At one time the choices were limited and although pretty good, they weren’t really a substitute for good old wheat pasta.
For years now, excellent gluten free pastas have been available.
One thing you do have to be careful of if you have a sensitive gluten allergy or you have celiac disease, is cross contamination. Many companies are jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon, but not all produce in a truly wheat-free and gluten-free environment. As labeling laws change in different countries, this will improve, but for now you should verify that the label says it was manufactured in a plant free of wheat or gluten.
Gluten-Free Rice Pasta
The best replacement for wheat pasta in my opinion is rice-based gluten-free pasta. Other than Chinese-style rice noodles, this was my first introduction into the world of really great pasta since I discovered my gluten allergy a few decades ago.
Brown rice pasta has a very similar taste and texture to wheat pasta. In fact, an old girlfriend first introduced it to me years ago, and she discovered it because she wanted to try something new. Most people find brown rice pasta to be just as good as ‘regular’ pasta, even if they normally eat wheat.
A couple of brands I usually come across in Canada are Penn (produced by Rizopia foods) and Tinkyada. I recommend both products.
Gluten-Free Corn Pasta
Corn pasta has a bit of a taste to it, compared to rice pasta. It is good, just a bit less neutral. I haven’t found one with quite the constancy of rice pasta. It is good and well worth trying.
Chinese Rice Noodles
Chinese rice noodles are much softer than regular pasta and are made from white rice. The are good, although if you’re used to wheat pasta, they are less satisfying. They are good although once I discovered brown rice pasta, I stopped eating rice noodles as much. They do cook up very quickly which is an advantage, and it is always nice to have a variety of foods to choose from.
What is your experience with gluten-free pasta?