Review: Finally! A Gluten-free pasta worthy of my kitchen

Thanks to Gluten-free Girl’s blog and her new sponsor Jovial, I bit the bullet and ordered a box of their gluten-free fusilli and vanilla cookies as a sort of starter kit. While the cookies left a bit to be desired, I’ve learned not to judge a line based on one product. And frankly, the only thing I really wanted was a pre-made pasta to try out my homemade farmer’s market pasta sauce.

Here I must pause. I make a LOT of mistakes in the kitchen. Pumpkin and pineapple soup was a disaster. My apologies to my brother. It was MANY years ago and I was very young. (This may spark a new blog: Sins of my culinary youth.) However, the kitchen is my lab where trials and errors are documented and adjusted until I’m satisfied that my concoctions will elicit a “yummy sound” from Marty Feldman.

I’ve tried many gluten-free pastas with little success. In their place, KAME rice noodles have crept into the void, but never really filled the hole left by comfort foods no longer allowed: Macaroni and cheese, or tomato-, cream- or meat-based pastas. Spaghetti squash, too, had a place in my repertoire, but obviously tastes like squash.

Like most who grew up in the states, a warm bowl of pasta could sustain me through a rainy afternoon and a good book. Those afternoons will return with gusto! I skeptically took the first mouthful of warm tomatoes, bright peppers, meaty bison and brown rice fusilli pasta. This is pasta! The sauce I made was subtle. I don’t like garlicky or poorly balanced, overly spiced taste bud killers. I want to taste the fresh vegetables, the rich meat from a local bison farm and the brightness of the herbs. (Since there was some in the refrigerator, goat cheese made it in too!) For that kind of sauce, you need a canvas that doesn’t overpower. The brown rice pasta delivers.

I cooked it longer than the package directions. 9 minutes isn’t enough. 10 and a half is about right since it will continue cooking in the sauce while they are warming through. There is plenty left over for lunch for a couple of days. The boxes are smaller than the normal pound of pasta, about 12 ounces. You are definitely paying a bit more for a bit less in terms of quantity. The quality is definitely worth it.

I read books about cooking like many people read novels. There is a distinction between recipe books and books about cooking. There are lessons to learn from books written by Julia Child and Alton Brown. Recipe books don’t inspire an event or an experience. More often they are 180 ways to prepare chicken. If I need inspiration, these days I often look to my fellow bloggers or the Cooking channel’s site. And it’s critical to pay it forward.

Hopefully, this will help my fellow gluten-free folks on their culinary travels.


About jessbenbow

Food and wine have been a passion of mine since I was very young. After moving to Federal Hill in December 2010, I've discovered several local restaurants with top chefs willing and able to experiment on me with new recipes and discuss technique and life stories. While this focuses on Federal Hill, Baltimore, I'm often impressed with many other Maryland chefs and they may get their own blog, very soon.
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2 Responses to Review: Finally! A Gluten-free pasta worthy of my kitchen

  1. Great post. Some great points you mention in there.

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