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Pasta with Fresh Sorrel and Feta

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Spring…the season for fresh herbs in the garden and at the Farmers Market. Pasta with Fresh Sorrel and Feta is a dish I make every spring.

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Sorrel, An Uncommon Herb

Sorrel is a tart, lemony herb that I fell in love with the first time I tried it. In those days you couldn’t find it anywhere so I planted it. Sorrel grows well in my Canadian garden and comes back every year without fail. Buy and plant some sorrel seeds if you have a garden.

I have a few recipes that I look forward to making and one of them is this Pasta with Fresh Sorrel and Feta. It has a soupy sauce of chicken stock and white wine. The tart taste of sorrel is the perfect contrast to the creamy feta cheese. Welcome spring!

How to Cook Gluten Free Pasta

Gluten free pastas are made from brown rice, corn, wild rice, quinoa,  beans, vegetable purees and more. (To me white rice noodles are in the Asian category so don’t apply here.) Despite the many types of pasta available people are often frustrated with how it turns out. Pasta, once a quick and easy dinner, presents new challenges with these gluten free options.

With wheat pasta you can throw it in boiling water, cook it ‘according to package directions’ (usually ten or twelve minutes) and it works. You can cook it an extra minute, or even leave it in the pot for an extra five or ten minutes while you serve salad. This is what I mean when I say wheat pasta is very forgiving. It is easy to cook perfectly every time.

After some trial and error I had success when I tried to determine exactly how long to cook my brown rice pasta. Precision was the key to my success. If cooked a minute too long the noodles break and go mushy. Even when cooked perfectly if you spend five minutes getting the rest of dinner on the table, that waiting time may result in broken noodles when you try to dish them up.

Tips for Cooking Gluten Free Pasta

  • -Have the pasta sauce hot and ready to go
  • -Have a pasta strainer ready in the sink
  • -Set your timer for the shortest cooking time suggested on the package
  • -Use a kitchen timer and taste a noodle every 30 seconds until you like the texture (my kitchen timer doesn’t display seconds either)
  • -Drain the pasta and rinse briefly with cool water. This stops the cooking process but will also cool the pasta. Timing is key.
  • -Quickly toss pasta and sauce
  • -Serve immediately

I once read this advice for serving a soufflé. “A soufflé does not wait for the guests, the guests must wait for the soufflé.” When it comes to gluten free pasta I think the guests have to wait for this Pasta with Fresh Sorrel and Feta. I hope you enjoy it.

Let me know in the comments below what kind of noodles you have success with and if you were able to find sorrel.

Looking for a few more favourite pasta dishes? These are two of mine.

Ingredients

8 oz brown rice pasta
SAUCE
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large shallot, finely chopped (or 1/4 onion)
1 large or 2 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 4 then sliced
24 green beans, cut in half
2 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup white wine
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup frozen corn
3 Tbsp butter
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled or chopped
3/4 cup sorrel, julienned
salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions

1
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium high heat.
2
Saute garlic and shallot for one minute.
3
Add zucchini and green beans and saute for 5 minutes.
4
Add stock and wine and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.
5
Add tomato, corn and butter. Stir until butter is melted, 3-5 minutes.
6
Prepare feta, sorrel and parmesan cheese. Set aside.
7
Cook pasta according to package directions but checking frequently toward the end of the cooking time. Drain and rinse pasta.
8
Put pasta back in the pot it came out of. Add feta, vegetables with sauce and sorrel. Toss.
9
Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

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