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Is there really a good Whole Wheat pasta?

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

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  1. 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

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

      1. re: Lindy Lou

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

      1. re: callmijane

        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

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

        2. 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: kam0424

              We also have enjoyed the Barilla Plus!

              1. re: Val

                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.

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

            www.manicaretti.com

            1. 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

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

              2. 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

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

                  1. re: Chimayo Joe

                    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

                      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

                      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. 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

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

                        1. re: krissywats

                          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

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

                          2. re: krissywats

                            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

                              Chocciole? Or something similar, I think.

                          3. 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. 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. 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

                                  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

                                    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

                                      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. 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. 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. 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. 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/ar...

                                          http://www.azcentral.com/home/food/ar...

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

                                          1. 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. 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. 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

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

                                                2. Ronzoni! much better than Barilla.

                                                  1. 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. 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