California News: Gluten-free Ravioli at Sunnyvale and Mountain View Costco

January 17th, 2011 yum Posted in Ca, Gluten Free Pasta, Gluten Free Product Review, gluten free ravioli 20 Comments »

I don’t usually find Costco trips to be especially worthy of blog posts. However, I just have to share news of a recent find at the Sunnyvale and Mountain View Costcos in California. Thanks to a tip from another gluten-free blogger and friend, I found out that these Costcos are currently carrying awesome corn and rice-based gluten-free Four cheese ravioli in their refrigerator section. Yes, Costco! Who would have thought. They retail for $10 for a 2 pound, 2 part pack. The portions are generous and one pack easily fed our family of three. Now granted, since my Mother is now living with us, we are actually a family of four, but since she can’t have dairy, it was just the three of us.

The company responsible for these lovely ravioli packs is based in Benecia, California and called Pasta Prima. They have NO INFO about this awesome pasta on their web site, and I couldn’t find any articles about it, but it is labeled gluten-free in big print on the front. According to company representatives, “Pasta Prima Gluten Free Five Cheese Ravioli meets all of the requirements of the Gluten Free Certification Organization.” Yay! On a personal note, our family and my friend’s family tried it and didn’t have any reactions. I love that! This pasta was extremely yummy, and an amazingly good price for gluten-free pasta, so if you live in California you might check your local Costco refrigerator case. It was in the middle of all the other refrigerated ravioli and I almost missed it because I am so used to ignoring that section. Luckily my husband has sharp eyes!

I hope you are able to find it and enjoy it as much as we did. They are very easy to make- all you do is boil them in water for four minutes and add a sauce of choice. 18 month old Baby Yum thought it was the tastiest thing ever. And yes, in this photo, she is eating little squares of it with a fork. How she has grown! My husband said it tasted just like gluten ravioli. Unfortunately, and probably of no surprise to any of you, it does contain dairy and egg. I have yet to find any vegan ravioli that is not homemade, alas. This post was an impulsive last-minute thing, so I apologize for the lack of pretty pictures.

Funny story- My friend posted a picture of their baby enjoying this ravioli on Facebook. I thought it would be fun to take a picture of Baby Yum enjoying it for my personal Facebook page as well. Anyway, when she saw this picture on the computer, Baby Yum said “nom nom nom”, hopped down, climbed up in her booster seat, grabbed her bib and tried to put it on while saying “more, more.” How could I argue with that? The girl got another ravioli.

Other favorite gluten-free finds at my local Costco’s:
4 pound bags of TruRoots gluten-free quinoa
Tasty Bite Madras Lentils
Large packs of my favorite Chaokoh Coconut Milk (sans guar gum)
Lovely large containers of McCormick’s Turmeric, Coriander, and Sesame Seeds

Yes, our Costco has a certain international flair. I’m just excited that they are offering these gluten-free ravioli, and by publicizing them, I hope that they may decide to keep stocking them. You know you want some!

Breaking news: A Pasta Prima designer (bless her) shared in the comments that this pasta is available in ALL Northern California Costco locations. If you live somewhere else, request it from your local Costco and hopefully they will pick up this great product.

Note: 99.9% of the photos I use on my blog are mine. However, the above photo is a professional photo supplied by Pasta Prima. (The shame of not having a photo was too much for me, so I emailed them asking for it!)

PS I apologize that this post may not apply to my food-sensitive readers. As you may have noticed, we have expanded our diets to include dairy and eggs as Baby Yum has become able to tolerate them. It has been a huge relief that she did not develop allergies despite the severe case of allergic colitis that she had as an infant, and makes me feel very happy that I stuck it out and continued breastfeeding her. However, I promise that you will still find vegan and allergen-sensitive recipes on the Book of Yum in the future, so please bear with me!

Breaking News 6/27/2011:
Some Costco’s may not be currently carrying the Gluten-free Pasta Prima ravioli. However, it has been picked up Raley’s , Lucky, and Albertson’s stores in our area, so check to see if any of those stores are carrying it.

