An Evening With Catelli and Chef Lynn Crawford

cheff lynn catelli

Recently I had the delight to spend an evening in the SAIT culinary kitchen with Chef Lynn Crawford and learn about a new Catelli pasta.
I have to tell you right off the start that I love Chef Lynn!
She is a talented chef and had us all in stitches most of the night, plus I learned some new cooking techniques.
I felt honoured being at SAIT with Chef Lynn and many great Calgary food bloggers but also knew I had to convince some to let me attend and will be sharing that story later.

cheff lynn catelli
cheff lynn catelli

The first part of the evening was chatting with fellow bloggers and meeting Chef Lynn.
Next it was pure joy watching Chef Lynn chop and chat. Many stories were shared and I found I am an even bigger fan now.
Chef Lynn shared with us a recipe using the Catelli pasta and demonstrated how to make it from start to finish. She also asked for a volunteer and Joanna from A Pretty Life was now working with Chef Lynn.

cheff lynn catelli
cheff lynn catelli

Going to a cooking event is always fun for me and I find I always learn something new.
I encourage you to try cooking classes in your area for you too will learn and feel more comfortable in the kitchen.
One of the lessons I learned was how to cut a snow pea. First you break off an end and peel off the thick membrane then slice them into very thin strips.

cheff lynn catelli
cheff lynn catelli
cheff lynn catelli

I will use this cutting technique now whenever I add snow peas into a salad or stir fry.
After Chef Lynn made two hot pasta recipes and the cold noodle salad recipe we all put on Chef hats and aprons and proceeded into the SAIT kitchen to make the noodle salad ourselves.

The evening was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I thank Catelli pasta for allowing me to attend the event.

The Lesson I Learned

You may have noticed in the photo of the Catelli pasta that it is not gluten free. Maybe you did not notice, but it is a new wheat flour using wheat plus many whole grains such as teff, quinoa and amaranth.
I am hoping you are wondering why I am sharing a pasta that is not gluten free.
Actually, this is about the lesson I learned why it was important for me to be at this event.
I was contacted awhile ago asking for names of Calgary bloggers who I would think would like to attend the Catelli pasta event. I eagerly passed on names, pressed send on the email and then sat in silence for a bit.
Why wasn’t I going to this event. I love to cook and I love Chef Lynn.
When I asked that question I got a surprising answer.
Why would a gluten free blogger get invited to an event about a wheat pasta?
Again I sat in silence and thought about my answer before I replied.
This is what I said:
Why would I not be invited? Yes, I am gluten free and have a blog dedicated to gluten free recipes but I am also a Mom. I have two adult children who are gluten and dairy free but I have a husband and a younger son who are not.
I still have regular bread and cereal in the house for them. I still have peanut butter in the cupboard and mayo in the fridge for us all to use.
My family knows how to prepare “gluten-filled” foods in the kitchen and keep me safe from cross contamination. I wouldn’t even think of denying my hubby his english muffins for toast in the morning.
Aren’t many families like mine?
Aren’t we all juggling different allergies, medical needs, personal food choices on a daily basis and still providing meals for everyone?
I asked them “just because I cannot eat the food that night doesn’t mean I cannot participate in the event?”
I, like many moms out there are making meals for their families and their families can have different wants and needs at times.
Your child has decided to be vegan now but your husband still wants his steak. Are you not making a steak for your husband while also making a ton of veggie dishes for your child?
The response I received from my email was one of appreciation and understanding.
I was told I could definitely attend the event and I am very glad I did. I encourage you all to attend events. Yes, it is hard being gluten free and most of the time there is no safe food for us to eat but you can still attend.
Do not miss out on something you would might enjoy.
It is really no big deal for me to eat before I leave home and also bring a granola bar in my purse in case I am hungry.
Do not let being gluten free stop you from possibly meeting someone like Chef Lynn.
– Carrie

Gluten-Free Muffletta Pasta Salad

gluten free muffuletta pasta salad recipe
gluten free muffuletta pasta salad recipe

This past week I was sent a box of goodies that included gluten free Catelli pasta, a bottle of olive oil and a gift card to purchase extra ingredients.

catelli gluten free pasta

catelli gluten free pasta

I was not only happy to receive the box but the challenge to come up with a new pasta recipe to share with you. I knew I wanted to come up with a cold pasta salad recipe and also a quick and easy hot pasta meal recipe so I started playing in the kitchen with ingredients.

