When husband and wife Mairead (a coeliac) and Marek (an avid cook) struggled to find gluten-free products they could both enjoy, instead of sitting back they decided to do something about it – and so Lavida Food was born.
Today the couple distribute everything from breakfast cereals to breadsticks, with four of the finest gluten-free brands under their brand’s umbrella. Their motto? ‘Taste Well Travelled’. And there’s no denying it’s a damn sight more exotic than your average supermarket selection. Take these bean-based pastas from organic free-from brand Liberto.
High in protein and fibre with over 400% less carbohydrates than a regular white pasta, these are not only ridiculously healthy but super easy to cook (boiling in just 1-2 minutes) – and surprisingly delicious. The unusual taste of pure beany goodness is better suited to stir-fried dishes and fusion cuisine than your typical Italian recipes, with the black bean spaghetti more like a noodle than pasta – and a whole lot more nourishing.
For something a little more traditional, look no further than Italy’s best-selling gluten-free pasta brand: Le Veneziane.
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.
Gluten-free lasagne is another area that Le Veneziane does well. Made from a combination of corn and rice flour, the sheets are ready to use, meaning no pre-cooking and an overall quicker lasagne.
They also taste just like the real thing: not-too-thin, not-too-thick, with just the right amount of bite. The perfect partner for a meaty ragu and creamy bechamel sauce.
So where you can get them from? Currently available from Ocado, Amazon, Holland & Barrett and Whole Foods Market, Lavida Food hasn’t quite made the high street supermarkets – but it’s worth making the effort for.