Taste-Test: Gluten-Free Pasta

Walk into any supermarket and you’ll find at least one shelf stacked with gluten-free pasta. From fusilli to fettuccine, the range and quality of gluten-free dried pasta has vastly improved, with higher demand and increased competition driving up quality – while pushing prices down. Because gluten-free pasta doesn’t have to feel like such a sacrifice. We’ve worked our way through all the major brands and products to find the pastas that prove gluten-free doesn’t have to mean flavour-free. The gluten-free game-changers, if you will.

Riso Gallo

This well-known rice brand recently launched a new range of wholemeal gluten-free pasta, made from a combination of three different grains: rice, maize and buckwheat. The four different shapes (spaghetti, penne, fusilli and tortiglioni) are earthier than other single-grain, gluten-free pastas, with better bite and a more traditional al dente consistency. If we had to pick a favourite it would be the less common Tortiglioni; its simple tube shape and spiral scoring perfectly soaked up the creamy mushroom sauce we paired it with, bringing together all the best bits of a top-quality penne and fusilli.

Price: £1.99 per 250g
Click here to read the full review

LA BUONA VITA, FREE FROM ITALY

Put simply: this is pasta that looks, cooks and tastes just like the real thing. Special pre-cooking techniques prevent La Buona Vita from sticking together, with the specially grown maize and rice flour giving the pasta a light golden yellow colour and clean taste. The smooth texture and absorbency of the spaghetti is of a notably higher quality than other supermarket brands, while the fusilli is full of bounce and the perfect amount of bite. A well-priced, practical option, easily available from Ocado and Morrisons.

Price: £2 per 500g
Click here to read the full review.

Tesco Free From

You don’t always need to pay more for a decent gluten-free pasta, as is evident in the free-from range from Tesco’s. We recommend – and regularly buy – the 500g bags of fusilli and penne, which work a treat in sauce-heavy dishes and long-cook pasta bakes. The only one to steer clear of is the spaghetti which, while temptingly cheap (£1.20 for 500g), is much finer than other brands, meaning it quickly clumps together and clings to itself on a plate.

Price: £1.20 per 500g

Waitrose lovelife Brown Rice

Simply made from brown rice flour, Waitrose LoveLife brown rice pasta is essentially a cheaper version of the brown rice pasta from Doves Farm and is easily the most affordable wholegrain pasta on here. The flavour is almost nutty, with a firmer texture that can withstand much more cooking than corn-based varieties. Hard to mess up and hard to beat.

Price: £1.89 per 500g

Le Veneziane

Le Veneziane is Italy’s best-selling gluten-free pasta brand – and it’s no surprise why: made entirely from corn, the beautifully spun wheels of the Gluten & Wheat Free Tagliatelle are far more pleasing in colour than your average corn or really any dried pasta, with a soft, pliable texture that separates perfectly when cooked and clings to sauce without clumping or clagging together.

Price: £2.69 for 500g
Click here to read the full review

Asian Organic

Simply made from organic green mung beans and water, the subtle but delicious flavours of this green-coloured edamame and mung bean fettuccine are unusual but no less satisfying.  Packed full of protein and fibre, it’s already a firm favourite with vegetarians and vegans, and is an ideal product for anybody with low iron levels (a common side effect of Coeliac disease or gluten intolerance) – one 56g serving containing 36% of your recommended daily allowance. At £3.29 per 200g it’s certainly expensive, but it’s so unlike any other pasta it’s worth forking out just to try it. Available online and in most health food stores.

Price: £3.29 per 200g

Juvela

Juvela is a prescription-based food service specialising in high quality wheat and gluten-free foods. Made from a combination of Maize Starch, Potato Flour, Rice Starch and Soya Flour, this linguine is much darker in colour than your typical pasta with a robust, absorbent texture and pleasing amount of nutty bite – the perfect partner to a heavier, meat-based sauce.

Price: Available on prescription
Click here to read the full review.

Doves Farm

Made from organically grown brown rice and nothing else, this organic spaghetti from Doves Farm is another nutty take on your typical spaghetti, with an earthiness and bite that will add depth to any dish.  Made without gluten, wheat, milk, salt, nuts, soya or egg, Doves Farm award-winning pasta is a fail-safe favourite, consistently delicious and the preferred choice for many – with or without an allergy.

Price: £2.49 per 500g

Thornleys

It’s been almost two years since we first discovered Thornleys, and since then the 100% natural, coeliac-friendly brand has developed new sauces, new ideas and even its own penne pasta. The pasta itself holds together well, and the penne shape perfectly lends itself towards this style of cooking. The price is the only problem: it’s good, but it’s not that good. A convenient, tasty option for people looking for a one-stop-shop for mealtimes.

Price: £1.95 for 300g
Click here to read the full review

Orgran

While texture-wise this isn’t dissimilar to any other corn pasta, the bright, pleasing colours of these Vegetable & Corn Spirals from Orgran are a welcome change from the norm. Made from maize and rice flour with a minimal amount of added beetroot and spinach powder, this naturally wheat and gluten free pasta is available in spirals (fusilli) and shells (conchiglie), and makes a pleasing alternative the whole family will enjoy.

Price: £1.99 for 250g
Click here to read the full review.

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