New recipe ideas come to me in a variety of ways and this cold pasta dish came when I was upgrading my MacBook Pro and downloading all my 15,000 photos on it. It takes a long time to upload that many photos so while I was sitting in the Apple Store waiting for this to happen I caught an old photo that I had taken 20 years ago in New Orleans.

When I thought about New Orleans I remember my husband and I stopping at a local vendor and ordering a Muffletta sandwich. This was pre-celiac days, and hubby and I had never had such a combination of flavours in a sandwich. Truly I had never had olives before either so it was quite an adventure for my palette.

With this thought in my head I decided to come up with my version of a Muffletta sandwich but this one would be a cold pasta salad version.

What is a Muffletta sandwich?

It is a sandwiched layered with a marinated olive salad, provolone and mozzarella cheese, salami, mortadella and ham. It is very good!

In my recipe instead of an olive salad I made a thick olive dressing and added shredded carrots, ham, salami, fresh mozzarella and chopped artichokes hearts to the cold pasta.

This salad would be great for a summer barbecue or put in small jars and taken along on a picnic.

Try it and let me know what you think?

Thank you to Catelli for sending me the box of gluten free goodies too!

Gluten Free Muffletta Pasta Salad


  • 1 Catelli gluten free penne (cook pasta according to instructions on box)
  • Dressing
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • 2 tbsp pitted black olives
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp peperoncini peppers
  • 1/2 tbsp capers (optional)
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup deli ham, chopped
  • 1/2 cup salami, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, cut up into small pieces
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped


  • Cook pasta according to directions on box, drain and place pasta on an oil lined cookie sheet to cool.
  • In a food processor add all dressing ingredients and process until everything is minced.
  • In a large bowl add the cooled pasta and the dressing.
  • Toss well.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients (carrots to artichoke hearts) and toss well.
  • Chill the pasta in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
gluten free muffuletta pasta salad recipe

gluten free muffuletta pasta salad recipe


Looking for Delicious Salad Recipes?

In my Gluten Free Salads Cookbook you can find 27 other delicious recipes your friends and family will love, including: Cucumber Herb Salad, Roasted Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad, Sesame Noodle Salad and many more. Purchase yours today.

Gluten-Free Cheesy Tomato Soup Bake

gluten free cheesy tomato bake recipe

In my last post I shared a sweet and creamy baked dessert using leftover gluten free pasta.
While I was in the kitchen working on a new pasta recipe for the Catelli Gluten Free Pastabilities Challenge I also came up with a savory baked pasta dish.
Even though I was allowed only one recipe for the contest there was no reason I couldn’t share the other new recipe I came up with you all.
This recipe is almost too simple. Think of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup.
What if you could have that in one dish? That is what I tried to do in this baked pasta.
Feel free to add to this dish too.
How about chopped spinach or chopped up peppers? What about adding in a layer of pepperoni or ham slices?
The add-ins are only limited to what you want to do with this dish.
I hope you give this Gluten Free Cheesy Tomato Soup Bake a try and let me know what you think.
Should I do more pasta recipes?

Gluten-Free Cheesy Tomato Soup Bake


  • Campbells Tomato Basil Bisque Gluten Free Soup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 cups cooked and cooled Catelli gluten free macaroni
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 – 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Spread 2 1/2 cups cooled pasta on bottom of a 8×8 square baking dish.
  • Drop small pieces of the cream cheese over the pasta.
  • Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over top.
  • Top with the rest of the cooled pasta and spread it out evenly.
  • In a food processor blend the 2 eggs with the gluten free tomato soup.
  • Pour mixture over the pasta.
  • Top this with the shredded cheddar cheese and bake in oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove and let cool for a few minutes before cutting.
  • Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
gluten free cheesy tomato bake recipe

