Thursday, June 23, 2011

Comfort Food for Summer - Bare but not naked spaghetti

I'm very excited to announce that the cover for the third in A Cheese Shop Mysteries series is done, CLOBBERED BY CAMEMBERT, and I love it.  I hope you do, too.  The book comes out in January.  But that is months away, and we're talking

I know it's summer, and I should be thinking about barbecues, and gardening, and sports to do outdoors. But I had a craving for comfort food and spaghetti. I'm in the midst of writing book 4, TO BRIE OR NOT TO BRIE, and I'm coming into the home stretch (the last third). That makes me hungry. I need brain food, i.e. comfort food.

Because I need to eat gluten-free, I don't indulge in carbs very often. Sure, I can have potatoes and rice and such, but restricting my diet has made me realize that I don't "need" those things. I get them in my cereal and the sweet breads that I make (like banana bread and coffee cake), so at night, I don't usually eat the extras. I stick to protein and vegetables and a glass of wine (that's my carb).

But last night, I needed carbs. In the form of spaghetti. I use this terrific brand that I found in the stores when I lived in Connecticut and can't find in the stores I frequent in California (don't know why...have complained), so I get it in bulk online through Amazon. It's called Bionaturae Gluten-free (spaghetti or linguine).  It holds together great, has a great texture, and to me, doesn't taste like it's not the "real" thing. From what I hear, Italy tests all of its people at a young age for celiac disease, so Italy--being a pasta nation--is on top of what it takes to make a great gluten-free pasta.

That said, I also wanted as fresh as possible, so I made sure I had fresh tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, and turkey.  Yep, turkey. I like the lighter meat in this Bare but not Naked version of spaghetti.  It seems a little more "summery" (if you will).

Douse with Parmesan cheese and yum!

(*Yes, this can be made with regular spaghetti)


1 pound gluten-free pasta (cooked 11-12 minutes, to tender)
1 pound ground turkey meat
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 zucchini, sliced
2 fresh tomatoes, cut into chunks
8 mushrooms, sliced thick
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup red wine
4-8 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded

Heat large saute pan. Add 1 tablespoon oil, turkey (broken into smaller chunks), onion.  Put on the saucepan lid. Cook on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (yep, got to remove that lid to do this) so turkey doesn't stick to pan and browns on all sides. Add water and wine, add vegetables and herbs.  Cook for another 20 minutes on low, with lid on. No need to stir.

Cook pasta according to directions, cooking approximately 11-12 minutes until tender. Drain in a colander.

Plate pasta on 4 plates. Spoon turkey mixture onto the pasta, making sure you add the juice that is in the bottom of the pan to each portion. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Adorn with small salad or pretty green salad green leaves.

Serve with gluten-free breadsticks.


Book 2 in A Cheese Shop Mystery series launched last month: LOST AND FONDUE . 

If you'd like to order a copy, click this booksellers link on my website. It's available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and independent booksellers.

To see a trailer for LOST AND FONDUE, click HERE

To read an excerpt of LOST AND FONDUE, click HERE.

If you'd like to know more about A Cheese Shop Mystery series and want to download a few other recipes from me (on recipe cards - including FONDUE), click here: RECIPES.

Say cheese!

Be sure to catch me (or my characters) the fourth of every month at Killer Characters blog, and on Facebook, and on Twitter: @AveryAames.


  1. Now I am craving spaghetti too. That looks great and sounds great too.

    Pamela Jo

  2. Love the cover and the spaghetti looks delicious.

  3. I do understand carb-craving! And the best thing to do when that happens is indulge in something like this. Wonderful recipe, Avery. I'm starting to get hungry already! BTW, fabulous cover. I love the colors and the artwork is gorgeous! Can't wait to read it now!

