Hallelujah! That is what many people would say if they found out that there was a delicious restaurant that offered gluten-free pasta options. Wait! Don’t stop reading. Gluten-free pasta has come a long way. It is no longer mushy and vile. It absorbs flavor scrupulously and maintains its chewy consistency as long as the chef knows how to cook it. At Enoteca, the chef knows how to cook it.
For those who must eat or choose to eat without wheat protein, restaurant options can get really boring. Because many know what is off limits while adhering to this challenging food regimen, they can scan a menu and find the one option they can eat in two seconds flat. Sometimes, that is okay. Other times, that person is hungry and wants something other than a salad! At Enoteca, the Italian restaurant downtown at the corner of Congress and Scott, the new owner is offering gluten-free pasta options to patrons who request them. Although they have not yet incorporated gluten-free pizza into their menu, being able to order lobster fettuccini may compensate just fine for those seeking something luscious and substantial on their night out. Start with a Caprese salad and finish with some Panna Cotta and you will not regret it. Nor will your GI tract. The polenta is also delicious, so opt for it when you order the eggplant entrée. The Bolognese has just the right amount of lamb to give it a depth of flavor but not make the whole thing gamey. On Fridays, you will be able to enjoy the food while listening to evocative live music. Also, if you are concerned about parking downtown with the streets being currently inaccessible, just circle around hotel Congress and park on Broadway or Church. There is plenty of parking in this area.
If eating out is not your thing on a nightly basis, cook your own gluten free pasta, and buy it at Trader Joe’s because it is a lot cheaper there. Click on the link below if you are unfamiliar with Trader Joe’s Tucson locations, but generally, there is one at Grant and Swan, one at Speedway and Wilmot, and one at Campbell and Limberlost. Oro Valley has a location, too, on North Oracle. Bags of gluten free pasta are about $1.99 there, and each will make 4-6 servings. Just do not overcook it, because it has a finicky threshold. If you start it in rapidly boiling, salted water for about 7 minutes and finish it in your sauce, it will accommodate the aroma like Catherine Walters welcomed the company of gentlemen.