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Pasta Pomodoro
FAX: (856) 784-5647 700 Haddonfield-Berlin Rd - Voorhees, NJ

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food. What does this mean? Essentially the body is attacking itself every time a person with celiac disease consumes gluten.

Celiac disease is triggered by consumption of the protein called gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. When people with celiac disease eat foods containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the finger-like villi of the small intestine. When the villi become damaged, the body is unable to absorb nutrients into the bloodstream, which can lead to undernourishment.

Left untreated, people with celiac disease can develop further complications such as other autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and cancer.

Celiac Disease Symptoms Can Be Elusive

There are more than 300 symptoms of celiac disease, and symptoms may vary among different people.

One person might have diarrhea and abdominal pain, while another person has irritability or depression. Some patients develop celiac symptoms early in life, while others feel healthy far into adulthood. Some people with celiac disease have no signs or symptoms.

These differences can make celiac diagnosis extremely difficult, resulting in 95% of celiacs undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions.

Left untreated, people with celiac disease can develop further complications such as other autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and cancer.

Some of the most common symptoms of celiac disease include:

  • Bloating or Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy Skin Rash
  • Tingling/Numbness
  • Delayed Growth/Poor Weight Gain
  • Headaches
  • Depression
  • Mouth Sores
  • Joint Pain
  • Thin Bones
  • Irritability
  • Infertility
  • Discolored Teeth

Anemia, delayed growth, and weight loss are signs of malnutrition. Malnutrition is a serious problem for anyone, but particularly for children because they need adequate nutrition to develop properly. Failure to thrive during childhood development is a common indicator of celiac.

Some people with celiac disease may have no symptoms at all.

This is known as asymptomatic celiac disease. The undamaged part of their small intestine is able to absorb enough nutrients to prevent symptoms. However, people without symptoms are still at risk for the complications of celiac disease.

Properly Diagnosing Celiac Disease

Accurately diagnosing celiac disease can be quite difficult largely because the symptoms often mimic those of other diseases, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, intestinal infections, lactose intolerance and depression.

Blood tests are the first step in a diagnosis of celiac disease. A doctor will order one or more of a series of blood tests to measure your body’s response to gluten.

Currently, recommended tests include:

  • Total IgA
  • IgA-tTG
  • IgA-EMA
  • If IgA is deficient, it is recommended that the IgG/IgA-DGP also be ordered. At the discretion of the doctor, IgG-AGA can also be ordered.

**It is important to continue eating a normal, gluten-containing diet before being tested for celiac. If the blood tests and symptoms indicate celiac, a physician may suggest a biopsy of the lining of the small intestine to confirm the diagnosis.


The only treatment for celiac disease is a lifelong gluten-free diet.  Eating gluten, no matter how small the amount, can damage the intestine.

A gluten-free diet means avoiding all foods that contain wheat (including spelt, triticale and khorasan), rye, and barley.

Despite these restrictions, people with celiac disease can eat a well-balanced diet with a variety of foods, including bread and pasta. Many gluten-free products are now made with potato, rice, soy, or bean flour. In addition, plains meat, fish, fruits and vegetables do not contain gluten, so celiacs can eat as much of these foods as they like.

Common Gluten-Free Alternatives:

  • Guar Gum
  • Soy Flour
  • Sweet Rice
  • Brown Rice
  • Lendils
  • Quinoa
  • Potato Flour
  • Amaranth
  • Xanthan Gun
  • Tapioca Starch
  • Buckwheat
  • Almond Flour
  • Potato Starch
  • Corn Starch
  • Corn Flour

Following a gluten-free diet may seem daunting at first, but, with a little creativity, anyone can make delicious gluten-free meals!


Gluten in Medications for Patients

Pharmacists: Learn more about the role you can play in protecting celiac and gluten sensitive consumers from accidental gluten ingestion. 

The only treatment for celiac disease is to follow a strict gluten-free diet for life. As gluten can be found in medication, pharmacy care is critical in the treatment of this disorder.

The Food Allergen Labeling Consumer Protection Act of 2004, which requires packaged food labels to identify all ingredients containing wheat and other common allergens, was a major landmark for people with celiac disease and food allergies. Yet no similar requirement exists for medication labels.

The risks of leaving gluten off the label:

  • Manufacturers use excipients to bind pills together and help deliver the medication to the patient. There are several types of excipients, and some of them may contain gluten.
  • Although few medications actually contain gluten, it is important that the ingredients of each medication are explored to determine the source of excipients – and to verify the particular drug is gluten-free.
  • The generic form of a medication may use different excipients than the brand name drug. Even if the brand name is determined to be gluten-free, the gluten-free status of each generic must be verified.

