I love pasta in all forms, but there’s something about pasta that comes in long thin strings that brings out the noodle-slurping kid in me. Noodles are very versatile- you can load them up with meat, top them with sauce, sprinkle them with cheese, stir them into soup, or eat them as a cold salad. While traditional Italian, Asian, and Jewish noodles made from wheat flour are off-limits to the gluten-free diner, there are plenty of gluten-free noodle materials out there as well.
For example, rice noodles are quite common and corn pasta is growing increasingly widespread, but have you heard of pasta made from quinoa, konjac plants, or squash?
Let’s take a closer look…
- Rice is a very common noodle ingredient and gluten-free rice noodle brands abound. Annie Chun’s, DeB0le’s, Hodgson Mill, Tinkyanda, Notta Pasta, Ener-G, and Fresh & Easy are some of the brands that make gluten-free rice noodles. Rice pasta has a tendency to get very soft and slippery when cooked which works well in Asian cooking, but is not always sturdy enough to hold up to heavy Italian pasta sauces.
- Corn can also be used to make noodles, and Orgran, Schar, and Mrs. Leeper’s all use corn to make their gluten-free noodles. Corn pasta can sometime have a “corny” flavor, but holds its shape and texture well.
- Ancient Harvest and Andean Dream make noodles using the grain quinoa. Quinoa pasta can be a little firmer than other pastas. Ancient Harvest’s gluten-free pasta is also made with corn, so it tends to have more of a “corny” flavor, but Andean Dream’s gluten-free pasta is made only with quinoa and rice flour and has a rather neutral flavor.
- Blogger Emily recently discovered Shirataki noodles, which are gluten-free noodles made from the konjac plant. These noodles are very low-carb and similar in texture to glass noodles often used in Asian cooking.
- Another gluten-free “noodle” can be found in spaghetti squash. Spaghetti squash can be baked and scraped out, with the insides of the gourd forming noodle-like threads that taste great with pasta sauce and cheese.
So how do you get your gluten-free noodle on? Please share your favorite brand or recipe!