Gluten Free Pasta

February 18, 2011

When first starting out on a gluten free diet, most people think they are doomed because they cant have pasta. Have no fear, gluten free pasta is just as good if not better than wheat pasta. I actually prefer the taste and texture of gluten free (brown rice pasta) over regular. I found an article in a pamphlet from our local grocery store. I thought it summed up the different kinds of gluten free pastas and how to choose the best ones for your recipes! (article by Lisa Turner).

GLUTEN FREE PASTA INFO:

POTATO

Tasting notes: Potato pasta has a compact-but-tender texture and a neutral flavor. Look for brands that blend potato and rice or corn.

Best shapes: Long strands, such as fettuccine and spaghetti, that benefit from potato pasta’s tenderness. How to use it: Toss with light, brothy sauces that coat the strands and keep them from sticking together.

RICE

Tasting notes: With a mild, neutral flavor, rice pastas’ firm, somewhat grainy texture can easily absorb other flavors.

Best shapes: Choose firm shapes (e.g., penne, fettuccine) that won’t fall apart or turn gummy if overcooked. How to use it: Serve with tomato- based sauces that stick to the noodles.

CORN
Tasting notes: Not surprisingly, corn pasta tastes much like popcorn. For the best texture, choose a blend of corn- quinoa pasta.

Best shapes: Elbows, rotelle How to use it: Add to baked pasta dishes, such as macaroni and cheese, or toss lightly with cream, cheese, or pesto sauces that complement the corn flavor. Avoid using in pasta salads because it can get tough when cooled.

BUCKWHEAT
Tasting notes: Buckwheat pasta has a bold, nutty flavor with a chewy texture and a firm, dense bite. Best shapes: Look for spaghetti and spirals; they both hold their shapes well and won’t stick together.

How to use it: Serve buckwheat pasta with Asian-style sauces and stir-fries or cheese sauces that complement the flavor. Note: Not all buckwheat noodles are gluten-free; many contain whole- wheat or semolina flour in addition to buckwheat flour. Check product labels for 100 percent buckwheat pasta with no added wheat flour.

QUINOA
Tasting notes: Native to the Andes Mountains of South America where it has been grown for more than 5,000 years, quinoa has a delicious whole- grain flavor, and quinoa pastas are the closest gluten-free options in texture to whole-wheat pastas.

Best shapes: Shells, rotelle, pagodas How to use it: Top with spicy or bold-flavored sauces that stand up to the whole-grain flavor.

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