I don’t often write reviews about commercially available food products, as most are less than healthy. My focus since going truly gluten free (i.e., removing all grains and pseudo-grains from our diet) has been to use the highest quality ingredients to prepare nutrient dense meals and treats for my family, and of course to share those recipes with all of you. While the gluten free section of the grocery store is filled with options for those who follow a gluten free diet, there are very few products for those of us who are grain free. Reading the labels you will find that the vast majority of these gluten free items are filled with refined sugars, alternative grains, hydrogenated oils, genetically engineered ingredients (such as soy and corn), and lots of starches…not exactly nutrient dense.
In an odd twist of fate I found a small company based in Colorado that produces grain free pasta, yes, it’s completely free of grains! My son (the D-Man) was sitting next to me and said “Mommy, this pasta is gluten and grain free…can we order it today?” I explained that the pasta was only available in Colorado, but the company would be shipping their products soon. I could see the disappointment on the D-Man’s face but he was persistent and every few days he checked the website. I have to add at this point that the D-Man fell in love with Colorado when we visited last November. Each day when he was allowed time on the computer he would check Realtor.com for homes for sale in Colorado. If the pasta wouldn’t come to him he thought, we would simply go to the pasta! Who am I to burst his bubble, I too fell in love with the beautiful State of Colorado! One morning while I was fixing breakfast my son (who was supposed to be reviewing school lessons) said “It’s available; Capello’s is now shipping their pasta”. He was gone in a flash and returned with my purse (which of course contained my credit card), and together we placed our first order for Capello’s grain free pasta.
Capello’s was founded in 2011 by Stacey Marcellus and Benjamin Frohlichstein. The two friends wanted to create a company that was unique, and their mission was simple yet elegant…to provide options for those who are healthy eaters or for those who have dietary restrictions (like my family). Their products include: Gnocchi, Lasagna, and Fettuccine. These are not the alternative grain pastas that line the shelves of the grocery store; these are fresh grain free pastas! The pasta contains a short list of ingredients; free range eggs, almond flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, and sea salt. I will warn my corn allergic and uber corn sensitive friends that the lasagna and fettuccine do contain xanthan gum so please keep that in mind. Capello’s offers a package that they refer to as “A Taste of Each” which includes 2 gnocchi , 1 fettuccine, and 1 lasagna, or you could order it with 2 fettuccine, 1 gnocchi, and 1 lasagna. My son (who was breathing down my neck while I was placing the order) loves gnocchi and said we should order the “Taste of Each” with 2 Gnocchi, and so we did.
Now the dilemma, how should I prepare this beautiful fresh pasta? My mind was spinning with ideas so when the pasta arrived I decided to keep it simple and nutrient dense. The first dish I prepared was Lemon Fettuccine with Asparagus, Wild Caught Salmon and Salmon Caviar/Roe.
1 container of Capello’s Grain Free Fettuccine
3 Wild Caught Salmon Filets poached in water and broken into chunks
8 ounces Organic Asparagus, washed, trimmed, and cut into pieces
1 Cup Heavy Cream (Casein sensitive friends can substitute Coconut Cream)
4 Tablespoons Pastured Unsalted Butter
Lemon Zest from an Organic Lemon
¼ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese (more for garnish)
1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice (from the lemon previously zested)
2 to 4 Tablespoons Salmon Roe/Caviar
2 Tablespoons chopped Organic Chives, Dill, or Basil for garnish
Poach the Salmon Filets in water with fresh herbs, Celtic Sea Salt and Organic Lemon Slices. When finished cooking (3 to 5 minutes) remove from water, cool, and break into chunks. (Note: this can be done earlier in the day or a day ahead to save time).
Cook Asparagus in boiling water approximately 3 to 5 minutes (they should still be firm). (Note: I cooked my asparagus with a few drops of Lemon Infused Olive Oil and a dash of Celtic Sea Salt for extra flavor).
Remove the Asparagus from the water and transfer to a bowl.
In a large pot bring water to a boil, you’ll want to have this ready as the Capello’s Fettuccine takes a mere 45 seconds to cook!
In a heavy bottomed pot, stir cream, butter, and lemon zest over medium-high heat until mixture comes to simmer.
Reduce heat to low.
Whisk in Parmesan Cheese, and cook (whisking constantly) until the sauce is smooth and thickens slightly, about 1 minute. When thickened remove from heat.
At this point place linguine in the already boiling water and cook for 45 seconds. Drain the water from the pasta, reserving a few tablespoons of water.
Put the pasta back in the pot it was cooked in and add sauce and reserved water, tossing gently to coat. Add the cooked asparagus, lemon juice, salmon chunks, and salmon caviar, Celtic sea salt and freshly ground pepper; tossing gently to coat.
The pasta was wonderful, and while the D-Man was devouring his dinner he said “I Love Capello’s”. Many thanks to Benjamin, Stacey and all of the staff at Capello’s, we applaud your efforts and love your pasta. To order your very own gluten and grain free pasta visit Ben and Stacey’s Website: http://cappellosglutenfree.com/home. Next up Capello’s Grain Free Lasagna….stay tuned for that recipe.