“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Gluten-free Spaghetti / Ingredients: Maize and rice flour „
Those of you who have read my more recent reviews will know that my hubbie has recently been diagnosed with quite a few food intolerances one of which is wheat. This has meant a bit of a rethink in our mealtimes, because although we were never very frequent eaters of pasta or bread, we did indulge once in a while particularly in my all time favourite comfort food: Spag Bol! Seriously this would be my last supper, so the thought of doing without it again was not to be entertained!
The first time I made Spag Bol was with Tesco Free From pasta spirals but unlike ordinary pasta, you do not want to eat this stuff without it being smothered in sauce. The spirals were just a bit too heavy and I found I could really taste the rice flour which although not unpleasant exactly, is not particularly enjoyable.
So on the basis that spaghetti is thinner, I thought the taste would be more easily masked by a rich bolognese sauce and bought a packet to give it a try.
The spaghetti can be found in Tesco's designated Free From section in its distinctive yellow and purple packaging. It costs £1.28 for a 500g packet, which is more expensive than your usual but as I mentioned, it's only a meal we eat once in a while so I didn't mind the price.
It is free from Wheat and Gluten and contains just three ingredients: Maize Flour, Rice Flour and Emulsifier.
I cooked it as I would ordinary spaghetti - in a large pan of boiling slightly salted water and watched it as it bubbled to keep an eye on it's progress!
I swirled it around a bit in the pan and noticed that the strands tend to stick together in clumps and you can't really de-clump them. The other thing I noticed was that the water went cloudy - all in all it wasn't looking too appetising at that point.
As it continued to boil, the strands seemed to de-clump a lot easier and although there were still some stuck together, it was a lot less than at the start.
After about 10 mins I tested a strand to see if it was done and it was (it needs to be cooked through though, the al dente thing doesn't really work with wheat free)
I drained the pasta of all that cloudy water and at that point, decided to pour a kettle full of recently boiled water over it to rinse away any excess starch. That folks, is my top tip for the wheat free stuff, in my opinion it really needs it otherwise it's just a bit like glue!
I returned the spaghetti to the pan and added the bolognese sauce stirring through thoroughly so each strand was coated, figuring I wouldn't have to taste the naked pasta that way.
It worked too! Okay so it wasn't exactly like 'normal' spag bol, but it was a pretty damn good alternative if you can't / don't want to eat wheat and was a massive improvement on the pasta shapes. The rice flour was very well disguised amongst the sauce, and the consistency was fairly similar to regular spaghetti making it not just edible but downright enjoyable!
So all in all, my top tips for wheat free pasta are:
* use the spaghetti instead of the pasta shapes if you aren't keen on the taste
* rinse the cooked product in boiling water to remove excess starch
* smother each strand in sauce
Hope this was helpful!
(also on ciao as ciaomiaow)