Want a pasta that’s made of legumes instead of grains? Try this one.
Who wouldn’t want pasta made out of fiber-rich, protein-packed bean or lentil flour rather than ordinary white flour?
Until today, maybe you. Unfortunately, many legume pastas are crumbly and taste, well, like beans.
Exception: Barilla. The pasta company—they’re relatively new to the bean scene—makes Red Lentil Rotini and Penne, and Chickpea Rotini and Casarecce.
While red lentil and chickpea flour don’t quite match the springy texture of a traditional white pasta made of semolina wheat, they’re the closest we’ve found yet.
It’s no coincidence that Barilla picked rotini, penne, and casarecce. Short shapes are less likely to crumble than long, thin strands like spaghetti.
Just add your favorite pesto, garlic sauce, or marinara, and you’re in business.
If you’re looking for extra protein, you’ll walk away with 13 grams (lentil) or 11 grams (chickpea) per serving—about 1 cup of cooked pasta, which has just under 200 calories. You’d get 7 grams of protein in ordinary white pasta and 8 grams in whole wheat.
And talk about fiber. To be a “good source,” foods need 2½ grams per serving. These babies have 6 to 8 grams. Plus, they’re richer in potassium than wheat.
Bonus: If you’re gluten-free…so are bean pastas.
Just be sure to follow the cooking directions carefully. Overcooked bean pasta can get gummy.
The information in this post first appeared in the January/February 2019 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.
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