Friday, April 12, 2013

Gluten Free Asiago Pasta with a side of best friends

it has been a CRAZY couple of weeks.  crazy, i tell you.

ugly action with the dog.
my best friend lisa came to town and boy, we made an ugly of it.  because both of us are poor, we didnt do alot of things that cost money, though i did alot of driving.  we drove around the city, drove around oakland, drove to drive drive.  ok, maybe it wasnt THAT crazy. but it was so fun, and chill, and relaxing.  and just....nice.  its so nice to have a friend who knows your history without having to relive your high water pants, brace face, and hair disasters just to get the point across.  

because my family moved alot, i dont have a place that i "grew up" but i do have childhood friends-lisa is one of the girl i met and befriended in 6th grade.  16 years later, we are still best friends.  and thats the only bit of having a "childhood place" that i have.  and i am grateful for friends like her, cuz i seem to have gotten the best part of the deal.  

the three musketeers, reunited!
in reno, we hung out with eileen, another childhood friend-and while we all have seen each other over the years, the three of us have never been together-until now!

but now lisa has left, and its back to every day life.  one of the things i have tried to do more often recently (now that, you know, i have time to do something other than stuff sugar into my mouth while i study for the bar) is cook dinner.  ambitious, i tell ya.  

i heart cooking.  i dunno when this happened.  i remember getting a childs cookbook when i was about 8 and my parents had me help them cook dinner one night.  i hated every second of it.  in between stirring the spaghetti sauce, i screamed at my parents about how stupid it was that i had to cook.  i could survive on wheat bread and bologna and oreos for the rest of my life, thankyouverymuch.  no cooking required.  the next 10 years didnt change anything; my mom told me, as she dropped me off at my dorm my first year of college (complete with a meal plan at the dorm cafeteria) , that if i had to cook for myself, id starve.  thanks for the vote of confidence, mom.  i ended up avoiding the cafeteria most days, and lived almost entirely on cheddar cheese, rolls with nutella, and dry lucky charms.  and i was happy.

so happy.

and then life blew up on me.

or, at least, my body decided it hated the food pyramid and would rather live a life confined to a food trapezoid instead.

i was diagnosed with celiac disease.  a difficult diagnosis for the average gluten consumer, but devastating for a girl with a pure italian great grandmother, raised on pasta, and who was known among her family as "the Bread Queen."


and i do!  some good gluten free pasta works wonders, and my favorite brand is Tinkyada.  almost imperceptibly different.  

now that spring/summer is definitely upon us, i wanted to make a lighter pasta dish.  this recipe was inspired by a good friend of mine who frequents farmers markets-lots of fresh veggies tossed with the pasta and sprinkled with asiago cheese.  MMMMMMM!  and between my high maintenance eating and me and lisa's minimal budgets, this dinner was amazing.  nomnomnomnom....

horrible picture, i know.  but soooo good.
Asiago Pasta 
(forgive the lack of pictures...i was busy stuffing my face)

8 oz pasta (i recommend penne or spirals [gluten free of otherwise])
1 zucchini, sliced and quartered
1 yellow squash, sliced and quartered
1 bell pepper, sliced and halved
1/2 carton sliced mushrooms
1/2 onion, sliced and halved
grape tomatoes, halved
fresh basil, chopped (optional)
1 cup grated asiago cheese (you can use any hard cheese like parmesan if you prefer)

cook the pasta in a pot of salted water.  drain and set aside.

slice up the veggies.  in a large pan (i mean LARGE, you are gonna have to dump the pasta into here too later), heat over medium high heat and drizzle with olive oil.  add the bell pepper onion and mushrooms to the pan.  let saute for a few minutes.  

add the tomatoes, zucchini and squash to the pan.  saute about 10-15 minutes. this part is really up to you though: the longer, the softer the veggies.  if you like them crunchier, then cut down the time.

season veggies with salt, pepper, and garlic while cooking.

add the pasta to the pan and toss together.  sprinkle the basil and cheese over the pasta, tossing as you go.  toss over heat until the cheese is melted, or continue until the cheese gets crunchy in spots.  


disclaimer: i do no pretend to be a food blogger.  i did not facetiously take pictures while i was cooking to make it appear as such.  i just love food.  alot.  alotalotalot.