When my husband and I were first married and didn’t have much money I would often throw things together for meals. Sometimes these things were hits and others were misses. One of my favorite hits was simple spaghetti mixed with “butter”, garlic and parmesan. Not the good parmesan though, the stuff that comes in the green can and even at that it wasn’t Kraft. It was some generic version they sold at the commissary. Oh and that garlic was garlic powder, the at the time 50cent a bottle garlic powder. The butter well it was margarine. I remember eating it one day when my sister and her now ex-husband came over and he thought it was the the weirdest thing. Then again he was from Albuquerque, New Mexico so if it didn’t have green chiles it was weird.
The simple spaghetti was something quick and easy I could put together and became comfort food. I even taught my oldest how to make it but now our ingredients are a little different. Now I use real butter, parmesan and garlic. While working with Barilla this month I was introduced to a even more grown up version of this simple dish and I was hooked. Heck, my whole family was to the point they were fighting over it. Thank goodness I can get gluten free pasta and Barilla makes a pretty good gluten free pasta so I can continue having this for a quick lunch or dinner.
If you are in a pinch and looking for something tasty and quick and easy to make this is the recipe to try. Try for yourself, you will be happy you did. It may become one of your comfort food favorite dishes.
Spaghetti with Garlic, Red Pepper and Olive Oil
- 1 (16 ounce) box Barilla PLUS® Thin Spaghetti
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, parsley and red pepper flakes; saute 2 to 3 minutes.
- Cook Plus® Thin Spaghetti according to package directions.
- Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Immediately add hot pasta to skillet. Stir in reserved pasta cooking water. Mix well. Add cheese and toss lightly.
- Transfer to a serving platter or bowl.
Something I really like is making pesto out of not your typical pesto ingredients. Pesto does not need to have a Basil and Pine Nut base. For Instance, I have a wonderful Spinach and Pecan Pesto I make every now and then. When I found out I was working with Barilla this month and saw some of their recipes, their Charred Green Onion Pesto stood out. An added plus to this recipe is that it called for their Gluten Free pasta that I had finally found in a local grocery store. Alike some other pastas I had tried it was a corn and rice pasta that is GMO free. I have been on the search for a good gluten free pasta and I think I may have found my new go-to pasta. Best part about the pasta is my family wasn’t asking is this gluten free.
The pesto was very easy to make and was surprisingly tasty. I love it when recipes comes together like that! You simply roast your green onions in the oven for 10 minutes, then let them cool and once cool you through into the food processor. Add some cashews, parmesan cheese, a couple ice cubes, a tad bit of water and olive oil and pulse a bit more and voila! You have pesto! Toss with your rotini and some soaked dried cranberries and you have your pasta dish. It would be great with some grilled chicken breast also. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!
Gluten Free Rotini with a Charred Green Onion Pesto, Toasted Cashews and Cranberries
- 1 (12 ounce) box Barilla® Gluten Free Rotini
- 1 bunch green onions
- 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese
- ice cubes
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup hot water
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F and bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Place cranberries in bowl of hot water to soak.
- Toss the green onions with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a sheet tray and roast in the oven until lightly charred, about 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the oven and let them cool down.
- In a blender combine the onions, cashews and Parmigiano cheese, pulse for 5 seconds.
- Slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the ice cubes and puree. Remove the pesto from the blender and place in a large bowl.
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions, drain reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Drain cranberries.
- Add the cooking liquid, pasta and drained cranberries to the pesto, then stir to combine.