The boyfriend and I were craving pasta somethin’ fierce the other day, so we headed over to the trusty local Central Market to find some things to throw together in a carb-y pile of delicious. We were so pleasantly surprised to see Manini’s Gluten-Free pasta in the refrigerated gourmet Italian section! Apparently we really are lucky, as their website states that their fresh line of pasta is only available in select grocery stores in the Northwest at this time. Sometimes (OK, usually) I really do love living here!
There were several flavors available, such as lemon-thyme, or the roasted garlic that we decided to try. There were also little flat squares for making homemade ravioli, lasagna noodles, spaghetti, and tri-colored rigatoni.
We got some pesto and sun-dried tomatoes from the olive bar section (Central Market really is an awesome grocery store), grabbed a good-looking (on sale, of course) bottle of wine, some cured meat and cheeses from the cuttings basket, and hurried home to toss together our Italian Feast.
This pasta cooks really fast. I kept checking it to make sure I didn’t over-cook it. The package said to cook it for about three minutes in salted water with olive oil in it. I think I cooked it for about 4 minutes, but I think I like my pasta a bit more cooked than most people do. While the water was coming to a boil, I arranged the cheese and meat (coppa, my favorite!) on a plate. While pasta was boiling, I warmed the pesto and sun-dried tomatoes in a little pan. Then, I drained the pasta, tossed the sauce in, then put it on two plates and crushed some black pepper and scattered some crushed red pepper over the tops. A basil leaf garnish, and we were ready for some back deck fine dining!
This pasta has that delicious, fresh home-made pasta texture that I remember my parents making with one of those pasta cranks that seemed to be really popular in the nineties (any one else know what I’m talking about? I used to love turning that thing for them when I was little!). It really elevated the sauce to something special. I don’t think I would choose the roasted garlic flavor again for pesto, though. It made the overall taste thick and heavy, and it was a bit of a relief whenever I came across a sun-dried tomato. I would certainly use this pasta again, but with a light, chunky tomato or marinara-style sauce. All told, this meal took a maximum of fifteen minutes to make, and it was SO tasty. Of course, eating outside makes everything taste better!