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Is there really a good Whole Wheat pasta?

l
Lindy Lou Jul 12, 2007 03:55 PM

My husband hates every brand I bring home. Any suggestions? I'm NOT getting
a new husband!!!!

  1. v
    valfh Sep 18, 2007 03:52 PM

    Try Barilla "Integrale" (whole wheat) spaghetti. Not only it tastes great, but it's way better than regular spaghetti. It's much tastier. It's a new product and it might be a little hard to find in the US. Go to the Barilla website (barillaus.com) to find out where you can find it in your city. I might order some at 1-888-281-6400 myself, as I can't find it in Boston. I had it at home in France this Summer and I'm a big fan.

    Good luck,

    Valfh

    1. vvvindaloo Aug 23, 2007 03:18 PM

      The only one I have ever truly enjoyed is Pasta Riscossa spaghetti. Really good- not too chewy/grainy/dry. A nice mild flavor and exture very cose to traditional pasta. I am not sure where you are, or if it is very widely available. In fact, I live in Manhattan, and the only place where I can regularly find this exact pasta is in the 'burbs where my parents live.

      1. NewSushiFiend Aug 23, 2007 01:57 PM

        Ronzoni! much better than Barilla.

        1. w
          wayne keyser Aug 22, 2007 08:38 PM

          Stop trying to buy "health food". Pasta for (say) spaghetti isn't whole-wheat, it's just not.

          However, the Japanese have been doing other things with buckwheat noodles for ages. Maybe try a recipe that harmonizes all the ingredients, including the pasta, instead of trying to substitute something that just doesn't harmonize.

          1 Reply
          1. re: wayne keyser
            Caitlin McGrath Aug 23, 2007 05:18 PM

            The vast majority of soba (Japanese buckwheat noodles) are made mostly from white flour, so they are not a whole-grain alternative,

          2. Chinon00 Aug 22, 2007 08:32 PM

            To those who would suggest that Barilla Plus is indistinguishable from standard pasta your sauce must be overpowering the flavor of it. I'm not saying that it was bad but the flavor difference was very noticeable to me. Also, I found it to be more brittle than standard pasta as it often broke during the toss and while eating.

            1. p
              pacz Aug 22, 2007 07:06 PM

              I really like the organic whole wheat pasta at Barry Farms. It's mail order. In fact, everything that I have ordered from there (pasta, legumes, sauce) has been delicious.

              http://www.barryfarm.com/spaghetti.htm

              1. f
                floyd Aug 22, 2007 06:14 PM

                I have tried Hodgson Mill and Da Vinci and found them horribly gummy and dense. It was not a pleasurable experience. Although I do like Barilla Plus, one must note it is NOT made with whole-wheat flour but rather a combination of different grain flours that yield a higher protein content. As far as my next trials, I will be trying Bionaturae and Whole Foods 365 which seem to be well-rated overall in all the researching I have done... I hope they do not disappoint... Below are three articles on the matter:

                http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/articles/tasting-panel-whole-wheat-pasta.aspx

                http://www.azcentral.com/home/food/articles/0124pasta0124.html

                http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/fea...

                1. PurpleTeeth Jul 17, 2007 06:01 PM

                  Barrilla Plus availin most grocery Stores. It is not whole wheat but has flax and other things to make it high in fiber and protien. My husband hates whole wheat pasta too and he loves it.

                  1. revsharkie Jul 16, 2007 08:07 PM

                    I have been getting "Heartland" brand at Hy-Vee here locally and it's not half bad. I've been getting the rotini but I got a package of spaghetti last time I was there. Haven't had a chance to do anything with it.

                    But I actually do make my own whole-wheat pasta from time to time (more often before this brand became available). There's a recipe in the Goldbecks' American Wholefoods Cuisine that is pretty good. You actually don't have to have a pasta machine to make some really good stuff with this recipe.