The following inactive ingredients indicate the need for additional investigation to determine the gluten-free status of the drug:

  • Wheat
  • Modified starch (source not specified)
  • Pregelatinized starch (source not specified)
  • Pregelatinized modified starch (source not specified)
  • Dextrates (source not specified)
  • Dextrimaltose (when barley malt is used)
  • Caramel coloring (when barley malt is used)
  • Dextrin (source not specified, but usually by corn or potato)

New Year’s Eve Celebration Menu

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Call Now For Your Reservation (856) 782-7430

Gluten Free Philly

Dishing With … Diana Rocco

While Diana Rocco is a newcomer to Philadelphia, she’s no stranger to the news. Before joining the CBS3 Eyewitness News team as a general-assignment reporter in February 2012, the award-winning journalist reported for stations in Boston, Washington, D.C. and New York. In this “Dishing With…” segment, she talks about how she manages to eat gluten free on the road, her favorite places to eat, and how Philadelphia compares to other cities when it comes to gluten-free options.

When were you diagnosed with celiac disease?

I was medically diagnosed in November 2005. I actually diagnosed myself after reading an article in Self magazine about celiac disease. I had never heard of it before but as I read the list of symptoms realized that I had nearly all of them. I knew I hadn’t been feeling well but had learned to live that way and dismissed the symptoms as job stress.

As a general-assignment reporter, you’re called on to travel throughout the Delaware Valley. How do you manage your diet on the road?

I try to always bring my lunch or dinner to work or at least a snack. I never know where I’m going to end up and if there will be a gluten-free option available for me. On the days I do find myself stuck, I’ll usually pop in a grocery store and get some veggies and hummus – that’s always safe. I’ve found Wawa can be a huge help when I’m in a jam. They always have pre-packaged veggies, cheese sticks, eggs and Greek yogurt.

Have you had to change anything about your lifestyle since your diagnosis?

Everything has changed! I lead a very normal life but my approach to my health is so much different. I didn’t know how sick I was until I went gluten free and started feeling well again. I had more energy and I found it even affected my mood. It was like a fog had lifted and the world went from black and white to color again. I exercise more now; I cook more; I take more time preparing my foods. I’m definitely a label reader. I’m not afraid to ask questions at restaurants. I have a different outlook on life and I think I’m an overall happier person to be around.

How does Philadelphia compare to other cities you’ve worked in with the amount of gluten-free options available?

Philadelphia is the best! In fact, Gluten Free Philly is one of the things that sets Philadelphia apart from other cities. Starting a new job in a new place can be tough and this is an amazing resource when you don’t know where to start. New York and Boston definitely have gluten-free options but restaurants are not as well-versed as they are in Philadelphia. I was surprised with just how many restaurants have gluten-free menus and how many options I had. There are so many gluten-free bakeries and even entire cafes dedicated to gluten free that I don’t feel I miss out on anything I once took for granted.

Do you like cooking?

I love to cook. Sauce is one of my favorite things to make, and for the most part it’s naturally gluten free. I also love making pizza at home, but you can’t do that every night so I usually keep it simple with grilled chicken, veggies and quinoa. Quinoa is quickly becoming one of my staples.

Where are some of your favorite places to dine out?

Amada has to be one of my favorite restaurants in the city. I’m a big sushi person and I love Zama too. Whenever I have friends or family visiting from out of town, I make sure we stop at one or both of them. I’ve also found Pure Fare to be a great resource when I need to grab a pre-made meal on the run. Pure Fare is all gluten free and they have some wonderful desserts.

Have you had time to explore Philadelphia since you started at Eyewitness News?

I’ve spend a few weekends walking around the city exploring. I love the Art Museum area – it reminds me a lot of D.C. The Barnes Museum is one of my favorites. The farmers’ market on Rittenhouse Square on Saturdays has also become a regular weekend destination for me.

What do you like most about your job?

I love that I have the ability to impact people’s lives. I really enjoy getting to know people and to hear and tell their stories; if you can help someone in the process then it’s a rewarding and fulfilling day. It’s a privilege to be able to serve my community in that way. I enjoy going to work and seeing where each day takes me, and I know every day is going to be different. It’s never boring!

When did you develop an interest in becoming a journalist?

I’ve always been interested in the news and had a general curiosity about the world around me. From the time I entered high school, I knew this is what I wanted to do. I saw it as a way to make a difference in people’s lives.

Have parts of your job changed since the Internet has essentially created a 24/7 news cycle?

In the 10 years I’ve been in this business it has changed immensely. Information is much more rapidly available and changing by the minute, so there is more pressure to stay up on it. There are also more avenues to get information. Five years ago, I didn’t even know what Twitter was; now I’m tweeting more than I ever thought I would and staying on top of other people’s tweets to make sure I don’t miss a thing.

