Quinoa Pasta with Artichokes and Peas in Lemon Cream Sauce

All in all, going gluten-free hasn’t felt like a huge sacrifice…except for pasta. We like our noodles. We loved our Barilla noodles. It wasn’t easy to find something to take our minds off how much we adored those Barilla noodles.

We have tried just about every brand of gluten-free pasta on the market. Our least favorite are made of rice flour, which are dense and feel like a gel cap on the way down.

But this…

This rocks our world. This is Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta. It’s spendy–about $3 for an 8-ounce box–so the first time I threw it into my shopping cart could have been a regrettable decision. According to my local PCC market, it was “Kid-Approved.” Having tasted the competition, I didn’t put much stock in that claim.

I’m so happy to have been proven wrong. This pasta has a wonderful texture and al dente bite. It’s delicious on its own or with sauce. It’s easy to find at lots of supermarkets. It’s a beautiful sunny yellow when cooked and it puts a big sunny smile on Lupe’s face. We like it as leftovers, though we don’t often have leftovers when we serve this.

This isn’t a paid advertisement. Unless the company wants it to be. Seriously, it’s $3 a box so I’d appreciate all the help I can get. But it’s worth every penny. Here’s one way that we enjoy it.

Round up one 8-ounce container of Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, minced, 1/4-1/2 of a large sweet onion (depending on your tastes), finely diced, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, juice of one lemon plus some of the rind, one 14-ounce can of artichokes (not the marinated kind), drained, 1/4-1/2 cup of stock, 1 cup peas, 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you like heat), fresh Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional), basil or parsley for garnish (optional)

Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box. It’s especially important not to overcook quinoa pasta. Drain and set aside.

As the pasta water is coming to a boil and you’re cooking the noodles, work on the rest of the dish.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large, deep pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and red pepper flakes, and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 30 -60 seconds.

Add the artichoke hearts and peas, and cook until they’re heated through.

Turn down the heat to medium-low. Add 1/4 cup of the stock and all of the cream, and cook for about 5-10 minutes, until everything is thoroughly heated through and the flavors have come together. Add more stock if you want to thin out the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice.

There are few things that I think are as beautiful as a colander full of steaming pasta, but a colander full of sunny quinoa pasta totally outshines the regular stuff.

Add the cooked quinoa pasta to the pan. Gently toss everything together. There should be just enough sauce to flavor all the noodles. This is a not a noodles-smothered-in-cream-sauce recipe. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Garnish with basil, lemon zest, and Parmesan cheese.

Quinoa Pasta with Artichokes and Peas in Lemon Cream Sauce (serves 4)

Ingredients:

one 8-ounce container of Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta (or 8 ounces of your favorite pasta)

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4-1/2 of a large sweet onion, finely diced,

1/2 cup of heavy cream

juice of one lemon plus some of the rind for garnish

one 14-ounce can of artichokes (not the marinated kind), drained,

1/4-1/2 cup of stock

1 cup peas

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

fresh Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)

basil or parsley for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box, being careful not to overcook the quinoa pasta. Drain and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large, deep pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and red pepper flakes, and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 30 -60 seconds.

3. Add the artichoke hearts and peas and cook until heated through.

4. Reduce heat to medium low. Add 1/4 cup of the stock and all of the cream, and cook for about 5-10 minutes, until everything is thoroughly heated and the flavors have come together. Add more stock if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice.

5. Add the cooked quinoa pasta to the pan. Gently toss everything together.

6. Garnish with lemon zest, Parmesan, and basil or parsley, if desired.

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