When I was a newlywed and living in New York City, one of my favorite things to do was go to a gourmet Italian market for fresh ravioli, manicotti or stuffed shells and sauce. This was long before Eataly and Agata & Valentina, so the stores were small, neighborhood based and literally, grandma would be there making the food.
Those dinners were the best. The pasta and sauce were fresh and the preparation was simple since all of the work except for staging and heating was done for you. The only other dinner preparation was to throw a crusty loaf in the oven, prep a salad and open a bottle of wine. When everything was heated up, we would enjoy the meal and some conversation. When babies came along, this was an even better meal choice since dinner time always seemed to be the bewitching hour with little ones.
But then came a diagnosis of celiac disease and that meant the end of ravioli, manicotti and stuffed shells. Back in the dark ages, these things did not exist in a gluten-free form! I could still purchase lobster ravioli for my husband, but I would be stuck with rice pasta and extra dirty pots.
The times they are a changing! Last week, I picked up a package of Pastosa Gluten Free Stuffed Shells and a package of regular Pastosa Stuffed Shells and some wonderful sauce at DeCicco’s Marketplace for dinner. This was a variety that I had not tried before and they were very good.
I can find Conte’s Pasta in one store and DePuma’s pasta in another…this is such a wonderful addition to our weekly meals. I never thought I would have choices and variety like this when I was newly diagnosed.
Here is the funny thing, my celiac did not grow up with this variety of pasta and he doesn’t like it! He just prefers the noodles with sauce so when I make ravioli or shells, he gets a bowl of cereal for dinner and I get leftovers for lunch the next day! We are both ok with that arrangement.