                    1. krissywats Jul 16, 2007 07:17 PM

                      I just tried TJ's sprouted wheat pasta for the first time tonight with a tomato, garlic and tuna sauce. It loved it, although I noticed the sprouted wheat pasta picked up a LOT more salt in the water than my usual bionaturae whole wheat pasta does.

                      just adding another two cents

                      1. m
                        MakingSense Jul 16, 2007 05:44 PM

                        Just use good quality regular pasta. A little simple math might make it easier for you to justify. The difference between the 2 grams of fiber in 2 ounces of regular pasta and the 4 to 6 grams (depending on the brand) in the same amount of whole wheat pasta doesn't really amount to much if your diet is otherwise well-balanced and high in other fiber-rich foods. That actually equals the amount in a medium-sized apple.
                        The Harvard School of Public Health recommends that health adult get a minimum of 20-35 gram of dietary fiber each day and you are probably getting far more.
                        That 2 to 4 gram difference in the whole wheat pasta can easily be compensated for by other high-fiber foods which your husband will happily enjoy.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: MakingSense
                          l
                          Lindy Lou Jul 16, 2007 07:48 PM

                          Love your reply, makes perfect sense. We eat a very healthy diet, lots of
                          fruits and veggies and whole grain bread and cereal. I probably will stop
                          torturing him to eat something he doesn't care for. Thank you.

                          1. re: Lindy Lou
                            c
                            christy319 Jul 17, 2007 04:50 PM

                            I was going to suggest the same thing. I can't stand whole wheat pasta, but there are plenty of other whole grain/fiber-y things I like, so I wouldn't dream of choking down WW pasta just for health reasons.

                            1. re: Lindy Lou
                              vvvindaloo Aug 23, 2007 03:29 PM

                              Lindy, I am a pasta LOVER who does not particularly enjoy whole wheat pasta, in general. However, you will find my sole whole-hearted recommendation as far as WW brands in my post below. The reason I occasionally eat it is because WW pasta, unlike traditonal semolina, is quite figure-friendly, and is a better option for weight-watching, or weight loss. Increased fiber and decreased simple carbs result in an equation much less likely to result in fat storage. I will be the last person to suggest that WW pasta is necessary for everyone, or a "delicious" substitute to regular, but this is one compelling reason to make the compromise every now and then, as I do. I suggest you look online for Pasta Riscossa, unless you have decided that you aren't doing it for weight purposes. In that case, just get plenty of fruit and vegetables for your fiber, and eat whatever pasta you like!

                          2. leanneabe Jul 16, 2007 03:18 PM

                            I'm curious - what are some of the brands you've tried? I recently tried Albertsons house brand ww spaghetti and liked it. Granted, it's not like regular pasta as it was more substantial and chewier, but it wasn't gritty or funny tasting. I think we just ate it with a garlic butter sauce, too. It's definitely heartier than regular pasta, but it's not bad.

                            I will admit, though, that it doesn't fuel my pasta craving. When I crave pasta, I want those soft noodles that aren't healthy. If your husband is waiting for you to come home with a ww pasta where he can't tell the difference, you may need to just give him Barilla Plus. It's not ww, but it's a little better than normal pasta and it practically tastes the same, too.

                            1. p
                              polyhymnia Jul 12, 2007 11:20 PM

                              use a strongly flavored sauce, and a thinner noodle, as for shapes, I think rotini is better than penne (who knows why?). However, my one greatest tip for whole wheat pasta is to cook it a little longer than you would regular pasta. Al dente ww pasta has more of that cardboardy texture and a stronger flavor, at least in my experience. I usually buy ronzoni, fyi.

                              1. krissywats Jul 12, 2007 08:13 PM

                                Bionaturae is my fav (I think that's how it's spelled). They are whole wheat but they must use a white wheat or a less hearty wheat because they are very mild. We started off by dousing those suckers in great sauces and loads of it - now we're so used to whole wheat that regular pasta (unless absolutely fresh) tastes bland somehow and I will gladly eat it with a bit of oil and parm..

                                Bionaturae makes a great whole wheat penne and fusilli and bowtie which are hard to find in other brands (most other brands only make spaghettis and angel hairs and lasagna noodles - if you search hard for the latter).

                                Good luck!

