These days, pasta (or should we say “pasta”?) is being made with everything from seafood to beans to quinoa—and everything in between. As they look over menus and see all sorts of new ways to eat something fresh and tasty that’s still in the basic shape of a noodle, diners couldn’t be more pleased. They love finding new twists on old favorites, and standard flour-and-water-only varieties now are making room on the plate for pasta made from a host of innovative ingredients and add-ins.
Shirataki noodles are made from yam starch. Called “miracle noodles,” these translucent, gelatinous strands are made from the konjac yam (also called devil’s tongue yam or elephant yam). For health-conscious diners, they’re of special interest, because they’re very low in digestible carbohydrates and calories. But they have purely culinary, not nutritional benefits, as well, since their bland flavor allows them to pick up the flavors of whatever sauce they’re in. Check the Sichuan-style shirataki noodle salad recipe below to get started.
Other non-traditional pastas rely on legumes and pulses, like black bean spaghetti, chickpea pasta or red lentil pasta. They’re naturally high in protein and fiber, and all are gluten free. Chefs are finding they take well to any highly flavorful sauce, as in the black bean pasta with roasted summer vegetables and goat cheese recipe from the San Francisco Chronicle below.
Pasta is even getting in on the fermentation craze. Louisville, Kentucky chef, Max Balliet of Pizza Lupo serves Fermented Jalapeño Farfalle. The pasta is made with semolina flour, egg and liquid from lacto-fermented jalapeño. The finished noodles are then mixed with pasta water, housemade chickpea-miso compound butter, Benton’s country ham and fresh corn.
Another pasta trend–superfast prep from T. Marzetti®
Every second counts in a busy kitchen, so using T. Marzetti’s super-speedy frozen pasta will help you plate up pasta dishes in record time. Our pasta products are made from the finest ingredients, then frozen fresh for maximum flavor retention. The pasta can go directly from the freezer into boiling water, and it’s ready to serve in about 30 seconds. It looks fresh, tastes delicious and gives you time to keep up the pace throughout service.
Why My Fridge Is Never Without Shirataki Noodles (and Yours Shouldn’t be Either) by J. Kenji López-Alt in Serious Eats