Much Better Gluten-Free Hamburger Helper (+Contest!)

gluten-free-hamburger-helper281.jpg (630×630)

A few weeks ago I was in Toronto for the launch of Catelli’s new gluten free pasta shape-macaroni!
I was thrilled to be invited and also excited to hang with Chef John Higgins of the George Brown Cooking School.

gluten-free-hamburger-helper282.jpg (630×473)

I try to enroll in cooking classes when I travel and knew this experience of cooking with a well known and talented chef, especially about gluten free pasta would be terrific.
Of course I was also nervous as I have no formal cooking school experience and was worried about how I would fit in.
How did I do?
I think I did great and had a wonderful time conversing back and forth with Chef Higgins about eating real food, home cooking, travel, lost airline bags and more. Yes, I did chat with the chef a lot!

gluten-free-hamburger-helper283.jpg (630×645)
gluten-free-hamburger-helper780.jpg (630×639)0234a.jpg (630×420)0264b.jpg (630×420)

I asked Chef Higgins about cooling and storing cooked pasta in the fridge and how to not make it stick, get mushy, or just plain get hard as most gluten free pastas do.
Please read the recipe for the fantastic technique the Chef taught us and I am sharing with you all today.
It really does work and will change how you drain your gluten free pasta from now on.

I am also running another contest today. Catelli is offering one of my followers a year supply of gluten free pasta.

Isn’t that exciting?
Here’s How to Enter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you answered the question yet?
Want to know how I would answer?
I would like gluten free lasagna noodles.
I ran a contest for Catelli last year and shared 2 gluten free pasta recipes.

Much Better Gluten-Free Hamburger Helper


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups ground hamburger
  • 2 cups ground pork
  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup red and yellow peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp each dried oregano, thyme and basil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1-2 tbsp sriracha (depends on your spice preference)
  • 1 cup Imagine gluten free tomato soup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pkg Catelli gluten free macaroni


  • In a large frying pan saute the shallots, celery, carrots and peppers in olive oil.
  • Add the dried herbs and stir.
  • Increase the heat to medium/high and add the ground beef and pork.
  • Stir to break meat into small pieces and cook meat thoroughly but not browning.
  • Add the sriracha and stir.
  • Turn pan to low heat and let cook for 15-20 minutes.
  • Cook catelli pasta according to package directions.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, drain with a colander.
  • This is the special trick Chef Higgins taught us all!
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • Once pasta is drained, spread it out onto the parchment.
  • Pour a bit of olive oil on the pasta and stir the pasta to cool it and this prevents it from sticking.
  • Leave the pasta on the cookie sheet and let cool on counter before storing leftovers in the refrigerator.


  • Chef Higgins suggests cooking the macaroni for 3 1/2 minutes.
  • Make sure you use a large pot, full of rapid boiling water and salt the water a lot.
  • When you first put in the pasta stir for a few minutes non-stop. This prevents the pasta from sticking.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
gluten free hamburger helper recipe

To serve Much Better Hamburger Helper I fill each bowl with pasta then top with the hot hamburger mixture. Give it a stir and you’ve got a “much better” hamburger helper for your family.

Save $1 off coupon for Catelli® Gluten Free pasta by clicking here.


Gluten-Free 3 Mushroom Pasta

gluten free catelli three mushroom pasta recipe

Here is another recipe using Catelli’s new line of gluten free pastas.
I’m hoping you’ve had a chance to try my last recipe for Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Baked Penne plus have entered for a chance to win a year supply of gluten free pasta from Catelli.
This recipe uses three different mushrooms and a homemade Alfredo sauce.
Even though this recipe is vegetarian you could easily add grilled chicken to the pasta dish.
Before I share this recipe with you, I need to say thank you to a few people.
First I am honored and grateful that Catelli is sponsoring this contest for my readers.
I have to say thank you to Gail Bergman PR for contacting me regarding Catelli’s new line of gluten free pastas and then sending a professional photographer to my home.
I had a great time at the photo shoot and am thankful for the opportunity.