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: krissywats
                                  d
                                  Drew E Jul 12, 2007 08:29 PM

                                  Trader Joe's whole wheat spaghetti is the best I've had.

                                  1. re: krissywats
                                    amyzan Jul 12, 2007 08:30 PM

                                    Yeah, that's the brand (Bionaturae) we eat, too. It's especially good with sauces that contain eggplant, kale, chard, or other strong, hearty flavors. I've used the spaghetti with just tomato sauce and ricotta, though, and had rave reviews, asking me to put it in a rotation. (I don't do rotations, so this amused me: "Let's eat this every week!")

                                    1. re: amyzan
                                      krissywats Jul 12, 2007 08:44 PM

                                      Yes - I have actually used the fusilli to make a sort of 'mac and cheese' and it's always a hit.

                                    2. re: krissywats
                                      b
                                      Budino Aug 22, 2007 06:49 PM

                                      Ditto. Love Bionaturae, we don't even buy the non-whole wheat anymore.
                                      And I love the shapes it comes in, especially the big fat elbowish shapes (the name escapes me at the moment).

                                      1. re: Budino
                                        amyzan Aug 23, 2007 10:57 AM

                                        Chocciole? Or something similar, I think.

                                    3. c
                                      Chimayo Joe Jul 12, 2007 07:51 PM

                                      I saw an episode of America's Test Kitchen recently that picked Ronzoni as their favorite.

                                      (edited to add ATK's results)

                                      "A coarse, gummy texture and out-of-place "oatmeal" flavor plagued too many of the whole wheat pastas we've tried in years past. Recently, however, the options available have multiplied dramatically. We decided to take another look.

                                      Eight of the 10 contenders were made from whole durum wheat, the notably hard, dense wheat from which semolina, the primary ingredient in traditional pasta, is processed. Though texture has improved overall since our previous tastings, several of the pastas were almost as gritty and gluey as we remembered. Our top finishers, Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Blend Pasta and Eden Organic, blended regular semolina with wheat bran and wheat fiber or whole durum wheat, respectively--so they're not 100 percent "whole" wheat. But the combination of a pleasantly chewy texture and deep, wheaty flavor was worth the minor nutritional trade-off.

                                      OUR FAVORITE

                                      RONZONI Healthy Harvest, $1.79 for 13.25 ounces
                                      The only pasta that tasted "undeniably wheaty" without a gummy or grainy texture.

                                      RECOMMENDED

                                      EDEN Organic,
                                      $2.15 for 14 ounces
                                      Nice texture, with a mild flavor-though some found it too mild. "Where's the wheat?"

                                      BIONATURAE,
                                      $2.29 for 16 ounces
                                      The texture of this mild-mannered, "not very wheaty" pasta rivals that of conventional pasta. "A good introduction" to whole wheat pasta.

                                      WESTBRAE NATURAL, $2.49 for 16 ounces
                                      The flavor merely "hints at wheat." Several tasters noticed traces of "gumminess."

                                      NOT RECOMMENDED

                                      ANNIE'S HOMEGROWN, $1.99 for 16 ounces
                                      Full-flavored to some, "intense" to others. Several tasters swore they detected cinnamon.

                                      DE CECCO, $2.29 for 17.5 ounces
                                      The most dietary fiber, but the "gritty, grainy"
                                      texture "feels healthy." The flavor was mild.

                                      EDEN Biodynamic, $2.06 for 14 ounces
                                      Tasters decried the "sandy" texture.

                                      DEBOLES, $1.99 for 8 ounces
                                      Thin noodles were "sticky" and "gluey."

                                      NATURAL VALUE, $2.54 for 16 ounces
                                      "Toothless" pasta reminded tasters of rice.

                                      HODGSON MILL, $2.39 for 16 ounces
                                      "Doughy," "mealy," "sour," and "dusty" sum it up."

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Chimayo Joe
                                        l
                                        Lindy Lou Jul 16, 2007 07:44 PM

                                        Thanks so much for taking the time to give such a detailed reply!