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Vegan, Gluten-Free Daring Baker Challenge: Homemade Dairy-free, Egg-free Spinach Egg Pasta Recipe with vegan parmesan recipe and pine nut cheese recipe

March 30th, 2009 yum Posted in Dairy Free, Daring Baker, Egg Free, Gluten Free Pasta, Italian, JM friendly, Pasta, Vegan 11 Comments »

veganlasagnarollsWhen I saw this month’s Daring Baker Challenge was delicious homemade spinach lasagna, I was very excited. I was also inspired. I resolved to make not just a vegetarian and gluten-free version, but a vegan version as well. The great thing about this is that I was able to experiment with a vegan pasta recipe- and to my surprise, I actually ended up liking the vegan pasta more than my version of the gluten-free non-vegan pasta recipe included with the challenge. It was much easier to handle and didn’t require any additional starch, which was a definite plus. Part of it might have been my super-sneaky technique of rolling the dough out inside a gallon-sized ziploc bag- but I could actually pick this pasta up and move it around without it ripping (much). It DID require very strong arm muscles, so be warned that you’ll need to really lean on that rolling pin to roll out your dough. I also found that this recipe, which required that you boil the pasta, was a little more to my taste than the other recipe where you bake the pasta sheets un-cooked. Something about the slippery, silky texture of boiled pasta just goes well with sauce. The lovely thing is that although inspiration for this dish came from all over- all the flavors went together perfectly. It even won over the DH, who proclaimed it his very favorite of the two versions. He doesn’t usually pick vegan over non-vegan recipes, so that is saying a lot- this recipe is a real winner! I hope you’ll try it, because it really is delicious, and worth the time in the kitchen. It is also very easy to adapt for various allergies, so would be nice for serving to allergy-plagued friends or taking to a gluten-free potluck. Enjoy!

*By the way, after a day in the kitchen with the vegetarian version of this recipe, the light was leaving me, as you can no doubt tell from these pictures. If I have time I may add a few beauty shots, just to do justice to this really excellent recipe.

How to make Gluten-Free Vegan Lasagne Rolls:

Visit my OTHER vegetarian version of this Recipe submitted for Daring Baker HERE (with different pasta recipe, sauce recipes etc.)

Gluten-Free Vegan Homemade Spinach Bean Pasta Recipe
1/3 cup and 1 tbsp. garfava flour
1/3 cup and 2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/3 cup and 2 tbsp. tapioca starch
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. salt
Enough fresh spinach to make 1/3 cup pureed blanched spinach*
1/3 cup drain water from blanched spinach
1 tbsp. Ener-g Foods egg replacer
1 tbsp. olive oil

2 large gallon size ziploc bags (generic is ok)

Mix all dry ingredients (garfava, cornstarch, tapioca, xanthan and salt) together in a medium bowl.

Prepare your spinach in a microwave bowl and a little water, microwaving until barely cooked. Then rinse in cold water, drain* and then puree in a food processor. Squeeze blanched spinach and drain water, reserving. (*You want to have 1/3 cup of spinach water, so you may need to keep all of the spinach infused water.) Mix your tbsp. egg replacer with the 1/3 cup green spinach water. Rinse out food processor and then combine dry ingredients with pureed spinach in the food processor bowl. Process. Then pour in the green egg replacer egg and slowly drizzle in olive oil with the machine running. When dough balls up in food processor, take out and place it on a piece of saran wrap.

You can put it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it- or keep it at room temperature. (I refrigerated it for a few hours before rolling it out).

When ready to roll out, separate the dough into thirds. Place one third of dough inside one of the gallon sized ziploc bags and carefully roll it out, using a rolling pin on TOP of the bag, so there is a layer of plastic beneath the dough on the table surface and so there is a layer of plastic between the dough and the rolling pin. When the dough has been rolled into a square thin sheet of dough that fills the bag, carefully cut out the sides of the bag and pull back the top of the bag away from the pasta sheets. Cut them carefully into your desired size, but don’t remove them yet. Place this pasta, bag and all, to the side.

Take another third of dough and put it inside your second ziploc bag, slightly to one side or the other. Roll out the dough just like the first one but keep it more to one side. When you have a nice large sheet of pasta, cut one side of the bag where the pasta has connected with the side. Peel back the top (leaving one side and bottom uncut if possible and cut the pasta into its desired shape without cutting through the bag. Gently peel off each sheet of pasta and place it on top of the first batch of prepared pasta at an angle.

