Product: La Veneziane Gluten-Free Corn Meal Farfalle – $4.39+
Mmmm…pasta. I love, love, love, love, love pasta!! But, being gluten-free…you have to find the perfect pasta in order to truly enjoy any pasta dish you might have had prior to needing to go gluten-free. That’s how it was with me. And while I like brown rice pasta well enough, I find that on the reheat, it gets mushy and falls apart. And sometimes, on the initial cooking, it gets mushy and falls apart. This can be really, really aggravating.
But, pasta lovers…do not fear. There is a plethora of gluten-free pastas out on the market these days…and all of them are different, cook different, hold up differently, reheat differently…so you do have your options. And, being the pasta-fiend that I am…I am slowly making my way through the ever-growing varieties that are offered.
Normally, I probably never would have stumbled across Le Veneziane. But, I was in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for a race and there is this amazing little store called The Gluten-Free Trading Company. Everything in there is…naturally…gluten-free. And I went there…twice…in the short time I was in town. It called to me. Imagine grocery shopping without having to read every label. The guesswork was done for you. It was all gluten-free. It was all safe. YAY!
I tried to be selective in the items I chose to purchase there, opting for brands and products I had never seen or heard of before. In the back, they had shelves of gluten-free pastas. And one of the ones that caught my eye was Le Veneziane. This pasta is made with Italian first choice cornmeal. So, it’s more of a corn-based pasta than a rice-based pasta. In the past, I have preferred corn pasta over rice for a gluten-free option, mainly because it holds together better, doesn’t get mushy, and the texture is just preferred.
I chose the La Veneziane Farfalle because it was ‘bow-tie’ pasta. And I hadn’t had a gluten-free farfalle yet. Not only that, these little “bow-ties” weren’t filled in…rather the shapes were more intricate and delicate. I had to try it.
Last night, I decided to modify my mom’s famous recipe for macaroni and cheese and make it with gluten-free pasta (as I normally do) and add some fresh veggies from my CSA bin. Why not? Of course, the most important part was choosing a good pasta. And, after digging through my pantry, I opted for the La Veneziane Corn Meal Gluten-Free Farfalle. I figured it would not only make an interesting mac and cheese, but hopefully a delicious one too. I wanted a corn pasta for this because with the added broccoli and, of course, the cheese, it could be quite heavy and I needed my pasta noodles to hold up.
Le Veneziane is produced by Molino di Ferro. It is their gluten-free pasta line and offers up light and easy-to-digest corn pasta options. These pastas have a very low fat content, making them ideal for those who are attempting to stay healthy, but still enjoy Mediterranean cuisine. Yes…a balance can be found.
La Veneziane Gluten-Free Farfalle does cook up very light. The noodles were amazingly light, yet sturdy. The survived the initial boiling, to just under al dente. Then, they were dumped into my casserole dish, mixed with fresh vegetables, spices, and my gluten-free white sauce. And then, on top of all of that…they were baked for 45 minutes. And they held their shape and were sheer perfection in the end. I am very picky about how my noodles hold up, especially in classic dishes, and La Venezian Gluten-Free Farfalle, despite looking delicate, held its shape.
Texture-wise, this pasta is awesome. As I said, it cooked and baked to a perfect consistency. At al dente, it had the right amount of bite to it. And, despite being made from corn meal, this pasta doesn’t add any sort of corn flavor to your dish. You would assume regular noodles were being used. That’s another thing…no one would even guess that these noodles were gluten-free. They held up, didn’t become mushy, and just complimented the rest of the ingredients in the macaroni and cheese itself. For that, I am thankful. I grew up eating this dish quite often. Nothing beats my mom’s homemade macaroni and cheese. And I love being able to enjoy it with a pasta that is worthy of it.
La Veneziane Gluten-Free Farfalle Pasta will serve up 200 calories per serving, which is about 56 grams dried pasta. The container has 4.5 servings in it. There is only 0.5 grams of fat in a serving (LOVE THAT!). No sodium, no cholesterol. And a nice helping of 4 grams of protein in a serving. Love that. It’s a healthier choice for a pasta and one that I wish I could find easier.
The pasta cooks rather quickly, about 8 to 10 minutes in boiling water. And it really is sheer perfection. It’s a low-fat, high quality pasta that I would love to find around here and incorporate into more dishes. So impressed by it and how well it held up to everything I put it through in order to make this dish. Delicious and dependable. That’s what La Veneziane serves up with their corn meal pasta.
I hope to find this somewhere around here…or maybe head back to Milwaukee in the near future and pick up more of this brand. I was so impressed.