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Pasta with a Twist

I have many friends who can't tolerate gluten well so today I have prepared a very Mediterranean pasta dish that they can enjoy and appreciate. I substituted pasta made from special corn meal instead of wheat-based flours. I have been able to find a good product at the market in Arthur Avenue made by
Molino di Ferro, a brand imported from Italy. You can read about them here.  Corn meal is the basic ingredient in Polenta, the quintessential northern Italian peasant dish.

To give this dish a more different look, I decided to mix spiral pasta with small shells, a double culinary twist.

The eggplant is very easy to prepare. Toss all ingredients in a pan, season , cook over medium heat until tender.  If you are using basil leaves, add those towards the end. Toss the vegetable mixture over the drained pasta.

Conchiglie e Spirali di Mais con Melanzane


1/2 lb corn meal Shells
1/2 lb corn meal Spirals
1 1/2 lb Italian Eggplant, cut into strips
1 large red bell pepper
2 ripe Roma tomatoes, cut into strips
2 long green chili peppers
5-7 Basil leaves, optional
1/4 cup of dry white wine  
3 cloves of garlic , cracked, not minced

I was very surprised that the pasta tolerated boiling and remained al dente the way wheat pasta does.

The flavors in this dish were very nicely accentuated by a a strong grated Romano cheese. A Pinot Noir completes the experience.

Friends , when I think of corn, I usually thing of  the endless corn fields of Iowa, ready to be transformed into ethanol or corn syrup.  After this dish , I will really need to stop doing that.


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