                                        1. re: Chimayo Joe
                                          s
                                          sushicupcake Jul 16, 2007 08:01 PM

                                          Agreed! The Ronzoni rotini is really good. I use it just with veggies and some freshly grated parm. The texture is great and it even reheats well. I don't think Hodgson Mill is THAT bad, though it's not nearly as good as Ronzoni.

                                          1. re: sushicupcake
                                            b
                                            boxspacelady Mar 3, 2011 03:24 PM

                                            I remember that years ago, I tried a random brand. The Ronzoni is no different, still taste like cardboard :(
                                            I give up!

                                          2. re: Chimayo Joe
                                            b
                                            boxspacelady Mar 3, 2011 03:22 PM

                                            No matter what, the whole grain pasta is still tasteless. I tried different strong sauces on the Ronzoni, no luck at all. Very disappointed to find no way around the whole grain taste issue :(

                                          3. aching Jul 12, 2007 04:58 PM

                                            You didn't say what types of pasta you've tried, but based on my experiences with whole wheat pasta, the skinny ones (like angel hair, spaghettini, spaghetti, and linguine) are much tastier than the shapes (like macaroni, penne, fusilli, etc.). I've found this to be true regardless of the brand. Also, pairing it with strong flavors (like arrabiata or puttanesca sauce) might be more acceptable to him than something milder like primavera. Personally, I have become very fond of whole wheat pasta, to the point where I often prefer it (in the same way that I often prefer brown rice to white) for the nuttiness and heartiness it adds to a dish. Good luck with your hubby!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: aching
                                              mrsleny Jul 12, 2007 06:58 PM

                                              I really like the fettuccine from an Italian brand called Misura. Their website seems to be only in Italian (http://www.misura.it/).

                                            2. d
                                              DrRyanJ Jul 12, 2007 04:50 PM

                                              I've found rustichella d'abruzzo by far to be the best. Based on taste and texture.

                                              www.manicaretti.com

                                              1. l
                                                lizdpamperedchef Jul 12, 2007 04:10 PM

                                                You should try the Barilla Plus, my family can't tell the difference. I bought it when I was on Weight Watchers after I tried a bunch of different Wheat pastas and hated one after the other. Good Luck!!!!

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: lizdpamperedchef
                                                  k
                                                  kam0424 Jul 12, 2007 04:44 PM

                                                  i agree with barilla!

                                                  1. re: kam0424
                                                    v
                                                    Val Jul 12, 2007 07:34 PM

                                                    We also have enjoyed the Barilla Plus!

                                                    1. re: Val
                                                      p
                                                      pigtails Jul 12, 2007 09:00 PM

                                                      barilla plus is very high in protein, but it is actually not very high in whole grains. just because it is brown in color doesn't mean it's mostly whole grain. if you read the ingredients closely you'll see that it's mostly white flour.

                                                      i like trader joes - but the truth is, it's never gonna taste like white pasta. your hubby will sort of have to accept that. maybe you will find another way to eat whole grains that you like? we've been enjoying wheat berries and quinoa lately.

                                                2. c
                                                  callmijane Jul 12, 2007 04:07 PM

                                                  have you tried trader joe's?

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: callmijane
                                                    p
                                                    peppatty Jul 12, 2007 07:02 PM

                                                    I actually think Trader Joe's makes a really good whole wheat pasta. I've tried some other brands and they taste more like sawdust than pasta.

                                                    1. re: callmijane
                                                      l
                                                      Lindy Lou Jul 16, 2007 07:40 PM

                                                      Not yet, but I'm going there next week and I'll it on my list! Thanks.

                                                    2. s
                                                      sds Jul 12, 2007 04:03 PM

                                                      I dont know if I have a brand to suggest, but maybe you could mix 1/2 wheat, 1/2 regular to mask the wheat pasta??

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: sds
                                                        l
                                                        Lindy Lou Jul 16, 2007 07:39 PM

                                                        Sounds like a good idea. I guess I have to start the whole wheat pasta
                                                        ahead of the regular, no?

                                                        1. re: Lindy Lou
                                                          s
                                                          sds Jul 17, 2007 04:48 PM

                                                          It typically takes a little longer to cook, but only by a minute or so.

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