I am Italian-American. I grew up eating pasta with tomato sauce at least twice a week. One Sunday a month, my mother would make a huge pot of sauce. I will never forget how the aroma of the sauce cooking would make it's way through the house and wake me up or the midday meatballs my sister and I would steal from the pot and eat together on the couch. We'd have pasta with garlic bread for dinner that night, leftovers the next, and freeze the rest to use throughout the month.
This was such a fond part of my childhood and adolescence that I find myself automatically craving spaghetti with sauce on Sunday's, even though it's been almost three years since I have even tasted tomato sauce. Next to chocolate, tomatoes were the most difficult to give up when I first went on the IC diet. Unfortunately, they were also the most necessary to give up because of their acidity. One day, I am going to grow my own low acid tomatoes and maybe make some sauce, but until that day comes, I have had to go without.
When I was first faced with the IC diet, I actually didn't want to eat pasta at all because I found it too depressing and pasta without sauce seemed sacrilegious! Now I am finally able to enjoy Sunday evening pasta dinners with my husband because I have found that eating pasta without tomato sauce is better than no pasta at all. I can't say that I've found the perfect solution for this craving (I am not sure one exists) but over time, I have learned to appreciate pasta prepared a few different ways, and luckily for me, I can still eat garlic bread!
The following recipe is only semi-homemade, as many of my recipes are. Three years ago I wouldn't have dreamed of heating anything that would go on pasta from a jar, but when I am too exhausted or all flared up, I am now willing to make things easier on myself. For me, that is one of the lessons I have learned from living with chronic pain; I am constantly figuring out how to cope and adapt to situations as they present themselves and cooking has been on the top of that list.
PESTO-ALFREDO PASTA2 cups prepared organic whole wheat pasta
1/2 cup Gia Russa Alfredo sauce
1 tbsp homemade pesto (made by Jaclyn)
*Beware store bought pesto--it often contains citric acid!
I just boil the pasta for about 10 minutes and drain it. Then heat the Alfredo and pesto together until warm and toss it with the pasta. It's an incredibly easy, and extremely tasty Sunday evening Italian treat!
**If I am feeling up to it, I will add a little Parmesan on top, but Parmesan is not always IC friendly, so be careful. Alfredo is also not safe for everyone, but I have found that this particular brand works for me.