Why Gluten-Free Pasta Is Worth A Shot

Feb 14, 2012 12:31 pm

Is gluten-free pasta any good? It certainly can be.

gluten-free pasta
Photo: thrig on Flickr
Ancient Harvest is a great brand of corn and quinoa gluten-free pasta that's perfect for macaroni and cheese.
 

Plenty of people love that stuffed-to-the-gills feeling one gets from eating a heap of pasta big enough for four people. You're definitely not hungry anymore, you're nice and sleeeepy, definitely not hungry...snore. Whether you're on a gluten-free diet or not, sometimes you just don't have the luxury of riding out a crazy insulin spike. Sometimes you're going to be seen in a swimsuit. Sometimes you only have pasta in the house and it's 30 minutes before you have to be seen in said swimsuit. 

Try out a few brands of gluten-free pasta to see if one does it for you. In this day and age of everyone either being plagued with or picking out their "favorite" food allergy, it's a smart staple to keep around. It's about twice as expensive per serving, but hey, time is money and other sayings that don't necessarily apply. Here are some tips for a pasta fix with none of the wheat: 

  • Steer clear of anything made from or even blended with brown rice if you give a hoot about texture. There is simply no way to cook this stuff al dente. I've cooked it longer, shorter, in a huge pot and a small pot, while hopping on one foot and sacrificing a chicken (which I then ate because the pasta sucked), all to no avail. 
  • Corn is your friend — when it comes to gluten-free pasta. Corn pasta cooks al dente with a satisfying, toothy bite. The yellow color looks great in contrast to brightly colored veggies and while it's hard to find organic corn pasta (if you're of that persuasion), I find that corn pasta comes in more shapes than other varieties. Because I am of that persuasion.
  • Your best bet is a blend of corn and quinoa, that miraculous little seed you've heard so much about. This pasta keeps its shape and texture even when baked into mac and cheese (something few gluten-free pastas can boast), and provides 5-7 extra grams of protein per serving. Added bonus: you usually can't even tell the difference between this and regular semolina wheat pasta.  

These easy sauce recipes lend themselves particularly well to gluten-free pasta:

Enjoy your pasta binge and subsequent paunch-free strut.

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