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Flash forward to when Ronin was about three (he’s almost 10 now!) we took him to a naturopath to have him tested for food allergies. He had always struggled with night terrors and anxiety, and while these weren’t the same symptoms as John’s gluten intolerance, we thought perhaps food was the culprit.
Turns out we were right.
After we removed gluten from his diet, Ronin’s night terrors actually stopped. Pretty amazing, huh?! His pediatrician was even surprised. Around that time I also noticed my anxiety was affected by gluten. Not in a terrible way, but enough that I’ve pretty much gone gluten free ever since. So for the past 7 or so years, we have been a gluten free family. And in that time, finding foods has become so much easier with the addition of amazing gluten free brands readily available at regular grocery stores.
John and I are actually both half Italian so finding gluten free pasta that not only tastes good but also has just that right texture is so very important to us. The other day I was shopping at Safeway and picked up Barilla Gluten Free pasta in both spaghetti and penne cuts. It’s found in the regular pasta aisle next to other Barilla pasta and has the same taste and texture as their regular pastas. It’s made with non-GMO corn and rice.
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And now for my pasta dish made with yummy Gluten Free Barilla. One of the things I’ve always absolutely loved doing is making my own dressing. When I was about 10 or 11 I started doing this with my friend Tabetha in her mom’s kitchen. We would pull down all sorts of ingredients from the cabinets, including our beloved vinegar, and concoct amazing dressing creations to use on salads of all kinds. It’s such a memory for me that I decided to make a special dressing to go on this fall-inspired pasta salad, that includes spinach, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds. A perfect autumn combination. And with a tangy homemade balsamic dressing, you absolutely cannot go wrong.
Gluten Free Spinach Cranberry Pasta
1 box Barilla Penne Pasta
3 cups chopped baby spinach
1/4-1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4-1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup balsamic vinnegar
1/2 cup sesame oil
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 Tbsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar, cover, and shake well. Set aside.
- Combine penne, chopped spinach, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl and toss with the prepared dressing.
- Serve immediately or cover and chill for 1 hour before serving.
Are you gluten free? What is your favorite gluten free pasta recipe?