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

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

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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.

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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!

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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.