Gluten Free Pasta Carbonara

My family isn’t gluten free, but most of our friends are. For the love of our friends and love of hospitality, I’ve been collecting meal ideas to serve a large crowd that please both gluten and non-gluten eaters. Being Chinese, making gluten free meals is fairly simple when cooking Asian, but Italian can be trickier. 

This version of pasta carbonara does the best job of pleasing one and all. Of course, regular pasta works just as well…but I just had to record what I did for the gluten free version because there was no compromise on taste!

  • 2 16 oz. packages of brown rice penne pasta from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 lb. bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 2 cups shredded parmesan
  • 3 cups thawed/warmed frozen peas

Cook the pasta to al dente according to package instructions. 

Cook bacon in a heavy bottom pan or cast iron skillet until bacon is crisp. Drain and set aside with about 1 tbs. bacon grease left in pan. Add diced onion and minced garlic to the bacon grease, and sauté until onions translucent and carmelized. Set aside.

Meanwhile, beat eggs in a large bowl. Add whipping cream, and beat together. 

When pasta is done, drain and place in large serving/mixing bowl. Drizzle the egg/cream mixture to hot pasta immediately, and mix well until fully incorporated. Add sautéed onion mixture and cooked bacon to pasta mixture. Incorporate peas and shredded parmesan, salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. 

Add ins: Red pepper flakes, marinated grilled chicken, grilled eggplant or portbello mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, marinated artichokes…!

Nice enough for company, easy enough for a weekday supper with family. Enjoy!


That One-Pot Pasta Dinner That Really Works

I have a recipe for you to make tonight. Or this weekend. Or whenever you need a delicious meal in under 30 minutes and just one pot to clean up. I first saw this recipe in a recent Martha Stewart Living magazine. It caught my attention with it’s vibrant colors and delicious ingredients. But, ultimately, it was the no boil-ahead noodles part of this recipe that intrigued me. One pot meals are pure genius.

That One Pot Pasta Dinner That Really Works |

I tweaked Martha’s one-pan pasta recipe and added artichokes, lemon slices, and increased the portion to suit my family. I also used canned tomatoes with juice rather than fresh tomatoes. Once all my tomatoes and basil come in in the potager, I will definitely make this with fresh picked ingredients!

That One Pot Pasta Dinner That Really Works


  • 24 oz. pasta
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 12 oz. frozen artichoke hearts
  • 2 slices lemon with rind
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • good helping of salt and pepper


  1. Place all ingredients in a large saucepan or dutch oven. Boil mixture on high, stirring and turning pasta regularly with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has mostly evaporated, about 15 minutes. (Once cooled, the pasta will soak up more liquid, so consider don’t worry if there’s still liquid in the pot after noodles are cooked.)
  2. The starch in the noodles combined with the rest of the ingredients, make a delicious creamy sauce. Remove lemon slices if you’d like.
  3. Serve up with some parmesan, and enjoy!

one pot2

One Pot Artichoke Pasta |

one pot3

There are so many variations you could create with this recipe. Just make sure your total amount of liquid is comparable to boil the noodles, but play around with the rest of the ingredients. We really enjoyed the artichokes and the brightness of the lemon…what will you add?

Have a great weekend!!

Baked Green Chile Mac and Cheese

Baked Mac and Cheese

Many think of homemade mac and cheese as comfort food. I admit that I am not one of them. Spicy, nood-ly, soupy, fishy are some of the words that I’d use to describe foods I’d consider comforting. So when the boys were inspired to make baked mac and cheese with me, I decided to make one batch with leftover ham and freshly roasted green chile. I was converted. Green chile makes anything comfort food. I know most of you do not live in states where the aroma of roasted green chile lingers in the air this time of year. Check the frozen aisles of your grocery store for Bueno Roasted Hatch Green Chile, and if all else fails, buy the stuff in the can buy a plane ticket and come visit for the Balloon Fiesta coming next week!

Baked Green Chile Mac and Cheese

Baked Green Chile Mac and CheeseAdapted from recipe by Alton Brown

  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni (I used penne)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon powdered mustard
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted green chile (drained, if canned or frozen)
  • 1 cup chopped ham (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt Fresh black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.


Temper in the egg by adding some of the sauce mixture to the egg, the returning egg and sauce mixture back to pot. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Stir in green chile and ham. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.


Melt the butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat. Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

Baked Mac and Cheese

I’ve not tried this yet, but Alton Brown suggests frying leftover Macaroni and Cheese!