I’m not celiac, but when I saw “gluten-free brown rice spaghetti” in the bulk aisle at Winco (I was buying regularly spaghetti for some a ragu I was planning to reheat for lunch) I knew I had to do a taste test.
Frankly, I’m more than a little suspicious about a lot of “gluten-free” products (probably from being forced to try so many “diabetic-friendly” products, growing up), but I’ll keep this review short and sweet, and avoid gilding the lily as much as possible…
Worthy of note – I come from an Italian family, and three generations of chefs…I know pasta. My Nona’s Sunday gravy recipe is the best pasta sauce that has ever graced this lowly earth. So, I felt well positioned for a straight-up, non-biased taste test.
Here we go…
This stuff is great.
The brown rice pasta (bottom) is noticeably darker than it’s wheat cousin, but the general “raw” feel and snap are the same.
I cooked both in identically salted, simmering water. The generic pasta (right) took its typical 10 minutes; the brown-rice version (left) required 15 minutes.
The slightly longer cooking time produced a perfect al-dente pasta that, on the “plain pasta taste test” actually had a pleasantly mild, nutty flavor, similar to whole-wheat pasta, but without the chewy, gummy mouth-feel that I hate about those products.
Blindfolded, with my nose pinched, I’m not sure I could have told you, consistency-wise, which was which, and (and I can’t believe I’m saying this)…I actually liked the taste of the gluten-free stuff a little better than the regular spaghetti.
It added a more noticeable (in a good way) layer of flavor to the sauced dish, than the regular pasta does.
Now, I’m sure you noticed that the price on the GF label is a bit more than twice the price of the old stand-by, but let’s be realistic here, okay…we’re talking about a fraction more than an additional thirteen cents per serving.
As I’m sure most celiac shoppers will tell you…big whoop!
So, I gotta give brown-rice spaghetti two thumbs up. I was very pleasantly surprised, and won’t hesitate to recommend it in the future. If you’re trying to maintain a gluten-free lifestyle (and, if you are, be sure to check out our Gluten-Free & Easy Meal Plan)…this is a really good product to add to your shopping list.
‘Course, you could put my Nona’s pasta sauce on an old army boot, and it’s going to be awesome…just sayin’…