Sunday, September 26, 2010

Italian Sausage and Tomatoes over Noodles

Cooking with Eliot is such a joy.
“Can you cut up these tomatoes?”
“Sure. Dice them?”

I continue working on cutting about a 1/3 cup of peas from their pods. I turn around. He’s done. The tomatoes are beautiful. And I’m insanely jealous.
We were having a gluten and lactose free dinner after a busy week. We subconsciously switch who is going to plan the meal and this time it was my turn. I decided earlier in the week to just “be inspired” by whatever I saw at the Famer’s Market on Thursday in front of Daley Plaza. It was a risky move since my supply of fresh protein has been eaten and I would need to supplement whatever I bought with something from the grocery store that night…without stopping home and searching my cookbooks for the perfect recipe.
I met my cousin Rachel at the market and we went shopping! We bought rosemary plants (my rosemary never grew past ½” tall, despite being planted twice) and basil and I was still stumped over my upcoming dinner. We wandered over to the Amish vendors and Rachel started looking at their cheeses. Normally, when my shopping partner looks at breads and cheeses, I take a step back so I’m not in the way of any potential customers. This time, I looked at their selection. They had goat cheese. I bought two squares. Yay! We continued our shopping and I bought small yellow and red tomatoes, some peas, and a small bouquet flowers to decorate my table. Rachel and I talked through the menu and decided that adding Italian sausage (cooked without the casing) would be delicious – and we were right!

For this meal, it involves cooking the sausage and once the meat is done, tossing with whole small tomatoes, diced tomatoes, a few peas, and chopped fresh basil and cooked noodles over a low heat for about two minutes. We had freshly shredded goat cheese on the table to top the dish off with some needed calcium. The noodles we used were Hodgson Mill's Brown Rice Pasta - Elbow - with Golden Milled Flax Seed. They were very tasty and I recommend trying them! I also made bread that was rather meh. I added fresh rosemary to some of the bread and sprinkled some dried basil over the others to help continue the Italian flair of the meal. Eliot and I ended our meal with warm chocolate chip cookies.
And now for the warning that comes with this dish to my gluten-free friends: BUY GLUTEN FREE MEAT. Seriously. I got sick from the sausage (I ate it again the next day…just to make sure. Yup. Felt like vomiting, had too many “bathroom” issues, my energy level dropped, I was having a wave of anxiety, the next time I put food in my mouth I nearly vomit, and generally felt horrible.) I thought I could save money with grocery-store brand cheap sausage that was incidentally gluten-free based on the declared ingredients, but I was wrong. There’s a lot of meat that now comes with the gluten-free label. I’m going to switch over to organic meats when I want things like sausage that may not be labeled gluten-free (but have 6 or 8 ingredients) and see if that helps. The good news is that my reactions were rather mild and only lasted a day instead of the traditional two or three day recovery, so not all is lost. This is rather disappointing – especially since our meal was so delicious and had a really flavorful profile – both in taste and texture!

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