Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Comparing 100% whole wheat pastas

Two ounces of uncooked Colavita fusilli contain 20 milligrams of sodium.
100% whole wheat is the only pasta we eat.

Not all 100% whole wheat pastas are created equal.

Trader Joe's and Colavita make whole wheat pastas that taste as good, if not better, than conventional pasta.

But Trader Joe's has three advantages: 

It's made from organic durum whole wheat, it contains no salt and it is 10 cents cheaper than the imported Colavita pasta I buy at Jerry's Gourmet and More in Englewood ($1.39 v. $1.49).

Both come in 16-ounce packages, compared to the 13-ounce to 14-ounce packages of whole grain and whole wheat pasta sold in supermarkets for more money.

You can conserve water when cooking pasta.

I use only enough water to cover the pasta, instead of the 4 to 6 quarts called for on the packages, and I never salt the pasta water.

Colavita cooking times aren't as reliable as those listed by Trader Joe's. 

I usually drain the pasta a minute or two before it is al dente, and finish cooking it in the sauce.

One Colavita advantage is that it comes in more shapes, including capellini and fusilli.

The nutritional labels for 2 ounces are different, too:

Trader Joe's lists 210 calories, 15 from fat, while Colavita has 200 calories, 5 from fat.

Both list about the same carbohydrates and protein, but Trader Joe's pasta has 5 grams of dietary fiber to 2 grams for Colavita. 

Whole-wheat spaghetti with sardines, leeks, tomato and capers.

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