Tastier Than That Canned Pasta

   It was a novelty when first introduced and kids loved it – they still do. Something about canned pasta and tomato sauce appeals to kids and many grown-ups still choose it. It is one of the categories that we keep stocked at the local food pantry.
   One day I was thinking about how many children are affected by gluten issues and how easy it is now to prepare gluten-free pasta and that led to ‘how could you make this at home?’ Mentally scanning the pantry I realized all of the makings were right there.
   Thinking in the vegan mode I was going to use lentils (which I have loved ever since Mom’s lentil soup). But it became a meat based version once Don realized that I was preparing pasta. His culinary base is pasta, or as he refers to it, ‘the world’s major vegetable’ so it was prepared to be appealing to his taste as well as mine. Tinkyada pasta is so good that he always wants some of it.
   Isn’t this the gold-standard for gluten-free options? Something that is so good that nobody asks “where’s the gluten?”

Pasta About to Happen

Pasta About to Happen

Easy Gluten-Free Pasta and Sauce
1 medium onion, about 1/2 – 3/4 inch dice
1 Tblsp. olive oil for sautéing
Sprinkle of sea salt
12-oz can of tomato sauce (Hunt’s)
1/2 tsp. each of dry ground oregano and thyme
1 tsp. garlic powder
2-3 Tbsp. gluten-free barbeque sauce (Kansas City Classic™)

Protein Option:
3/4 – 1 lb. ground meat
1 cup dry lentils, cooked until tender

1/2 lb. dry whole grain gluten-free pasta (Tinkyada)

    Prepare the sauce by first sautéing the onion (and ground meat if preparing that option) in the olive oil. Add the seasonings and sauces. Cattleman’s Kansas City Classic™ sauce is gluten-free  and it is an optional, although wonderful, sweet-smoky addition. It does contain corn syrup, high fructose and regular, so some folks may reject it for that reason. I can easily rationalize its use by thinking of it as a flavor element – it’s not like we are slugging down shots of sauce.
    While the sauce is simmering gently prepare the pasta. One of the things I love about Tinkyada pasta, aside from the excellent taste and texture, is the absolute ease of preparation  . When ready just drain (no rinsing), add the sauce containing your choice of protein, combine and serve. Make a double batch if there are more than two of you because leftovers are just as good if not better than freshly prepared!

Gretchen (Mom)


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