Gluten free pasta. If it’s wheat free, what’s in it then?
Gluten free pasta is a staple of any coeliac sufferer’s diet. But what’s in gluten free pasta? And why do some taste like the real thing; while others taste like wallpaper paste?
Wheat free pasta is made from rice, corn, potato and vegetables. (Or more often than not a mix.)
Orgran do a range of rice and rice/mix pastas including stoneground buckwheat and rice pasta; vegetable rice pasta; and a plain rice pasta. When you’re cooking, you need to keep an eye on the rice and rice/mix pastas otherwise they do have a tendency to go a bit gloopy. And they need a thorough rinse once they’re cooked.
Doves Farm do a number of rice based gluten free pastas that are organic and are really nutty and flavoursome. Favourites include their fusilli, penne and spaghetti.
Corn (maize pastas) are quite neutral in taste and make a great base for spicy, tangy or creamy sauces. They’re often flavoured with spinach, peppers and sundried tomatoes as well. But, like rice pasta, corn pasta can fall apart quickly. So you need to ensure you don’t overcook it. One minute it looks fine and the next minute it’s a mushy paste in the bottom of your pan. Now personally, I think corn pasta gets a bit rubbery when it’s cool so it’s not great for salads.
Orgran do a number of corn only pastas which are pretty good.
The easiest gluten free pastas to cook – and the most versatile – are the corn and rice mix pastas. So it’s always worth having a couple of bags in the cupboard.
Doves Farm produces a delicious corn/rice penne, made in Italy. As does Dietary Specials, Orgran, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Our favourite gluten free pasta though is the buckwheat, corn and rice spirals from Hale & Hearty. Perfect with a tomato sauce, oven roasted vegetables, olives and smoked mozzarella. Delicious!