Cappellos Gluten Free Pasta Review and Recipe Ideas
My Week Long Fling with Cappello's Gluten Free Pasta
From time to time being the author of a gluten free cooking blog has its perks. When Cappello’s Gluten Free Pasta contacted me to see if I’d like to review their pasta, it was one of those times. Of course I jumped at the chance. Whenever a company wants to ship their products out for review, you’ve got to figure that they must be proud of their work. At least that was my reasoning as I eagerly awaited the arrival. A few days later I received two containers each of their fettuccine and gnocchi. And so, my week long fling with Cappello’s Pasta and heavy cream began.
The pasta arrived in an insulated box with ice packs ensuring it was nicely chilled. According to the packaging, the pasta is manufactured by hand in a gluten free facility. It's also grain free since it's made with almond flour, tapioca starch and potato starch. It's a perfect choice for those following a more paleolithic diet. The pasta was packaged in small plastic containers with black and white checkered paper swaddling both the neatly bundled strands of fettuccine and those perfect pillow like gnocchi. Besides the cooking instructions on the package there was also a handwritten note from one of the the owners instructing that I should carefully follow the fettuccine instructions since they cook so quickly. The box instructed separating the strands of fettuccine then cooking them for 30-90 seconds. I cooked the first box for a minute and got perfect strands of firm but tender pasta. The gnocchi were amazing too.
The Dishes – The Good, The Better, The Bizarre
The dish pictured all the way at the top of this page was a quick and simple sauté of bacon, mushrooms, grape tomatoes with a touch of cream that was added to the pan just before the pasta was added. That first night I made an entire 9 oz package which according to the package feeds two people. The portions were very generous and really could have fed three. As I savored those strands of delicate pasta I made a decision right there that the next dishes I made would be smaller. I just wanted that heavenly pasta to last.
Or Make Your Own Pasta
Fettuccine in a Walnut Cream Sauce
This dish is so easy to make that if you blink you might miss the instructions. It simply involves melting a tablespoon of butter into 1/4 cup of heavy cream and adding a handful of chopped walnuts. I used about 3 ounces of the fettuccine prepared according to the package instructions. When the pasta was done I tossed it with the walnut cream, piled it onto the plate and topped it with a few crumbles of peppercorn Locatelli and some parsley. I'm still dreaming about this one. Heck I'm dreaming about all of them.
Gnocchi in a Sweet Potato Sage Cream Sauce
In creating each of these dishes I followed a very simple method. Since Cappello's pasta cooks so quickly, I found it best to put the pasta pot on to boil. Then in a skillet close by, I'd prepare a simple sauce. When the sauce was nearly done would I drop the pasta into the boiling water. I was careful not to overcook it before draining it and tossing it into the pan with the sauce before serving.
This dish was made using about 1/2 package of the gnocchi, 1/2 cup of leftover mashed roasted sweet potato, 1/3 of a cup of heavy cream, a few ribbons of fresh sage and a spoon or two of the pasta cooking liquid to loosen the sauce. I added some chili flakes during the plating process to contrast the sweetness in the dish. Rest assured that every bite was savored.
Gnocchi with Braised Beef and a Mushroom Cream Ragout
Beyond this hub being a review of Cappello's pasta which is absolutely fantastic in taste, texture and ease of preparation, this hub is about simplifying your dishes. It's also about using what you have in the fridge or pantry to throw together some pretty awesome, impromptu dishes.
Earlier in the week I made some braised beef with mushrooms in red wine. Since I'm not a big fan of just reheating leftovers I took that beef into a slightly different direction. I shredded the already tender beef before adding it to some marinara sauce with a splash of heavy cream to add to the luxury. The gnocchi was easily able to stand up to this heavier sauce without being too dense or heavy. These light little clouds of deliciousness are floating as close to heaven as I may ever get.
Fettuccine with Shrimp, Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomatoes
A well stocked pantry, fridge and freezer are always the first steps towards quick and delectable meals. In this case I grabbed a half dozen shrimp from the freezer and tossed them into a bowl of water to defrost while I gathered the rest of the ingredients. After cutting a few spears of asparagus into 1 inch pieces I sauteed them with the peeled shrimp, sun dried tomatoes and garlic. Just before adding the cooked pasta, I added some heavy cream to the pan in anticipation of how well it would coat those long strands of fettuccine uniting all of the flavors in the dish.
Now onto the Bizarre - Gnocchi and Fettuccine for Dessert
This last dish is best be described as bizarre. I'm really hoping that Cappello’s will forgive me for what might seem like a desecration of their spectacular pasta. In my defense I like to push the envelope when I review a product.
Macaroni is a lot like bread in a recipe. Bread is like a blank canvas that can easily transition between sweet and savory fillings. A piece of bread is just as at home with prosciutto as it is with peanut butter and jelly. And that was the theory that fueled this strange ending to my week long love affair with Cappello's.
For this dish I started by making a whimsical garnish for the plate by frying twisted strands of fettuccine until they were golden brown. Then, while they were still hot, I sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar and set them aside.
For the gnocchi, after melting a few tablespoons of butter in a skillet I added a dozen or so of those cooked little dumplings to the pan with some moscavado sugar and cinnamon. Once the gnocchi were well coated the dish was ready to assemble.
I started with a puddle of cranberry compote, then I spooned on a few tablespoons of slightly sweetened heavy whipping cream before nestling a handful of gnocchi on top. The crispy fettuccine were the crowning glory on this brilliantly bizarre dessert. In hindsight I think the dish would have been better served with more of an apple based compote on the bottom. The tartness of the cranberries was just a little overpowering in the dish. Nevertheless this version was interestingly delightful. I'll be doing further experimenting in this vein at some point in the future. Until then enjoy your pasta any way you like it.
And there you have it. Cappello's Pasta stood up well against every concoction I threw their way. I'd recommend this brand to anyone who has access to it. It is by far the best gluten free fresh pasta I've seen on the market. Check them out on facebook to see where it's available. Also be sure to follow them on twitter so you'll be abreast of their latest news. Cappello's now has their mercantile website up and running and you can visit by clicking here.
Capello's Review & 6 QUICK RECIPES
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