One of my first thoughts after our daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2009 was: “What about pasta!?!” She loved her noodles, and so did I! The day after her diagnosis, we cleaned out our pantry and got rid of every single product that contained gluten. We felt it would be safer for her and easier for us all if our whole house was gluten free. In those first few gluten-free years, we ate rice pasta, which often wound up a goopy mess on the plate and just didn’t taste like the pasta I knew and loved. I was ready to kiss pasta goodbye. And then we discovered Italpasta gluten-free pasta. Certified by Canada’s Gluten Free Certification Program (GFCP), Italpasta’s GF penne, fusilli and spaghetti are made from a blend of rice and non-GMO corn. The texture is bang on and you’d never know it’s gluten free. It is now our family’s go-to gluten-free pasta—and, believe me, we’ve tried them all!
Italpasta has been a huge supporter of Gluten Free Garage over the years. Here’s the team at our last pop-up, from left: Chef Gianni Ceschia, Laura Dal Bo and Perry Battista.
The Italpasta booth at Gluten Free Garage always has a lineup of people waiting to get their hands on whatever delicious dish Chef Gianni is making onsite. It’s a gluten-free pasta lover’s dream come true!
Italpasta gluten-free penne rigate with tomato sauce.
“We are very pleased to once again join Gluten Free Garage on May 1st as a lead sponsor,” says Frank DeMichino, COO of Italpasta Limited. “It has grown to become not only a must-visit community event but also a rich resource for the gluten-free community. Given that a significant number of Canadians are affected by celiac disease, we are pleased to offer a gluten-free pasta without sacrificing good taste or quality.”
And that they do. Grazie, Italpasta.
Do you follow @glutenfreegarage on Instagram? These were our best nine photos of 2015. There were friends, family, fried potatoes and the new love of my life, a tiny dog called Chiquita (Chicky). You may have noticed that we didn’t run Gluten Free Garage last year and our website was quiet. That’s because a very close family member was sick with cancer and I spent much of my time with him.
My uncle Michael was a volunteer at three Gluten Free Garage events. Here he is with some of our other dedicated volunteers (my mom and aunts) at the fall 2013 GFG. Ever since I was a little girl, he was like a big brother to me. And, later, a best friend and confidante. Michael was my person. He made me—and so many other people whose lives he touched—laugh a little louder, smile a little wider, live a little better. As his pancreatic cancer was progressing, I wanted so spend every precious moment with him that I could. Which meant sacrificing Gluten Free Garage, a decision that didn’t come easy to me but one that I do not regret. On September 11, 2015, Michael passed away.
Michael was too sick to volunteer at the last Gluten Free Garage in November 2014 but he mustered up whatever energy he could to pop in and visit his gluten-free god-daughter at her favourite food event.
Gluten Free Garage remains close to my heart and, as a mother of a child with celiac disease, I feel strongly that even though gluten-free food is so widely available these days there is still a need for a curated gluten-free marketplace in Toronto. Many of you do, too, as evidenced by the emails we get asking us when the next GFG is happening. As my uncle Michael would say, the show must go on! We’ll be back at the Wychwood Barns on May 1, 2016 to kick off Celiac Awareness Month! I would love to hear your thoughts. Are you ready for Gluten Free Garage #5?
Lunch at Hotel Gelato with my girlfriends #wheninRome
Throwback to the time Bunner’s debuted the fauxstess cupcake #retrotreat
Garlic love, naturally #glutenfree
Baked apples before shot #comfortfood
Can’t. Stop. Roasting. #sweetpotatoes
My hubby is the best wing man #Superbowl
Follow @glutenfreegarage on Instagram for more #glutenfree tummy love
Soup’s on! Peel and cube sweet potatoes.
Roast sweet potatoes (this step is not necessary but I find that the soup is even more flavourful when you roast the potatoes).
Coarsely chop onion. Add coconut oil to a large saucepan and cook onion. Stir in ground coriander + curry powder.
Add sweet potatoes, stir, then add hot vegetable stock.
Add white beans (I used cannellini), and puree.
Stir in balsamic vinegar + maple syrup. Add salt + pepper to taste.
Enjoy with a dollop of yogurt, chopped parsley and hemp seeds!
Sweet potato white bean soup
2 tbsp coconut oil (original recipe called for 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp vegetable oil)
½ onion, coarsely chopped
1 rounded tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground coriander
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (and roasted if you have time)
946 ml carton of vegetable broth (I used Pacific Foods’ low-sodium version)
19 oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
plain Greek yogurt (optional)
chopped fresh parsley (optional)
hemp seeds (optional)
Add coconut oil to a large saucepan over medium-low heat.
Add onion. Cook about 5 minutes until soft but not brown.
Stir in curry powder and coriander, for about 1 minute.
Add sweet potatoes and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes.
Add hot stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes (or until sweet potatoes are soft).
Add half of the beans and puree until smooth. Add remaining beans.
Stir in vinegar and syrup. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of chopped parsley. Hemp seeds are a nice touch, too.