Finally, roll out the final portion of pasta against the edge of the ziploc bag that still remains. When you have a nice sheet of pasta, cut out the remaining side, peel back the plastic, and then peel off each remaining piece of pasta and place on top of the other prepared pasta at an angle to the piece beneath it.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot and add all your pasta. Time it for about three minutes FROM the point you add it to the water. Bring it back to a boil. After your timer goes off, carefully strain the pasta and rinse with cold water.

Use in recipe as desired. Yummy!

Flour blend inspired by Bette Hagman’s Bean flour pasta, Food processor technique and spinach inspired by Bryanna’s Vegan Homemade Pasta, but ultimately my own creation. Rolling out instructions purely my own technique.

*POTATO ALLERGY ALERT- if you are highly sensitive to potato, Ener-G foods Egg replacer does contain potato starch. You can try this recipe with ground flax seed instead or just spinach water. (And let me know how it turns out)

Gluten-free Vegan Bechamel White Sauce Recipe #2
2 & 2/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used soy. For soy-free use rice milk, almond milk, etc.)
2 tbsp. Earth Balance Margarine and 2 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil (For soy-free use 4 tbsp. olive oil and no margarine.)
4 tbsp. sweet rice flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp onion powder (or more)
Freshly grated nutmeg
Heat margarine and olive oil in nonstick pan until melted, and then add flour. Slowly whisk in non-dairy milk and raise temperature but don’t let come to a boil. Let thicken and season to taste. Whisk as needed and use in your recipe.
Daring Bakers Lentil Bolognese Sauce Recipe #3
1 onion, chopped
2 whole garlic cloves
2 carrots, coarsely grated
3 tbsp. olive oil
2/3 cup red lentils
1 14 oz. can tomatoes
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups GF vegetable stock
1 tbsp. fresh marjoram
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Saute onion, garlic, and grated carrot in olive oil in a large dutch oven until it is soft. Add lentils, tomato, tomato paste, stock and seasoning and simmer for 20 minutes until thick and lovely. Taste and season as needed.
Alternative Dairy-Free, Soy-Free Cheese Recipes Parmesan and Pine Nut Ricotta
Dairy-free, Soy-free Parmesan:
1 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup blanched almonds
1/2 tsp. salt

Dairy-free, Soy-free Ricotta:
1/2 cup pine nuts
squirt of lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
water as needed

Combine parmesan ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until you have a smooth, granular topping. Reserve. (Only a small portion would be used for the lasagna recipe etc.- is nice to have on hand though. Great on popcorn!)

Soak pine nuts in water for an hour and then drain. Combine in blender with lemon juice, salt, and enough water to form a paste. Reserve for recipe. Leftovers are great on all kinds of things!

Gluten-free Vegan Spinach Lasagna Lasagne Rolls Recipe
1 recipe Gluten-Free Vegan Homemade Spinach Bean Pasta Recipe
1/2 recipe Gluten-free Vegan Bechamel White Sauce Recipe
1 recipe Daring Bakers Lentil Bolognese Sauce Recipe #3

Partial amounts of Vegan Parmesan and Pine Nut Ricotta
handful Toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Boil vegan pasta, rinse in cold water and drain as directed in recipe.

In a medium size dish, put a thin layer vegan red lentil bolognese sauce on the bottom. Then take a medium-sized rectangle of vegan spinach pasta and create a roll, filling with bolognese sauce, a dash of bechamel, and sprinking of vegan parmesan. Continue to create rolls (as if you were making enchiladas) with the same fillings. When the pan is full of these lasagna rolls, top with a thin layer bechamel sauce, pine nut ricotta, a sprinkling of vegan parmesan along the center of the rolls, and finally, toasted pine nuts.

Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 10-15 more minutes, or until pine nut ricotta starts to brown.


To our surprise, we enjoyed this recipe even more than the non-vegan version. Even DH said it was the yummiest- and he’s a tough sell. I’ll totally make this again.
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