Thank you to Perry of Perry Thompson Photography for putting me at ease and taking fantastic photos in my home.

gluten free catelli three mushroom pasta recipe
gluten free catelli three mushroom pasta recipe
gluten free catelli three mushroom pasta recipe
gluten free catelli three mushroom pasta recipe
gluten free catelli three mushroom pasta recipe

Gluten-Free 3 Mushroom Pasta


  • 200 g (small container) crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 200 g (small container) white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 200 g (small container) baby portabello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1 box Catelli gluten fee spaghetti
  • 1/8 cup arrowroot starch
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese for sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese as a topping


  • In large frying pan on medium heat add olive oil and butter.
  • Add sliced mushrooms, chopped onions, thyme and garlic and saute until soft and lightly brown.
  • Sprinkle with salt.
  • Turn down to a simmer.
  • In a small saucepan melt the 1/4 cup butter.
  • On low heat add the arrowroot starch and whisk.
  • Add the milk slowly whisking until sauce is smooth.
  • Increase heat to low-medium and whisk until sauce thickens.
  • Turn to low and add shredded parmesan cheese.
  • Stir.
  • Pour white sauce over sautéed mushrooms and stir.
  • Keep sauce on low heat until you are ready to serve.
  • In a large stockpot make the pasta according to package directions.
  • Drain.
  • To serve place cooked pasta in individual bowls and top with the hot mushroom sauce.
  • Sprinkle shredded parmesan on each dish.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
gluten free catelli three mushroom pasta recipe

Enter to Win

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Gluten-Free Butternut Squash Spinach Baked Penne (Plus Win a Year Supply of Pasta!)

gluten free butternut squash spinach catelli pasta recipe

Gluten free pasta.
Do you make pasta for your family during the week? More than once a week? Are you happy with your gluten free pasta?
Catelli now offers gluten free spaghetti, penne and fusilli made with a combination of white rice, brown rice, corn and quinoa.
I was contacted recently by Catelli to try a box of their gluten free pasta and they also offered a prize of a year supply of Catelli gluten free pasta to one of my readers.
Yes, you read that right.
A year supply of gluten free pasta is my latest contest prize!

Enter to win at the bottom of this page!

I am so excited to offer this prize to my readers. Are you as excited as I am!?
Catelli then contacted me and offered to do a professional photo shoot at my house!
Again – excited! I was asked to make a gluten free pasta dish using Catelli pasta and then share the recipe with my readers. Instead of one recipe I worked on 2 recipes and will be sharing the other recipe with you in the next few days!
The first recipe is a gluten-free roasted butternut squash spinach baked penne and then I will be sharing a gluten-free 3 mushroom Alfredo spaghetti dish.
All the recipes are easy to make, gluten-free and vegetarian.

gluten free butternut squash recipe
gluten free catelli pasta
gluten free butternut squash spinach catelli pasta recipe
gluten free butternut squash spinach catelli pasta recipe

Butternut Squash Spinach Baked Penne


  • 1/2 butternut squash roasted *
  • 1/2 frozen spinach (unthawed)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 box Catelli gluten free penne pasta


  • * Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Cut butternut squash in half and place squash cut side up on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and scoop out the seeds.
  • Scoop the roasted squash into a small bowl.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a small saucepan melt the butter.
  • Add onions and sauté on low until onions are soft.
  • Add the arrowroot starch and stir to combine.
  • Slowly add the milk and whisk to combine.
  • Increase heat to low-medium and cook until sauce thickens.
  • Once thickened, add shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Remove from heat.
  • In a stockpot cook gluten free pasta according to package directions.
  • Drain.
  • In a large bowl add the thawed spinach, roasted butternut squash, pasta and cheese sauce.
  • Stir.
  • Pour mixture into a baking dish.
  • Sprinkle the shredded parmesan over the top of the pasta dish.
  • Bake pasta in oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove and enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
gluten free butternut squash spinach catelli pasta recipe

Enter to Win

a Rafflecopter giveaway