With gluten sensitivity on the rise, the number of companies offering gluten-free noodles—in both Italian and Asian styles—is increasing. The trick to cooking them well is to bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil, add the pasta, return the water to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, stir regularly to avoid clumping—and don't overcook. Note that whole-grain pastas like those made with brown rice, corn, or quinoa shine with heartier sauces to complement their earthy flavor.
1. Quinoa Pasta
A growing number of gluten-free pastas feature quinoa and are made with a mix of potato, corn, and rice flour. High in protein and minerals, quinoa has an appealing mineral flavor.
2. Rice Noodles
In Southeast Asia, both thin and wide rice noodles show up in soups, noodle bowls, fresh spring rolls, and stir-fries such as pad thai. Several companies have new brown-rice versions of these traditional noodles.
3. Soba Noodles
Japanese soba noodles are traditionally made with a combination of wheat and buckwheat flour. Gluten-free versions made with 100 percent buckwheat flour are available too. Make sure to drain and rinse in cold water before serving with a soy dipping sauce or in soups or salads.
4. Bean Thread Noodles
Made from mung-bean starch and usually as thin as the name suggests, these Asian noodles are traditionally gluten-free. Also called saifun or cellophane noodles, they are translucent after soaking in water.
5. Brown Rice Pasta
Brown rice pasta has a complex, earthy flavor and pleasing, rustic appearance and holds its texture better than the white rice version.
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