Taste-Off: Pasta vs. Pasta

There is a new pasta brand on the market that claims its more primitive composition makes it a nutritional superstar. But does it taste good? We took it to the kitchen on this one.

As the line blurs between “health” food and “regular” food (isn’t it cool to eat healthy these days?), producers are on the lookout for the next great thing. Einkorn is one such example. An ancient grain, first grown by man over 12,000 years ago, einkorn has nearly been forgotten due to its low yield and other characteristics that make it unsuitable for mass-processing. However, this grain is a nutritional powerhouse that I think will give the other whole wheat, spelt, or farro pastas on the market a run for their money.

Compared side by side with generic whole wheat pasta, einkorn pasta is a richer source of protein, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals like thiamin and lutein than both whole wheat and regular pastas. Like whole-wheat pasta, it has both the bran and germ, resulting in higher fiber count. And many know that more fiber and less processing means a lower glycemic index, which is better for us and and our waistlines. 

We will let the facts speak for themselves, but in order to properly compare the two pastas yourself -- by tasting -- you can do as I did, and take the pasta to the kitchen. Pair the Einkorn pasta with something simple, like butter and Parmigiano Reggiano or a parsley-walnut pesto. Or you can choose a chunky sauce to complement the chewy noodles, like the Tomato Vegetable Sauce with Sausage. Whole wheat pasta is a versatile alternative to "regular" pasta. It goes well in cold vegetable pasta salads, sesame noodle salads, or with a Creamy Goat Cheese Sauce with Beets and Beet Greens

 

Jovial Whole-Grain Einkorn Pasta

  • Price: about $3.39 - $3.69 for a 12 ounce box
  • Calories: 200 calories per 2 ounce serving
  • Protein: 9 grams per 2 ounce serving
  • Fiber: 4 grams per 2 ounce serving
  • Ingredients: 100% organic whole-grain einkorn, water
  • Source: Jovial Foodsclick here to buy.
  • Cooking Time: About 14 minutes for 4 servings
  • Appearance: A slightly reddish tone; a darker brown color than whole wheat pasta
  • Taste: A little chewier than standard whole-wheat pasta, which, when served with a chunky sauce, is nice. Has a distinctive sweet and nutty flavor that makes eating the pasta alone not so plain. 

 

Bionaturae Whole Durum Wheat Pasta

  • Price: $3.49 for a 16 ounce bag
  • Calories: 180 calories per 2 ounce serving
  • Protein: 7 grams protein per 2 ounce serving
  • Fiber: 6g fiber per 2 ounce serving
  • Ingredients: Organic whole durum wheat
  • Source: Bionaturae; click here to find it.
  • Cooking Time: About 10 minutes for 4 servings
  • Appearance: A light brown color with darker flecks of brown.
  • Taste: Less chewy than the einkorn pasta, but chewier than standard pasta. Unlike plain pasta, there is a definite nut flavor to whole wheat pasta, not as much as einkorn. Want to buy it? 
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