Every so often someone goes out of their way to show their love through food. Uncle Bobby prepared this gluten-free pasta salad for a family get-together and asked a ton of questions beforehand to check exactly what I could and couldn’t eat. Anything made with that much care and attention couldn’t be anything but absolutely delicious. He kindly allowed me to share the recipe so others can enjoy it too. Seriously though, this is the best pasta salad I’ve ever had!
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Time needed: 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Step-by-step instructions on how to make gluten-free pasta salad.
- Prepare the ingredients for the dressing
Gather together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, finely diced onion, and garlic.
- Chiffonade the basil
To chiffonade the basil, first stack about 10 basil leaves on top of each other.
- Roll the leaves
Tightly roll the basil leaves together.
Slice the roll of leaves as thinly as possible.
- Make dressing
Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, onion, garlic, parsley, and basil to make the dressing. You can also add all the ingredients to a jar and shake to combine. It will be golden yellow in color.
- Cook the pasta
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. This is usually along the lines of bring 1 liter of water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until al dente 9-11 minutes. It will vary depending on the brand and type of pasta you use. When it’s cooked, strain and place in ice water for 3 minutes, then strain again.
- Combine and chill
Toss together the cold pasta, cubed cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, and the dressing. Chill in the refrigerator. Serve and enjoy!
Notes on Ingredients
You can use any gluten-free pasta to make this salad. The pasta pictured is red lentil pasta from Barilla. Be wary that gluten-free does not always mean low-carb. If you’re trying to keep your carbs to a minimum, look for lentil or chickpea pasta instead of pasta made from rice.
Use the best quality tomatoes that you can find. Tomatoes that are conventionally grown just don’t taste as good and they have a lower nutritional value. They’re pretty easy to grow yourself or another option is to get them from a farmers’ market. The tomatoes pictured are from Kernan’s farm in New Jersey. They sell at the GrowNYC Greenmarkets and their produce tastes 100% better than anything I get at the supermarket.
Just like with tomatoes, the quality of oil will make a huge difference to the final product. The oil carries the flavor of the dressing, so if it’s off the whole thing will be off. Make sure to use extra virgin olive oil not light olive oil. Extra virgin is from the first press of the olives and does not use any heat in the extraction so all the nutrients and flavor are preserved,
Uncle Bobby’s recipe calls for Vidalia onion which is a flat, sweet onion. If you can’t find that exact variety, then white onion makes a good substitute.
Gluten and PCOS
At the time of writing, there is no evidence-based research that definitively links gluten and PCOS. So why avoid gluten? Many people with gluten sensitivity may not realize they have it until they eliminate it from their diet and then reintroduce it. Often, people realize that gluten causes chronic fatigue and bloating for them when they reintroduce it to their diet.
Women with PCOS generally have higher inflammation markers than those without. It has been suggested that daily consumption of wheat products can contribute to chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Therefore, reducing or eliminating gluten from your diet could potentially improve your PCOS symptoms. It’s not a guarantee. but if it’s something that can help, I’m happy to try it!
*You should consult a registered dietician before making drastic changes to your diet.
More Gluten-Free Recipes
You might also be interested in:
- Low-GI Boiled Baby Potatoes
- Buckwheat and Oat Flour Bread
- Vegan Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Lemon Almond Muffins
If you make this recipe, please let me know in the comments below! I love hearing what people think and what changes or additions you make. Please share this recipe with your friends and family, it would make Uncle Bobby very happy!
Uncle Bobby’s Gluten Free Pasta Salad
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp Vidalia onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic finely diced
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried
- 20 basil leaves rolled and sliced (chiffonade)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¾ cup cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 small cucumber peeled and cubed
- 1 box chickpea or red lentil pasta
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.
- Drain the pasta and immediately cover with ice water for 3 minutes. Drain the ice water.
- In a dry serving bowl, add the cold pasta, tomatoes, cucumber, and dressing. Toss together until the pasta is evenly coated. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Cover the pasta and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- Serve and enjoy.