To view entire article click here.

Gluten-Free Italian Food

Gluten-Free Italian Food-Pasta Pomodoro, Voorhees, New Jersey

When it comes to eating Italian food on a gluten-free diet there are not many South Jersey options for dining out. Restaurants may have a few choices available on the menu, but diners’ desires may not be easily fulfilled. One exception to this dilemma is the gluten-free Italian food at Pasta Pomodoro in Voorhees, New Jersey.

Located in the Eagle Plaza at 700 Haddonfield-Berlin Rd., Pasta Pomodoro is a locally owned and operated Italian restaurant that advertises the “Largest Gluten-free Menu” in the USA including a large selection of gluten-free appetizers and delicious desserts. With ninety percent of their regular menu items already prepared gluten-free, it is easy to find amazing lunch or dinner items to satisfy any palate.

With a designated kitchen area for handling all gluten-free meals, the cooking staff at Pasta Pomodoro takes great care to be mindful of the need to avoid cross-contamination. By keeping all cookware and utensils used for cooking gluten free separate from non-GF products such as the non-GF Pastas. An added precaution of hand washing before touching gluten-free items helps the gluten-free diner feel confident that the staff is taking all steps necessary to keep the food supply safe.

A first time visit to Pasta Pomodoro afforded an appetizer taste treat disallowed on a GF diet – fried calamari that had been prepared carefully with a gluten-free flour coating and was served with a marinara sauce. As a main course, the waitress served Gamberoni Valencia, sautéed jumbo shrimp with broccoli florets and roasted peppers in a garlic crème sauce on gluten-free penne and Pollo Mondo Italiano, grilled breast of chicken with sautéed mushrooms and sundried tomatoes in a pesto sauce on gluten-free spaghetti. The meal was topped off with an amazing gluten-free chocolate cake with a warm caramel filling.

The dining experience is complimented with a very attentive and caring wait-staff able to assist in choosing delicious options from the extensive gluten-free menu. Kristina was on duty that evening and very willing to question the kitchen staff regarding dishes that were ordered and worked diligently to make certain our experience was one to be well remembered. On a scale of one to ten, Pasta Pomodoro would definitely earn a 20 for quality, quantity, and availability of gluten-free foods as well as for their staff.

Largest Gluten-free Menu in the US?

Delectable handmade pasta. Savory cannoli. Heavenly bruschetta. Tempting mozzarella cheese sticks. Rich and delightful chocolate cake. What restaurant boasts one of the largest gluten-free menus in the U.S.?  On a recent quest for unusual gluten-free foods, I discovered Pasta Pomodoro’s in Voorhees, NJ.  The owner Pasquale Masters prides himself on serving the tastiest gluten-free Italian food outside of Italy itself!  Not only that, but Pasquale himself spent a good 30 minutes with me and explained the extreme lengths that they go through to avoid cross-contamination.

Pasquale uses a very fine gluten-free rice flour to hand make all of their GF pastas and other breading products.  The results of this fine rice flour are astounding.  Every gluten-free meal that I sampled tasted like I was eating REAL Italian food with gluten in it, sans the pain and discomfort of course. 90% of their regular menu items are made gluten-free, so it is very easy to find something to eat!  Pasta Pomodoro’s is recognized by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) and has the official approval of the NFCA.  This means that the entire restaurant staff is extremely well-versed about Celiac and the dangers of cross-contamination.

The menu gives a huge selection to both gluten-free and gluten-ful eaters alike! Pasquale and his staff will also make anything for you gluten-free that you wish, even if it is not on the GF menu.

The next time you have a craving for hand-made delectable Italian food, take a road trip to Pasta Pomodoro in Vorhees, NJ at 700 Haddonfield-Berlin Road and feast upon some of the finest gluten-free food in the U.S.  You can call them at 856-782-7430 or visit online at www.pastapomodoronj.com.

Menu on December 24, 2012

 Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes

Don’t forget to book your holiday parties and order your party trays.

Now taking reservations for Christmas Eve

Call for reservations:  (856) 782-7430


Kids Eat Allergy Free

The week Of June 6th thru 12th Pasta Pomodoro will be hosting a Food Allergy Awareness Benefit
Portion of proceeds will be donated for the FAAN: Walk for Food Allergy on September12th at Cooper River Park.
The month of June is Food Allergy Awareness Month.

Copyright © by Pasta Pomodoro. All rights reserved.

Pasta Pomodoro is proud to offer a large selection of Gluten Free appetizers, entrees and desserts. Pasta Pomodoro is a locally owned and operated Italian and Gluten Free restaurant in Camden County - Voorhees, New Jersey.

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