to medium, so the milk doesn’t burn. Simmer uncovered until the pasta is tender.
When the pasta is tender and the milk thickened, don’t drain. Add the shredded cheese a little at a time until it’s all melted. Then add tomatoes and the seasoning. I really like smoked paprika, not everyone in my house does, so I sprinkle it on at the end.
If you make this recipe using regular pasta and milk, it translates over easily except for the milk. I would reduce it by 1/4 of a cup since the pasta doesn’t seem to absorb as much as the gluten-free version.
After making this, I must say that gluten-free pasta is not that bad. I enjoyed the meal even with the lactose-free milk, I was able to balance out the sweetness with the seasoning.
After a few weeks gluten-free and lactose-free I will add it slowly back into my diet to see if my stomach can tolerate it. In the meantime, I will still make gluten-full treats for my family and friends to enjoy (and write about).