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Gluten & Dairy Free Pasta with Arugula & Italian Sausage

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

Everyone loves pasta, I know I do. It is an easy, go to dish when you are short on time, though just using a can of red sauce with hamburger gets a little predictable. We do pasta about once a week, so here’s one I came up with that will add a little variety to your pasta repertoire.

I am also gluten free and dairy free. There are a lot of good gluten free pastas in the grocery stores today. I happen to like the pasta made from chickpeas, but you can get pasta made from corn flour, rice flour and quinoa. I try to limit refined carbohydrates in my diet (which I think it is a good idea for everyone), they’re OK when eaten in moderation.

As far as dairy goes, I have found that there are some very good nondairy cheese substitutes you can purchase as well. They can be made from potato starch, cashews, almonds and tofu. Just be sure to check the ingredient list in case you or someone in your family has nut allergies. I also try to avoid highly processed foods if possible, so the fewer ingredients with difficult to pronounce names, the better off you are.

Makes 3 to 4 servings.


3 to 4 servings gluten free spaghetti, dried

½ lb chicken Italian sausage

1 small onion diced

3-4 garlic cloves, crushed and diced

1 lemon cut in half

¾ cup nondairy Parmesan cheese

2 cups arugula

2 Tbs butter

2 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs coconut oil

Fresh basil to garnish

Cooking Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente as directed.

In a large skillet heat the coconut oil and brown the Italian sausage. Add the onion about halfway through cooking the sausage and let the onion soften. Stir often. Add the garlic just as the sausage onion mix is done cooking.

Once the pasta is finished cooking, reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Keep the skillet on low heat, add the butter and the olive oil and toss. I like to use tongs, giving the pasta a little twist as I toss, which helps mix everything together. Add the cup of reserved pasta cooking water. Keeping the skillet on the low heat, add the arugula and continue to toss until the pasta is coated in the sauce and the arugula has wilted. Add the lemon juice and ½ cup nondairy Parmesan cheese and toss until well blended.

Garnish with the freshly chopped basil and ¼ cup nondairy Parmesan cheese and serve while still hot.

I find this recipe does not need salt and pepper, but you can always add to taste. The nondairy cheese may not melt, but if you have a high-quality nondairy cheese, you will get the flavor. Delizioso!

I think this dish is light enough to serve with a rose or white wine, but red wine can be more beneficial due to the higher levels of resveratrol. From the Mayo Clinic “Antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols may help protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart” and Resveratrol is one of those antioxidants.

I choose chicken Italian sausage because it is lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than beef. Arugula is high in antioxidants. Garlic and onion are sulfur containing vegetables which have been shown to lower blood lipids.

Let’s discuss the fats that I have added to the dish. I have begun cooking with this blend of butter, coconut & olive oil with very tasty results.

· Olive oil is full of polyphenols, is nutrient rich and very flavorful.

· Coconut oil has a very complex flavor & contains medium chain triglycerides that evidence shows it may have fat burning properties. Here is an article if you are interested:

· Butter adds a creamy texture to the sauce. It is rich in a short chain fatty acids that can promote digestive health. Here is another article you can check out

· If you are opposed to coconut oil and butter, just substitute with the same amount of avocado oil or more olive oil.

On the downside, these fats are calorie dense, so don’t go overboard on a daily basis. If you eat too much of these fats, you could experience weight gain. All in all, I don’t feel too bad about the amount of fat in the dish because there is no beef or pork and the dairy is limited to the butter, so it is still very low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

Try the recipe and let me know what you think. I make enough so there are leftovers and I really look forward to topping it with a sunny side up egg for breakfast or lunch the next day.

La Vita Dolce, Caio!

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