• 1 pound brown rice pasta
  • 1/3 cups pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken or vegetable stock (as needed)

I’m Italian, so it’s only natural that the first thing I thought of after I found out I had Celiac disease  was pasta. We had it four times a week growing up. Every holiday meal was pasta, even Thanksgiving. (We had the traditional dinner after the pasta dinner!) After my diagnosis, the first thing I tackled was pasta. I was so scared it was going to be awful. I was pleasantly surprised, and now that I’ve learned the tricks of cooking gluten-free pasta, I really enjoy it. I paired it up with my favorite makeover, pesto sauce, to give you Thindulge’s first (of many) guilt-free gluten-free pasta makeovers. Just wait til you see what I have in store for lasagna!

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Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt and add pasta. Stir frequently to avoid clumping according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, in a food processor, grind pine nuts until finely ground. Add all other ingredients except stock. With the processor running, slowly add stock until desired consistency is reached. Check for seasonings.

When pasta is cooked to desired tenderness, drain and rinse with cold water. Toss with desired amount of pesto and serve. (You may not need all the pesto for this recipe. Freeze leftovers for later use.)


Here’s the skinny:

I cut the cheese by half. It’s really not necessary for all that cheese to be in the sauce, plus you won’t feel guilty when you put a little extra on top.

Also, I cut out the oil. This is the main culprit in pesto and the vast majority of savings are found right here.

Lastly, I used a brown rice pasta. Not only is it gluten free, but the nutritional value is bumped up as well and doesn’t have the same weight gaining effects that regular semolina pasta has.