I usually use my own preference for the proportion of pasta to vegetables in this dish. Try it and decide what works best for you. I often cook more veggies than the recipe calls for. And, I’ll keep them in a separate dish so that I can add more of them to my plate if the mood strikes me. Depending on how many carbs I’ve already had that day, I may skip the pasta entirely and just have my sauce with the veggies… I really like just the veggies in sauce sometimes.
Much as I would like, I have not grown enough tomatoes at one time to make my own pasta sauce worthwhile… So, I have a few favorite brands that we like to use…. My husband’s favorite is Ragu Meat Sauce. I recently enjoyed these gluten-free pasta elbows with sauce and veggies as an alternative to gluten-free spaghetti. My husband, on the other hand had gluten-y spaghetti. He seemed to enjoy his and I definitely enjoyed my g-f alternative.
I need to warn you that while purchased pasta sauce is often gluten-free, there is no guarantee that every brand is gluten-free. So, check the label carefully. If you have any doubts, contact the manufacturer or find definite information on their website… Often there is an FAQ about whether or not their product(s) are gluten-free.
When I’m searching for confirmation that a product is gluten-free, I try to find the manufacturer’s website, not another person’s blog post about it.
This is because the manufacturer has a legal responsibility to have accurate information. A blogger or reporter may have good information but you never know for sure.
This is one of my family’s favorite gluten-free ground beef recipes. The gluten-free sauce combined with the ground beef seasoned perfectly to your taste can be a marvelous addition to your meal time.
Gluten-Free Pasta Elbows with Sauce & Veggies — an Alternative to Gluten-free Spaghetti
- 1 Pound Elbow Macaroni, Gluten-Free, like Tinkyada, or your favorite pasta
- 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- Water to Cook
Meat Sauce (or Make It Meatless):
- 1/2 Pound Extra Lean Ground Beef, optional
- 32 Ounces Pasta Sauce, Gluten-Free, like Ragu, or your own homemade
- 1/2 Teaspoon Basil, chopped, optional
- 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic, minced, optional
- 1/2 Teaspoon Seasonings, optional
- 1/2 Cup Broccoli Flowerets
- 1/2 Cup Cauliflower Flowerets
- 1/2 Cup Carrots, sliced
- 1/2 Cup Yellow Squash, sliced
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to drizzle over the pasta and veggies
- 1/2 Cup Zucchini, sliced
- 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese, more or less, to taste
Start water heating in a large pot for the elbows. Add salt and oil. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, brown the meat in a saucepot over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until no pink remains. Drain any fat off by transferring to a metal colander over a pie plate or bowl. Return the meat to the saucepot. (Often I cook double or triple the amount of meat, drain it and then put the extra into the freezer in recipe-size packages so the next pasta meal is quicker and easier.)
In the saucepot, add the pasta sauce, basil and garlic to the meat. Any other seasonings you might like should be added now, too — possibly oregano, paprika or chili powder. Cover and simmer on low, stirring now and then. Be sure not to let it burn on the bottom.
While the sauce is simmering, prepare the vegetables by cutting them into fork-size pieces. (Alternatively, you could use a frozen veggie mixture — that’s what I did in the pictures for this.) Steam or sauté until tender. Drizzle with a little olive oil and keep warm.
Drain the pasta in a large colander, remove to a serving dish and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Add the cooked vegetables and toss.
Serve with sauce and top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Vegetarian Mamma’s Gluten-Free Fridays
Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
The Gluten-Free Homemaker’s Gluten-Free Wednesdays
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage Full Plate Thursday
Frugal Follies’ Frugal Food Thursday