They tried low-carb. They dabbled with gluten-free. And now, finally, diners are coming home to pasta.
“People have been afraid of carbs for so long, but over the years, they’ve begun to notice that avoiding carbs hasn’t led to weight loss or better health, so they’re saying, ‘Why not eat pasta?’” says Suzy Badaracco, president of Culinary Tides, a trends forecaster for the food industry. She notes that many major cooking titles, such as Saveur and Bon Appetit, have had cover stories on pasta. “Consumers are paying attention and they’re trusting pasta again.”
Pasta, the new health food?
The once-maligned noodle is now enjoying a bit of a health halo, as well. “There is clinic research showing pasta eaters do weigh less,” Badaracco says. Leading the way on this health-conscious bandwagon are pastas that bring along the superfoods cachet of whole grains and ancient grains, as well as those made with vegetable flours, like peas or lentils, or vegetable proteins, like chickpeas.
“Pasta is one of those foods we call ‘interpreters,’ because, if someone is trying an unfamiliar cuisine, pasta will often be the least threatening thing on the menu,” Badaracco says. “There might be chilis, peanut sauce and fish sauce on top of those noodles, but the pasta itself isn’t shocking. It invites you to be a little bold and try some of the other things on the plate.”
Put pasta on the menu
For chefs and operators, the benefits of pasta are clear: it’s shelf stable or freezer stable, low in price, and easy to measure and portion accurately. “It cooks more quickly than rice, and it keeps longer than bread. Why wouldn’t you have it somewhere on your menu?” Badaracco asks.
Marzetti Frozen Pasta® offers a wide variety of convenient precooked products that deliciously save time and labor. Choose from on-trend options like gemelli, gnocchi, cavatappi, farfalle and more. Preparation with our precooked products is waste-free, fast and easy. Remove just the amount you need from the freezer, drop in boiling water for approximately 30 seconds and it’s ready to serve.
Wondering about the cost comparison between frozen precooked and dry noodles? Check out this video – the answer may surprise you.
Looking for more recipe ideas and menu inspiration? Make sure to check out our recipe section.