The gluten free industry has made some incredible strides with regards to gluten free pasta these last few years. When I first went gluten free in 2010, the gluten free pasta choices were few and far between, and the choices we did have were – to put it nicely – not the best-tasting item I had ever eaten.
Thankfully, like many other areas of gluten free eating, we now have a variety of options when it comes to gluten free pasta. My favorite pasta is a mix of quinoa/corn, but brown rice is one of the most popular options as well. You should have no trouble finding gluten free pasta in grocery stores and health food stores these days.
Quinoa – The quinoa/corn pasta blend that we usually eat in our household is from Ancient Harvest. They give you a variety of options to choose from – elbows, linguine, penne, and garden pagodas. I am also a fan of the Schar brand pasta, but I have found that to be a little more pricey. To cook the quinoa pasta, you simply fill a medium-sized pot with water and bring to a boil. Add pasta for 6-9 minutes and remove from heat. Drain the water and serve with your favorite sauce.
Brown Rice Pasta – Brown rice pasta was almost always the de facto choice when encountering gluten free pasta at restaurants a few years back, but that is not the case now. In fact, one of my favorite Italian restaurants serves Schar brand pasta for their gluten free dishes. Anyways, cooking brown rice pasta is the same as quinoa pasta, but you will need to cook it for a longer time period. Instead of the 6-9 minutes above, brown rice pasta often needs to be cooked for 12-16 minutes or even longer. You want to test the brown rice pasta along the way, because it does not taste very good if under-cooked or over-cooked. Under-cooked brown rice pasta is too chewy, and not the good kind of chewy either. If you overcook it, it will become mushy and fall apart. Stir the brown rice pasta frequently while it is cooking.
There are other types of gluten free pasta as well. I have seen one that uses a mixture of rice, potato and soy, another using just quinoa without corn, and still another using just whole grain rice. The preparation for these is going to be slightly different than the choices above, but you will be in good shape by following the directions on the box. Cooking pasta isn’t rocket science; you can do it!
Interested in gluten free pasta recipes? Click here!