We've blogged a taste test of whole wheat pasta before, back when new brands were popping up and the whole genre was still gaining steam. Now, it seems whole wheat and multi-grain pastas are everywhere, and yet so many people dislike them for their distinct taste and chewy texture.
What do you think?
When we were making our Cold Peanut Sesame Noodles a few days ago, we decided to use whole wheat instead of regular spaghetti. It made us feel like eating a big bowl of pasta with limited vegetables or other healthy ingredients was somehow more virtuous. Whole wheat and multi-grain pastas have more fiber and vitamins, and they don't cause your blood sugar to spike like refined, regular pasta. And there are plenty of articles out there that will tell you the latest batch of whole wheat pastas taste almost identical to their white flour predecessors.
We disagree. Every whole wheat pasta we've tried is decidedly more gummy and tough, and there is a definite mealy flavor.
Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing, in our opinion. In simple pastas with a hearty, well-seasoned sauce — even pesto — we think whole wheat tastes good. With buttery sauces or pastas with wine or broth, we like our pasta more silky and low-key. It's kind of the same way a simple grilled cheese tastes better on white bread.
If you are shopping for healthier pastas, we've read in several places that Bionaturae gets top marks for taste. Barilla Plus is also pretty good, and it has the added benefits of Omega-3 and protein.
We say different pastas for different dishes — whole wheat and regular definitely aren't interchangeable. What about you? Any good whole wheat pasta recipes you love?
Related: Dry Pasta vs. Fresh Pasta: What's the Difference?
(Image: Flickr member atomicshark, licensed under Creative Commons)