10 best gluten free pastas

MUCH OF THE past two years has been spent desperately seeking a passable taste of the proper pasta Sid is missing. I needed to feed the one quarter Italian in him, after all.

So here’s what I’ve found – the best of the bunch (as far as I’ve managed to get in my mission, anyway). They’re all nut free, egg free and sesame free, too:

Molino di Ferro Le Veneziane Gluten Free Tagliatelle

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This is the only gluten free tagliatelle I’ve found and it’s a winner. Made from corn, if you undercook it (more like 4/5 mins than the 5/6 suggested) it keeps a passable bite and is pretty impressive wreathed in a bolognese or tomato sauce. Cook it any longer, though, and it falls apart, so treat it gently when serving. I’ve had a little look and they do a bigger range available at online store La Camisa, which might be worth checking out. Le Veneziane tagliatelle, Ocado, £2.65

Sainsbury’s Free From Spaghetti

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Surprisingly, this supermarket brand spaghetti is the best I’ve found – as close as you can get to the real thing, retaining its bite and flavour. Made from corn and rice flour. FreeFrom Italian Corn Spaghetti, Sainsbury’s £1.40

Barkat Gluten Free Alphabet Shapes

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This is a bit of a novelty item but I like it as a fun buy for kids. As a child I used to have stelline (little stars) in a broth with parmesan but my attempt to recreate with Annabel Karmel’s gluten free version didn’t go too well – they stuck together and went hard. These pasta shapes are a good alternative if you rinse them in cold water immediately after cooking… then add to a hot broth or a little of the boiled pasta water mixed with butter and parmesan. I tossed them with a fresh tomato and garlic pasta sauce and cannellini beans, too, for a quick and healthy lunch. Barkat Gluten Free Alphabet Shapes, Goodness Direct, £2.99

Dove’s Farm Organic Brown Rice Spaghetti

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It’s a travesty to say so (because mostly I adore Dove’s Farm) but I’m not a huge fan of Dove’s Farm pastas, by and large. They tend to go soft and gloopy very quickly and don’t retain much ‘bite’. But if you’re looking for an organic brown version then their spaghetti isn’t bad at all. More spaghettini as it’s pretty thin but it’s got the bite the others lack. Dove’s Farm Organic Brown Rice Spaghetti, Dove’s Farm, £2.49

Orgran Buckwheat Pasta Spirals

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Now this isn’t anything remotely like ‘proper’ pasta but I do like using it for Sidney as buckwheat is a nutritious alternative to wheat. Despite the name, it’s not related to wheat and is, in fact, a fruit seed from the rhubarb and sorrel family of plants. It’s rich in flavonoids, apparently. But this doesn’t mean it’s always allergy safe – some people are allergic to buckwheat, so follow a doctor’s advice if in doubt. Orgran Buckwheat Pasta Spirals, Ocado, £1.99

Gallo 3 Cereali Penne

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An Italian brand gluten free pasta made from rice, corn and buckwheat that cooks to a good al dente consistency. Only problem is I haven’t yet found it in the shops here – I bought my packet at the Allergy Show this summer where I believe they said they were looking to launch in the UK imminently, so I guess watch this space or email sales@gallouk.comGallo 3 Cereali Penne, Riso Gallo

Farabella ‘Classic’ Gluten Free Gnocchi

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I also stumbled across these at the Allergy Show a couple of years ago and jumped on them as they’re egg free and wheat free, too. They cook to a good firm bite and are lovely with a creamy or tomato sauce. Very passable indeed. Farabella ‘Classic’ Gluten Free Gnocchi, Drossa Ltd, £3.79

Farabella Cannelloni

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Another ‘shape’ of pasta that’s hard to come by gluten free, these aren’t bad at all for whipping up a spinach and ricotta filling and baking covered in a tomato sauce and parmesan. Farabella Cannelloni, Drossa Ltd, £4.25

Schar ‘I Classici’ Ditali

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OK, so these aren’t actually available here in the UK (they’re made by the Italian arm of the company that also owns DS Gluten Free) but if you ever go to Italy see if you can pick up a packet from a farmacia. They’re a great texture and taste – as close to the real thing as I’ve ever found and brilliant in a pasta salad or a gluten free riff on macaroni cheese. Made from maize, millet and rice. Over here, Farabella do the same variety for £3.99 so while I’ve never tried them myself, they may be worth a go.

Orgran Gluten Free Lasagne Mini Sheets

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These are a close tie with Sainsbury’s Free From Lasagne Sheets – the Orgran ones have a wiggle and are mini, making them good for toddler meals. Both have good texture and make tasty lasagne dishes. Orgran Gluten Free Lasagne Mini Sheets, Ocado, £2.99

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