One of my sons and I are sensitive to wheat, so we have tried to eat more wheat and gluten free foods. In our house, pasta is a staple so not having pasta available as an option quickly became a problem. We tried a number of different wheat free pastas and found that some are terrible and some do a very good job resembling pasta. To hopefully save you some trial and error yourself, I give you my findings after much “error”.
Gluten Free Pasta Types
The main two types we found are rice based and corn based. While it does depend on the brand, we found the rice pasta held up better to cooking and tasted better. The rice pasta also tastes more like typical flour based pasta. Corn pasta has very different strong corn flavor. This can be a nice change, but is less like a pasta substitute.
3 Cooking Tips
- Don’t over cook. We found that gluten free pastas do not hold up well to boiling and can easily get overcooked and turn mushy. Follow the directions on the package and err on the early side – check the pasta early and often and make sure not to overcook it.
- Use lower heat. Usually I cook regular pasta on a full rolling boil. For gluten free pasta, I use medium-high to medium heat and a slower boil. This helps to keep the pasta intact.
- Rinse with cold water. Most gluten free pastas will have a starchy residue on them. A good rinse with cold water removes this and improves the taste and texture. I throw the rinsed pasta back in the pot to heat it up again. Then you can serve it from there, or if you are serving the pasta with sauce you can add the sauce and heat it all up together.
These bags of brown rice pasta from a company called Tinkyada are the best bet that we found. They are available in a bunch of styles and taste great. They have spirals, elbows, shells, spaghetti, and more. Many of them are available in organic varieties as well. This pasta holds up great to cooking and can even handle a little over-cooking. It passes for regular wheat based pasta and can fool people and they most likely won’t realize it isn’t regular pasta.
I have found this brand in several stores around us like HEB, Central Market, and Whole Foods. They shouldn’t be too hard to find. Look in the pasta section and the specialty gluten free section of your stores. I hope you find these tips and recommendations useful. Be sure to comment and let me know.