Alisa Fleming ~ Last week I opened a very big box filled with Barilla Pasta Sauces and some of their high-fiber Piccolini Pasta. All but one of the Barilla sauces are dairy-free (the Formaggi variety contains cheese, of course), leaving seven full jars of "authentic" Italian pasta sauce for me to sample. While I could be really lazy, and simply serve these sauces over pasta or gnocchi for super-easy lunches, it seemed like they deserved better treatment … but what to make? Unfortunately, all but one of the recipes in the Barilla brochure contained quite a bit of cheese, and I was coming up short on creative ideas.
But then another package arrived, from Wasa, the internationally recognized Swedish Crispbread company. They sent several packages of their crispbread, along with a cookbook! Cooking with Crispbread is far from a dairy-free publication, but it is filled with both easy and elaborate ideas for using crispbread. Considering my enormous stash of Italian goodies, the Crispbread Meatballs recipe immediately jumped out at me. I especially loved that the recipe didn't call for any cheese or eggs! I repeatedly get requests for egg-free meatballs, and lets face it, simply omitting the eggs leads to a rather dry end result.
The recipe is actually rather genius – some crispbread crumbs are soaked in milk (or milk alternative as I used) to thicken. When baked in, the result is a very tender and moist main dish, similar to Swedish meatballs in texture. I used the Barilla Marinara, which made the whole dinner that much simpler, and served everything over the Piccolini Pasta, which cooked up perfectly in about 8 minutes. I did change their meatball recipe up quite a bit – first by using a "shortcut" sauce and non-dairy milk, and second by increasing the seasonings. We loved it! See the link below for my recipe.
Beyond the meatballs, I've really been enjoying the Rosemary Crispbreads slathered with Almond Butter as a snack. They are wonderfully thin and crispy, which keeps me from filling up on bready stuff in between meals.
Thus far, two thumbs up on the Barilla Pasta Sauces. The Marinara was thick and hearty, and even a bit sweet. Though I often make my own pasta sauces from scratch, I do love the convenience of jarred pasta now and then, and Barilla seems to stick to whole food ingredients and it does go on sale for a good price often.
Click For the Recipe: Egg-Free Meatball Marinara
This is a third party review. Article, recipe, and photos by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a freelance writer for several publications, with an emphasis on creating recipes for various types of special diets.