Recently, while shopping at my local COSTCO, I stumbled across the coolest thing EVER: Quinoa Macaroni!
WHOA! That’s like PASTA, only it’s entirely made out of quinoa!! Well, and rice… But still! How friggin’ cool is that? That means I can now afford to indulge in one of my favorite comfort food of all times, Beef and Tomato Quinoa Macaroni!
Honestly, though, I was a bit skeptical at first. Gluten free pasta tends to be quite disastrous as far as texture is concerned, and I half expected those to be no exception. I thought there was no way they could actually make a suitable replacement for the real deal.
Well, let me tell you, while they might not be exactly the same, they’re pretty darn close! Unlike other gluten free pasta, they don’t turn into a big messy pile of mush, or some kind of gelatinous glue. In fact, the noodles have a very agreeable texture and offer a fair bit of resistance when you bite into them. Providing you don’t overcook them, however. Indeed, they cook SO much quicker than real pasta, they may actually have an advantage over them!
Seriously, though, while not entirely paleo, these little gems certainly have found a permanent spot in my pantry, right beside my jasmine rice and rice noodles. I may not reach for them every single day, and probably not even every week for that matter, but I will definitely be enjoying them on a semi-regular basis.
I say you should definitely try them too!
To make this Beef and Tomato Quinoa Macaroni, you’ll need to start by making a quick spaghetti sauce.
Melt some ghee in a large skillet set over medium-high heat and then throw in a chopped onion, some celery and garlic and cook until softened, fragrant and slightly colored, about 5 minutes.
Then, crank up the heat to high and add the ground beef. Break the meat into little pieces with a wooden spoon to help it cook faster and sprinkle generously with salt.
Continue cooking until the beef is no longer pink, about 7 or 8 minutes.
Now add a can of diced tomatoes and a bunch of spices, like black pepper, dried oregano and chili pepper flakes.
Lower the heat and let that sauce simmer slowly, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until it has thickened and the water from the tomatoes is practically evaporated.
While your sauce is simmering away, bring some salted water to a boil and cook the quinoa macaroni for 2 minutes then drain.
Like I said earlier, quinoa pasta cooks EXTREMELY quickly, so you don’t want to overdo it here; 2 minutes is all that’s required, trust me. Don’t go and cook it all the way.
When the sauce is done simmering, add your par-cooked macaroni to it, stir well and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the pasta is done to your liking.
Time to add the spinach…
I know, a picture wasn’t really necessary, but there’s something about piles of spinach just sitting atop a dish, waiting to get stirred in. I just find them soooo pretty and can’t help photographing them.
I love how the light hits them, and now vibrant green they are, and how very healthy they look.
Alright, alright…movin’ on!
Delicately stir your beautiful spinach in, until it’s completely wilted.
And now you are ready to serve your delicious macaroni, garnished with a little bit shaved Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, if your heart (and tummy) desires.
Hope it’s to your liking!
- 1 tbsp (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 600g (1-1/4lb) lean ground beef
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp chili pepper flakes
- 2½ cups (225g | 8oz) uncooked quinoa macaroni
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
- Melt the ghee in a large skillet set over medium-high heat and then throw in the onion, celery and garlic; cook until softened, fragrant and slightly colored, about 5 minutes, then crank up the heat to high and add the ground beef. Break the meat into little pieces with a wooden spoon and sprinkle with the salt. Cook until the beef is no longer pink, and then add the diced tomatoes and spices; lower the heat and simmer slowly, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until the sauce has tickened and the water from the tomatoes is practically evaporated.
- Meanwhile, bring some salted water to a boil and cook the quinoa macaroni for 2 minutes then drain. When the sauce has simmered enough, add the par-cooked pasta to it, stir well and cook for about 5 minutes, until the pasta is done to your liking.
- Add the spinach and delicately stir it in, until completely wilted.
- Serve immediately, garnished with shaved parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, if desired.