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Mar 5, 2008 09:33 AM

Italian that does not involve wheat

I have a wheat allergy (not celiac), I can get away with making Italian at home by using rice pasta or making spelt versions of bread. I am having a hard time finding good Italian recipies that don't have pasta, bread or breadcrumbs in the recipe. I know there has to be some good options that don't have wheat but I am at a loss? Ideas?

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  1. Do you have any Italian cookbooks? Loads of Marcella Hazan wonderful fish and meat recipes that don't call for wheat products. Also, something that I like to do to reduce my "bad" carb intake is to put my favorite sauce on chicken cutlets. Sometimes I make a pastaless lasagna, using long strips of grilled vegetables in place of pasta.

    1. Rather than looking at pasta recipes check out risotto and polenta recipes, and even bean recipes.

      All 3 offer a starchy vehicles for ragus and other great italian flavors.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Brandon Nelson

        I second the polenta suggestion. It makes a great base for thick, stew-like chunky sauces.

      2. When eggplant is in season, I make a canneloni-like dish where I wrap the stuffing in long, thin slices of eggplant, put on the sauce and cheese, bake. It is very good. Make the sauce a little thicker than you would for the pasta version because there is a fair amount of liquid in the eggplant.

        I have also had a lasagne-like dish with eggplant or zucchini for the layers.

        1. What about gnudi, basically ravioli without the wrapper?

          1. In addition to the great suggestions folks have already posted, you can also make a pizza-like ligurian farinata using chickpea flour:


            I've cheated and made it on the stove rather than in the oven, before. The texture is different, but it's still delicious!

            I haven't found any rice-based pastas I like, but there are actually a few packaged corn-based pastas out there that more closely approximate the wheat versions. I'll try to post back with brand names, later.

            4 Replies
            1. re: cimui

              here's the corn-based pasta for you:


              fiorentini is the manufacturer

              1. re: cimui

                most recipes for gnocchi that i've come across have some flour for binding together the potato. possibly OP could use potato or another kind of non-wheat flour, though, like garbanzo bean.

                1. re: cimui

                  I have made squash gnocci with gluten free flour blend or you can make ricotta gnocci. The key is one without a lot of flour.

                  1. re: jsaimd

                    I've made ricotta gnocchi with soy flour with some success.