Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Patrick's GF Birthday Ziti

When August rolled around, Patrick's birthday planning talks had begun.  Patrick went back and forth for weeks on what he wanted to do.  We debated on an organized bar-hop or going out to dinner with friends.  Then, one day he looked at me and simply said, "I think I want to go to the beach in the morning and have people over for a good homemade dinner."  It was perfect!

But when he told me he wanted to make his famous Baked Ziti, I held my breath. There's some history between us and his Baked Ziti.  The man has been making his ziti the same way for 10 years (and for good reason).  Last year, I made my own gluten free version.  He almost fell off his chair when I told him I wanted to use ground turkey instead of ground beef and sausage.  But, let's just say, my gluten free Zesty Baked Ziti made quite an impression on him.  Because, all of a sudden he nodded and said, "gluten free, of course."

It was fantastic!  And you know what I love?  There are some of his touches in my ziti and some of my touches in his.  In mine, the red pepper flakes and the meat to pasta ratio is all Patrick.  In his, the fresh herbs and freshly grated cheese is my little touch.  And I guess now, they're both gluten free!!

We kept things simple and served the ziti with a nice side salad of arugula, spring mix, red pepper, yellow pepper, cucumbers, dried cranberries, walnuts and feta cheese.  It was all a hit!  I felt so proud watching everyone serve themselves, knowing that they were going to eat good food with a lot of love.

And as everyone was eating, I had a quick flashback to four and half years ago when I hosted my first party since finding out about my gluten allergy.  I served one gluten free dish for fear that no one would like anything gluten free.  I was hungry the whole night!

But not anymore.  Now we have dinner parties where everything is gluten free!  And in this case, my husband, who does not have a gluten allergy, has the confidence to turn one of his famous dishes into a gluten free one and serve it to his friends with no hesitation.  And you know what?  They all enjoyed it!  And not because it was gluten free, but because it was all just darn good.

Want to know what I served for dessert?  I'll give you a hint.  Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate.  Stay tuned for that!

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