On my last trip to Italy I decided to test some alternative types of pastas available in most Italian supermarkets. I wasn’t looking for anything fancy or expensive but affordable every day types of pasta.
Consumer expectations change all the time therefore Italian food is changing too. Compared to 20 years ago people are more interested in the quality and do not want additives in their food.
During the last couple of years I have been very interested in trying alternative types of flours and pastas which are not made with modern wheat.
We all know now that the problem with modern wheat is that it has been genetically modified in order to produce more of it. Basically the same crop produces much more flour compared to the traditional wheat we used to consume 30 years ago. Also none of it is being produced in Italy only a very small part. This is because foreigh wheat is cheaper and industries need cheap ingredients in order to make money.
This might be very clever commercially but this wheat has an abnormous amount of gluten causing so many people to have problems with it. Even if you are not a celiac yourself consuming too much modern wheat is never a good idea. In fact the general advice you get these days is to widen your choice (which is nice too) and try different types of grains.. and there are so many of them out there!
So I bought some pasta and mentioned some that was worth mentioning. Some of it has a mixture of wheat and other grains too.
Organic Kamut Khorasan bronze die farfalle
Cooking time: 8 minutes
My opinion: I love Kamut Khorasan which is an ancient type of wheat with a rich and nutty flavour and much less gluten than modern wheat.
This pasta was firm to the bite, slightly sweet. I would cook it for a little longer than it says on the packet though.
Would I buy it again? Yes, my thumbs up on this one!
Corn, rice and quinoa spaghetti – Gluten free
Cooking time: 10 minutes
My opinion: Very nice texture. This pasta is made of 70% corn, 18% rice and 3% quinoa, a small quantity of corn starch + E471 stabilizer.
I don’t like the addition of the E471 stabilizer though. E471 is being used as an emulsifier in a great variety of foods. I don’t like additives in my food especially if I have to consume them daily.
Would I buy it again? From now and then.
Brand: “La Finestra sul Cielo” – ( a very good organic Italian brand which has been around for a very long time)
Organic wholemeal rye spaghetti
Cooking time: 6 minutes
My opinion: made with organic rye flour this is a very healthy wholesome pasta and super tasty! It has an incredible rich and nutty taste. It is a little “gluey”and might not look that pretty on my plate but it is a winner in taste. My family absolutely loved it. I wish I had it in the UK.
Would I buy it again? Oh yes please!
Brand: “Le Mantovanelle”
Organic tagliatelle made with Kamut Khorasan wheat and eggs
Cooking time: 4 minutes
My opinion: Made with white Kamut Khorasan flour and eggs this is very tasty and similar to classic wheat tagliatelle. Very tasty pasta and a bit more filling because of the addition of the eggs.
Would I buy it again? Yes
Brand: “Fior di Loto”
Organic hemp rigatoni pasta
Cooking time: 6 to 7 minutes
My opinion: Hemp seeds are very nutritious. They contain a bundle of essential amino acids and fatty-acids. This pasta is made with 80% organic wheat and 20% hemp flour, it has a rough texture (but I am expecting this with hemp) and it tastes OK but it tends to fall apart.
Would I buy it again? No. Perhaps not for my taste.
Brand: “Molino Filippini”
Buckwheat organic gnocchetti pasta
Cooking time: 12 minutes
My opinion: made with organic durum wheat and of 25% buckwheat flour this pasta has a rustic taste and a good bite to it. I have served it with pesto but it would go very well served with green vegetables.
Would I buy it again? Yes, I enjoyed it!