Pasta is one of my biggest weaknesses!! I mean, I grew up in an Italian household where pasta was considered one of the major food groups!
Since Tanner and I generally avoid gluten, I find myself missing my favorite Italian dishes. While searching for healthier alternatives to things like pasta, I was intrigued when I discovered quinoa.
This recipe absolutely helps me with my pasta cravings. Quinoa is very easy to cook with and even though it doesn’t taste exactly like traditional pasta, it adds a similar texture and soaks up flavors of the elements it’s cooked with. So far this is the best substitute for pasta in My Fit Kitchen.
I am a huge fan of the website Pinterest and I was able to find a recipe that tickled my fancy. Overall I was pleased with this recipe, which paired well with my Gluten-Free Meatballs, but I made a few modifications that suited my taste buds a little more.
The Gluten-Free Meatball recipe yields approximately 20+ meatballs and the quinoa makes 4 servings. Since I am only cooking for two, we have a lot of leftovers. Check back tomorrow to see some creative things you can do with them.
2 cups cooked quinoa (soaked)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 ½ cup mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 large bunch fresh basil, chopped
½ tsp crushed red pepper
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large saucepan heat the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and minced garlic. Once combined, stir in the heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked quinoa. Add 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, half the tomatoes, and all the fresh basil.
Coat an 8x8 baking dish with a little coconut oil. Pour the mixture into the dish and finish by topping with the remaining shredded mozzarella (if you are a cheese lover like me, feel free to add a bit more on top) and the rest of the grape tomatoes. Put the dish in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is warm and bubbly.
From my kitchen to yours with love,