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Nouveau Noodles

Wheat is out, grain alternatives are in. Pasta companies have introduced a cornucopia of choices.

By Tara Duggan

noodles HP

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.
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Try These: Andean Dream; DeBoles

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.
Cook Time: 4 minutes; drain, and rinse in cold water
Try These: Annie Chun's; Star Anise Foods; Thai Kitchen

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.
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Try These: Eden Foods; King Soba

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.
Cook Time: 0 minutes; soak the noodles for 10-15 minutes in cold water before using in soups or stir-fries
Try These: Ka-me; Dynasty

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.
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Try These: Jovial Foods; Lundberg Family Farms

October 2013

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