Contrary to popular belief, going gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your favorite foods – including pasta and pizza! Most grocery stores carry a selection of gluten-free products, and the internet is full of easy recipes you can make from scratch, allowing you to keep tabs on everything that goes into your body. We’ve curated a list of the best gluten-free Italian recipes below, including homemade gluten-free pasta recipes that are easy to make and taste oh-so-delicious!
What Does ‘Gluten-Free’ Mean?
When someone has celiac disease, eating gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye) causes an immune response in their small intestines. This immune reaction causes damage to the lining of the small intestines over time, causing diarrhea, bloating, weight loss, fatigue, and anemia. Untreated celiac disease can also prevent the small intestine from absorbing nutrients, which can interfere with growth and development in children. There is currently no cure for celiac disease, but following a diet free from all gluten products can help alleviate symptoms and promote healing of the small intestines.
It is estimated that 1 in 100 people have celiac disease (source), but many go undiagnosed since the symptoms can be so varied and the damage to the small intestines can happen slowly over a long period of time. It can sometimes take years to get a proper diagnosis, with many people never finding out they have celiac disease. It is also possible to be gluten intolerant without having celiac disease. While the 2 conditions produce similar symptoms, they are different in that a gluten intolerance/sensitivity doesn’t cause an immune response and doesn’t damage the small intestines.
12 Foods to Avoid on a Gluten-Free Diet
Whether you have been diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, you should avoid the following foods to reduce your symptoms, allow your small intestines to heal, improve your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, and for other long-term benefits like improving your fertility and lowering your risk for more serious conditions like coronary artery disease, certain cancers, and other autoimmune disorders.
- All foods containing gluten including wheat, barley, rye, triticale, spelt, farro, farina, kamut, khorasan wheat, semolina, durum, wheat berries, and couscous. While oats are naturally gluten-free, make sure to check the labels to ensure there is no risk that gluten is added during processing
- Breads, crackers, wraps, cereals, pastas, and baked goods, unless the label specifically states the product is gluten-free and no gluten products are listed in the ingredients
- Snack foods like granola, cereal, and energy bars, chips and pretzels, candy bars and snack mixes often contain gluten
- Processed foods like deli meats and processed cheese, veggie burgers, canned soups and soup mixes, and fried foods (including some French fries)
- Processed and flavoured diary products like flavored yogurts, cheese spreads, cheese sauces, and certain ice creams
- Canned, frozen, dried, and pre-chopped fruits and vegetables
- Soups and frozen meals
- Condiments like soy sauce, barbecue sauce, ketchup, marinades, spices, and certain salad dressings typically have gluten added to them
- Cooking sprays and flavored oils
- Flavored beverages like chocolate milk and drink mixes
- Other pre-packaged foods like pudding and dessert mixes (cakes, cupcakes, etc.)
- Some medications, vitamins, and supplements
How to Make Gluten-Free Pasta: 8 Recipes
While it may initially seem like you have to give up everything you enjoy on a gluten-free diet, rest assured that there are lots of foods you can still eat. Most grocery stores carry gluten-free options of your favorite foods, and there are tons of delicious recipes you can make from scratch. Since this post is focused on gluten-free Italian recipes, we’ve curated our favorite easy-to-make gluten-free pasta recipes below!
Two-Ingredient Gluten-Free Pasta | Good For You Gluten Free
Best-Ever Gluten-Free Pasta | Delish
Homemade Gluten-Free Egg Noodles | The Frugal Farm Wife
The Best Grain-Free Pasta Dough Recipe | Healths Starts In The Kitchen
Gluten-Free and Vegan Chickpea and Flaxseed Homemade Pasta | Wholefully
How to Make Gluten-Free Tortellini | Pasta Evangelists
How to Make Gluten-Free Ravioli | Simply Quinoa
How to Make Gluten-Free Gnocchi | This Mama Loves
19 Gluten-Free Italian Recipes
These gluten-free Italian recipes will allow you to enjoy traditional Italian food with a twist!
World’s Best Gluten-Free Lasagna | Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Gluten-Free Calzone | Becky Excell
Kid-Friendly Gluten-Free Baked Ziti Casserole | Fearless Dining
3-Ingredient Sweet Potato Gnocchi | Food with Feeling
Italian Rice Ball Skillet | Iowa Girl Eats
Gluten-Free Meatballs | Mama Knows Gluten Free
Italian White Bean Soup | The Bettered Blondie
Simple Vegetable Polenta | Earth of Maria
Low Carb Eggplant Pizza | Eating Bird Food
Dairy-Free Spaghetti Carbonara | The Free From Foodie
Dairy-Free Zuppa Toscana | MamaShire
Low Carb Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups | Evolving Table
Creamy Vegan Mushroom Risotto | Two Spoons
Gluten-Free Thin Crust Pizza | Only Gluten-Free Recipes
Olive and Rosemary Focaccia Bread | It’s Not Complicated
Gluten Free Panettone Bread | Fearless Dining
Coconut Yogurt Panna Cotta | Irena Macri
Gluten-Free Cannoli | Gluten Free on a Shoestring
Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Tiramisu | Spry Living
Whether you have a gluten sensitivity or full-blown celiac disease, I hope you enjoy this collection of gluten-free recipes!
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