Monday, July 30, 2012

A Crock Pot Love Affair: Gluten-Free Crock Pot Pasta

My husband has been spending so much time working on the house I have taken to calling it "the mistress".  But, in all fairness, I have a love affair of my own...with my crock pot.  Even though I complain about not having a functioning kitchen, I have secretly love getting creative with crock pot cooking.  I have tried roasts, vegetables, pastas, and even desserts in the crock pot with a fair amount of success.  There is something magical about mixing together a creative group of ingredients in the morning, turning on the crock pot, and coming home from work to a delicious dinner.

Today, I was having a serious craving for pasta.  But we were almost out of butane for our little camp store.  Even though I have not done much in the way of pasta in the crock pot, I decided to give it a go.

I decided to make a traditional pasta dish with marinara sauce and, while the results were not perfect,  we ended up with a really great dinner.  All it needs is a little tweaking for gluten-free perfection!

To start, you will need:
  • 1 box (12 oz) of your favorite gluten-free pasta (we like Schar Gluten-Free Fusilli)
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce
  • Your favorite vegetables, chopped (any mix from mushrooms to peppers to eggplant would work for this recipe; I chose zucchini)
  • 8 oz of mozzarella, shredded
  • About 1 1/2 cups of shredded parmesan (you can add more or less depending on your preference)
  • Crushed red peppers (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
  • Gluten-free cooking spray (Pam Original is gluten-free, but their baking spray is not)
Soak the past in a pot of lukewarm water for about 3-5 min; then drain.  While the the pasta is soaking, reduce the pasta sauce over low-heat for about five minutes.  While it is reducing, I like to add crushed red peppers and minced garlic to give the sauce a little bite.  But this is totally optional.  Once the sauce is done, remove it from the heat. Coat your crock pot with the gluten-free cooking spray. Then, add about a half-cup of the sauce to the bottom of the pot, spreading evenly.  Once the sauce is added, add enough pasta to cover the sauce.  Then add 1/3 of your chopped vegetables and cover those with about 1/3 of your mozzarella and about 1/4 cup of the parmesan.  Continue this process until you run out of ingredients or your pot is full. Make sure you top with all of the remaining parmesan.  Add about 2 tablespoons of water to the pot.  (I added 1/2 cup and it was a little too much).  Cook on low for 3-4 hours.  (I went over 4 hours and it was too long.)


Once the pasta is completely cooked, turn off the crock pot and remove the lid.  Let it cool for about 15 minutes as the cheese gets pretty hot.  You can easily add ground beef, turkey, sausage, or chicken to this recipe.  Just cook the meat beforehand and add it to the sauce.  Either way, this is a savory, easy, gluten-free meal that the gluten-free and gluten-eaters can enjoy!

Do you have any favorite gluten-free, crock pot recipes?  Feel free to share in the comments section!

2 comments:

  1. My gluten free pasta turned into paste/starch goo after one hour on low, inedible. :(

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  2. Am making a chicken alfredo recipe for the crockpot and am wondering if the pasta will turn to goo like this lady just said. what should I do differently with the gluten free past before cooking?klabelle5@sbcglobal.net

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