It's Pasta Time!

It's Pasta Time!

One of the great joys of the fall season is comfort food. Homemade minestrone soup, steaming spaghetti, ravioli or lasagna are often at the center of the table, accompanied, of course, by garlic bread and salad. For many of us though, traditional pastas with marinara sauce can trigger painful symptoms. There are many other options that you can enjoy without triggering acid sensitivity, including pesto, alfredo, butternut squash and roasted red pepper pasta sauces. But, if you’re visiting Grandma’s house and can’t turn down her favorite marinara sauce, 2 or 3 caplets of Prelief before the meal might help. 3 caplets will reduce 60% of the acid in 1/2 cup of tomato sauce.

Pesto Sauce

Pesto is a simple sauce that contains basil, crushed garlic, pine nuts and your choice of hard cheeses blended together with olive oil. When used in modest amounts, it creates a light, delicious sauce that can be used on traditional spaghetti or angel hair, but it also has many other uses. You can enjoy it as a dip with your favorite cracker or use it as a sandwich spread on a grilled cheese sandwich. You can roast chicken or chicken breasts with a light coating of pesto sauce. If you’re a pizza fan, try using pesto rather than tomato as the base sauce. Try it with a grilled chicken or veggie pizza.

Pesto is the easiest of pasta sauces to make. One way to play with the flavors is to toast the garlic and nuts beforehand in a warm oven for a few minutes. This tames some of the garlic’s pungency and adds smoky sweetness.

3 cups of fresh basil leaves
1/2 cups of toasted nuts (your choice of pine nuts, walnuts, pecans or almonds)
3 to 4 cloves of toasted garlic (peeled and diced)
1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
3/4 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Blend basil, nuts, garlic and cheese in a food processor. Slowly add olive oil while mixing. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss over your choice of hot, fresh pasta and top with shredded or grated parmesan cheese.

Alfredo Sauce

The richest, creamiest pasta sauce is known as an Alfredo sauce. Made with butter, cream and cheese, it’s a special treat for special occasions. You may notice that some recipes also use extra cream cheese or sour cream, adding a few more calories to the mix but lighter alfredo sauces are easier on sensitive tummies. Here’s a simple recipe that you can customize for your tastes.

1/4 cup butter (or margarine)
1 cup heavy cream
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 1/2 cups of freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Melt butter in a sauce pan over low heat. Add cream and gently simmer for a few minutes, then add garlic, seasonings, salt and pepper. Whisk quickly for one minute and then add parmesan cheese until melted. Toss in parsley and serve over your choice of pasta

Butternut Squash Sauce

One of the favorite vegetables of fall is butternut squash. Known for making a luscious soup, many are surprised to learn that it can also make a wonderful, vegetarian pasta sauce. Yes, you can buy bottles of Butternut Squash at more and more grocery stores but homemade sauce tends has a fresh, almost smoky flavor.

One medium to large butternut squash
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1/3 cup finely chopped onion (white)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup organic broth (your choice of vegetable or chicken)
1/3 cup Parmesan, Asiago and Romano cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut butternut squash in half and remove seeds. Dribble with a small amount of olive oil and then roast in oven until soft, approximately 30 minutes. Check frequently so that it doesn’t burn. Remove from oven, cool and then scoop the cooked squash meat into a bowl. It should make about two cups of squash.

In a medium sized saucepan, heat olive oil, butter, onion and garlic, stirring until softened. Add broth and butternut squash and cook over medium heat until it is simmering. Then add cheese and milk, stirring until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss over your favorite pasta or ravioli. Top with grated parmesan cheese.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

If white, green or yellow pasta just isn’t your thing but tomato sauce inspires anxiety, try making a roasted red pepper sauce. The color is perfect, the flavor refreshing and the acid level pretty low. When roasted, red peppers are remarkably sweet and flavorful.

2 fresh, red peppers
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups milk (your choice of cows milk or almond milk)
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp chopped parsley

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place the whole red peppers on a baking sheet and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Cover in foil and then place in oven for ten minutes, removing foil if necessary to get a charred effect. Remove peppers from oven, cool slightly and then peel off charred skin and remove stems and seeds.

In a large skillet, saute shallots and garlic in olive oil until soft and golden brown, about five minutes. Place roasted red peppers, sautéed garlic, onions into a food processor with milk and cornstarch. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth.

Transfer sauce back into the skillet to thicken, simmering at a low heat until thickened. Toss over your choice of pasta and top, again, with fresh chopped parsley and your choice of cheese! Enjoy!

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