Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Challenge of Gluten and Corn Free Pasta

One the foods that I miss most from my pre-food allergy pre-gluten free life is pasta.   Especially during the cold winter months, I find myself wanting just a big comforting bowl of that gluten filled deliciousness. I have not had gluten at least knowingly since November of 2011.  That was when I had my last bowl of pasta.  It was delicious…and I was sick all night.

My craving for pasta didn’t disappear, but I knew I would have to find a different way to eat it.  I know there are many gluten free pastas available, but for me it’s not that simple; I also run into trouble with my corn allergy.  As far as I can tell corn seems to be a most common ingredient in GF foods.

Many people recommend rice pasta to me.  I do fine reaction-wise with plain rice ones, like Tinkayada, but they come out a little too mushy for me.  They don't compare to "real" pasta. I use them as noodles in soups, however I find myself disappointed when I try to build a meal around them. Eating it makes me miss my gluten eating days more.

It was hard to contain my excitement when I recently discovered my true GF, CF pasta substitute.  I saw a product at the market that I had never tried--Andean Dream Quinoa Pasta.  It really is a bit of a dream.  When I tried it, I knew this was a whole new level of GF pasta.  Its ingredients are simple quinoa and rice and no corn.  (They actually advertise that their products are both gluten and corn free.) The main difference between the Andean Dream and the rice pastas is that the texture is much more similar to how I remember regular pasta.  It actually tastes like al-dente pasta and it doesn't become gooey a few minutes after cooking.   The texture is just right and the taste is subtle so it doesn't over power whatever other ingredients you decide to add.  I've been making it with butter or olive oil and sautéed vegetables.

The true test is that this is the only GF pasta that my husband will eat.  Oh and I forgot to mention, it can be used for a mean macaroni and cheese.  

So I can now officially report that my two-year pasta problem has ended. For those of you with Celiac Disease or Gluten Sensitivity, what's your favorite GF pasta?

**Please note: I have no relationship with any companies whose products are mentioned in this or any other post.**

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