Baked Tortellini (GF)

Baked TortelliniNick loves alfredo sauce. In fact, I can’t remember a time when we went to an Italian restaurant and he didn’t get some sort of alfredo dish. Unfortunately for him (and fortunately for my waist line) I do not share the same adoration for this sauce.

Since Nick is such a good sport about trying out my little experiments, I compromised with him and made a dish that incorporated this sauce. I recently discovered gluten-free tortellini, so I decided to make a hearty pasta bake.

I’m going to warn you, this is NOT the healthiest of dishes – I had a small portion with a big salad .:)

Baked Tortellini (GF)

the ingredients:

-1 pkg. gluten-free cheese tortellini, uncooked
-3 cups homemade Marinara sauce
-1/2 cup water
-1/2 jar Alfredo four cheese sauce (All “Classico” sauces are gluten-free!)
-1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
-1/2 cup shredded Smoked Mozzarella Cheese

the method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In 3 quart glass baking dish, layer tortellini and marinara sauce. Put water into empty sauce jar, close lid, and shake. Pour this mixture over the tortellini.

Spoon Alfredo sauce over the tortellini. Sprinkle with cheese.

Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer, until tortellini is tender and cheese is bubbling and golden brown.


Green Chile Mac n’ Cheese (GF)

green chili mac1 Nick and I attended the Scottsdale Culinary Festival back in April, and I must say, some of the dishes we sampled were quite tasty. One thing that Nick and I both enjoyed was the Macaroni and Cheese with Green Chilies served up by the Zulu Caffe.

That small sample left such a savory taste in my mouth that I felt compelled to make my own version of their mac and cheese. This recipe is really tasty and highly addictive – you have been warned.

Green Chile Mac (GF)

The ingredients:

  • 8 ounces gluten-free penne/macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup green jalapeno salsa
  • 1 can (4 ounces) mild chopped green chile peppers
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno peppers, canned or fresh, optional
  • 8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, about 2 cups
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro, optional
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • paprika

The method: green chili mac2

  1. Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.
  2. Cook macaroni in boiling salted water following package directions. Drain and rinse well.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir in flour and pepper until well blended and bubbly. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in salsa, chile peppers, and cheese. Cook, stirring, until cheese is melted. Taste and add salt, as needed. Combine with the drained macaroni; stir in cilantro, if using. Spoon into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Combine 2 tablespoons melted butter with the bread crumbs and sprinkle over the macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle lightly with paprika.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly.

Baked Ziti (GF)

baked zitiI like to spend my Sunday afternoons cooking up some “make-ahead” meals for the week, in case we get home late from work or if we’re just feeling lazy and a heat-and-reheat will suffice. I decided to make a baked ziti with whatever cheese I had and some Marinara sauce. I love this dish – not only is it delicious, but it makes great leftovers – perfect for midweek lunches too.

Trader Joe’s has a pretty decent price on gluten-free pasta; I had never tried brown rice pasta before, but I could hardly tell the difference. Especially since this recipe involves ooey-gooey cheese and a garlicky marinara sauce.

Baked Ziti (GF)

The ingredients:

    • 1 pound gluten-free ziti pasta
    • Kosher salt
    • 3 1/2 cups marinara sauce, recipe follows
    • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided
    • 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano
    • 4 oz. smoked mozzarella, shredded
    • 4 oz. smoked gouda, cubed
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Pinch of crushed red pepper or to taste
  • Marinara Sauce:
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/4 medium onion, diced (about 3 tablespoons)
    • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 3 1/2 cups whole, peeled, canned tomatoes in puree, (one 28-ounce can), roughly chopped
    • Sprig of fresh thyme
    • Sprig of fresh basil
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper


The method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, and boil the pasta until al dente, tender but still slightly firm. Drain.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the marinara sauce, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, the pecorino, and the cubed gouda and shredded mozzarella pieces. Season with the black pepper and red pepper to taste, and mix until well combined. Transfer the pasta to an oiled 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Cover the top of the pasta with pecorino and parmesan, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Bake until lightly browned and hot, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
  3. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the herb sprigs and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove and discard the herb sprigs. Stir in the salt and season with pepper to taste. Use now, or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.