My wife and I both agree that it is the best gluten-free pasta we have ever tried. In addition, my wife has since consumed "real" pasta (the standard wheat / semolina type) from a well known Italian restaurant, and she concluded that this gluten-free pasta was better than the "normal" pasta she had at the restaurant. I'd say that is a remarkable achievement for a gluten-free pasta to say the least!
This particular spinach-basil-accent gluten-free pasta is by Kelly Smith [UPDATE: Kelly's business did not survive; her pasta was quite good, but the company is long gone]; I left the remainder of this blog post here just to show what is possible with gluten-free pasta. (mike: April, 2011).
The only down-side is that because Kelly makes it only at certain times, you need to get "in the queue" essentially. In fact, when I told Kelly that I planned to review this pasta, she said:
"You are welcome to mention [the pasta] if you want to. But please mention that right now - pasta is something we do only when we aren't swamped with baking [other items]. We have people who sign up for it - we just let them know when we do a run of it. I never have any leftovers. That's why it took me so long to get a batch to you."I can understand why there are no leftovers. It certainly is a treat to have a gluten-free pasta this good, and I am willing to wait for a while and get in line or whatever :)
I was quite impressed by the presentation - both dry, and cooked. It looked wonderful. And, even more impressive is how it lived up to its looks and tast fantastic! The *only* thing I noticed that was not exactly like "real" pasta was that you had to perhaps be a bit more careful with watching the cooking time, and you had to be sure to rinse it well after cooking for the best texture. I also found that, as strange as this sounds, the pasta improved with a little "resting period" as it sat on my plate (between my first taste, and the time it took me to take the second picture above, which by the way, is prior to me adding any sauce or pesto, etc).
This product review and evaluation is coming from someone who rarely eats pasta (gluten-free), mainly because I don't need useless carbs in my diet, and because most pasta on the market (dry, commercialized, pre-packaged stuff) isn't good enough to entice me into eating it. I've tried soy pasta, white rice and brown rice pasta, quinoa (not good), and pasta with lupin flour (which Bi-Aglut uses, and is rather decent, but is difficult to find recently). But, none of those main-stream commercial options offer nearly the "real" pasta experience. As such, I save my carbohydrate (self-imposed) quota for my gluten-free desserts instead: cakes, cookies, pies, brownies, smoothies, and so forth. But, Kelly's pasta is good enough to actually make me want gluten-free pasta now!
I don't know all the exact ingredients she uses in her pasta (perhaps that's a trade secret for something so good), but I do know it is clearly gluten-free, and that it is also corn-free (since Kelly is allergic to corn). Regardless of what is in there beyond the basil and spinach components, the fact is that the end result is quite wonderful.
There is perhaps hardly any reason to add a summary paragraph, since my determination is most obvious: this small-batch designer "homemade" type high-quality gluten-free pasta is superb! Now if only Kelly could find a way to expand her business and keep up with demand for pasta in addition to her desserts, breads, pizza crusts, and other wondeful gluten-free diet items.