Brendan McEntee's young daughter Mara loved to eat pasta, but he wasn't happy about the overly refined carbohydrates found in the classic durum wheat varieties. He tried to coax her into eating whole wheat pasta but her young palate refused the gritty texture.
As the owner of a wholesale flour company, Mr. McEntee was in a position to find out if there was a way to develop a smooth textured, mild-flavored pasta with the nutritional advantage of whole wheat. Luckily for us, he succeeded.
Mr. Entee is the owner of Cook Natural Products, a SF Bay Area wholesale flour company with an emphasis on whole grain and organic wheat flours. Over the years he has built relationships with farmers across the country, so he had a lot of sources in place when he set out to create his whole wheat pasta. Eventually he began working with a variety of wheat that was not durum, which he calls Maragrain. This non-durum wheat is milled into a flour that produces a milder tasting, smoother textured pasta with a higher protein and fiber profile and lower calorie count than other whole grain pastas. (Fiber: 7 grams/serving, compared to 4 to 5 grams/serving; protein: 8 grams/serving, compared to 7 grams/serving; calories: 190 calories/serving, compared to 210 calories per serving.)
Maragrain is a unique form of wheat, grown on two family farms located in North Dakota and Montana and is non-GMO. At this time it is not organic, but if the demand grows, Mr. McEntee hopes to transition to an organic product.
But how does it taste? I was able to test a few packages on Mara's pasta in my home kitchen and I am very impressed. Mara's cooks up quickly (faster than the usual durum pasta) and produces a nice, smooth, chewy noodle with a mild wheat taste. I have been using it in all my pasta recipes with excellent, delicious results.
While Mara's Pasta story is based on a child's love of pasta, I think adults looking to add whole grains into their diet will also be happy to have this on their shelves. Mara's Pasta provides 25% of our daily recommendation for fiber and is a great product for athletes. Give it a try!
• For more information, visit the Mara's Pasta website.
• Bay Area dwellers can find Mara's Pasta on the shelves of these fine establishments. It is also available online at Mara's Pasta website. A one pound bag is $4.75 with free shipping (minimum order three bags.)
Related: Einkorn Pasta: Whole Wheat with a Past
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Image: Mara's Pasta)