  4. I'm wanting spaghetti and it's 8 a.m.! But this is a light spaghetti and I love all those gorgeous veggies in it.

    What a beautiful cover! I know you're excited about it. :)

  5. Waiting with great anticipation for the next cheese shop book! The pasta looks delish and healthy too!

  6. A lovely cover - and your 4th and 5th titles sound like great fun, too. Gotta love To Brie or not to Brie! Perfect. Your pasta dish is a fantastic offering for a summer meal. Light, healthy, and (like Elizabeth), I'm about ready to dive into that last picture, even though it's time for breakfast in NYC. Thanks for sharing another tasty and clever recipe, Avery. Have a great day!

    Eat with joy,
    ~ Cleo Coffeehouse
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  7. this is my kind of dish its lovely good luck with your book!

  8. Welcome to all. It's 6 a.m. on the west coast and you've all visited by now. Yipes! Early risers. Got to love 'em!

    Pamela Jo, Dru, Elizabeth, Julie, TNelson, Cleo, and Claudia, thanks for your comments. I'm thrilled you like the dish, the book cover, and the titles. What a fun way for me to wake up.


  9. Love the cover...Just can't wait to catch up... Are they off to Switzerland??? Doesn't look too Swiss in the cover... and tents in winter???

    So much to ponder from a little photo.

    I am having a lunch party on Saturday with a friend with a gluten issue. Funny how often bread and pasta comes up when working out a menu (it's a cooking party, 3 couples all making different snacks, side dishes, main courses and desserts). Need to ponder gluten free pasta and see what i can come up with.

    And one more thing.. the final photo of the dish... Whoop Whoop, looks great, love the little extras... but are those chopsticks???


  10. Dave, you're too cute. Not Swiss on the cover. LOL (No spoilers in this cover).

    Re: gluten, isn't it amazing how many things wheat and flour can get into it? Potato starch is good, rice flour fine...

    Chopsticks? No, they're breadsticks. Now, they are "real wheat" sea salt breadsticks so I made sure they weren't touching my food, but I have breadsticks that are gluten-free. They just aren't as pretty. :) But they're tasty with a pasta dish. Just enough crunch.


  11. I had spaghetti last night after a particularly grueling Yoga class. I watch my carbs, too. But sometimes only spaghetti will do!

  12. "To Brie or Not To Brie" - I love it, and can't wait! Finally readng "Lost and Fondue" now; it was, actually, Lost in my house for weeks; took the cleaning man to find it. Of course, just a few pages were enough to make me start wildly craving good cheeses!

    The pasta dish looks simply perfect - comfort food with enough sophistication to impress guests with. Can't wait to make some!

  13. Mollie, I love that you go to Yoga at night. My friend wants me to go with her at 5:30 in the morning. Not a shot! I'm up, but not for yoga. LOL

    Laineshots, thanks for the 'love it'. I'm getting good feedback on that title. Glad you're enjoying Lost and Fondue. It seems I can't get enough cheese. Poor me.


  14. Two new books--great!

    To me, pasta is all in the cheese and the freshest tomatoes and spices. Differ w/ you only on cheese, preferring hard cheeses from Greece, but then I first tasted Greek pasta at a restaurant under the Acropolis. Taste buds meet Pavlov.

  15. This sounds wonderful! So light and fresh. I recently found a woman selling flavored pastas at the Farmer's Market from a company called Pappardelle's Pasta. I didn't try them, but they do have some gluten-free varieties. Their regular flavors were fabulous!

  16. Such a gorgeous cover, Avery! I absolutely love it.

    Your pasta sounds wonderful, too. Bionaturae is my favorite brand of pasta, too. I don't buy the gluten free version, but I love their organic semolina pasta!

    ~ Krista

  17. This is such a fun site - I am so glad I found you. Thanks for sharing today!

  18. Liz - taste buds met Pavlov. Oh, my, how wonderfully descriptive!
    Janet - Pappardelle's sounds great. I'll check them out.
    Krista, my family loves the regular pasta as well.

    Denise, so glad to have someone new find our site.

    Check out the archives. We have tons of other recipes (on the right, click on a word and it'll bring up a recipe or you can check by author's name). Enjoy!