Good article in the NY Times this morning about whole wheat pasta. I live in an area without interesting food stores and am wondering if anyone has tried the supermarket standard whole wheat pasta - Barollo, Ronzoni, sometimes De Cecco, or Trader Joe's own brand? Thanks in advance.

Bob Y
  • Posted by: Bob Y
  • October 13, 2010


aargersi October 14, 2010
Do you have a good farmer's market? Maybe check there - we have a couple of pasta vendors at ours, one sells amazing dried whole wheat pasta and another sells fresh - they are both fantastic. It's funny though - as Betteirene says, I love the stuff and my husband, not so much.
healthierkitchen October 14, 2010
Like Melissa Clark says, in addition to finding the right brand of pasta, the choice of sauce is key. I really would not serve a great Italian ragu over whole wheat pasta, but I love it with certain vegetable sauces or with peanut sauce or walnut sauce. Don't like it with basil pesto, but do with Sicilian pesto.
betteirene October 14, 2010
Just two nights ago, we chalked up whole wheat pasta (Barilla and TJ's) as a "woman thing." I like it, and so do my three daughters-in-law. The grandkids didn't notice a difference. But my sons, jeez, you'd think they had been fed compost. One daughter-in-law reported that my son took one bite, didn't say a thing, and just ate the meat sauce with bread. Later, he told her he didn't realize it was whole wheat and that it tasted raw.
calendargirl October 13, 2010
DeCecco and Trader Joe's are the supermarket brands of whole wheat pasta I have tried. I would give the edge to De Cecco on this one. Bionature, one of the brands mentioned in Melissa Clark's article, really is quite good in my experience. It is also somewhat less pricey than many of the other artisanal brands.
healthierkitchen October 13, 2010
I find Garofalo in my grocery store. It is worth looking for over Barilla, etc.
allie October 13, 2010
Melissa Clark's website also has more details on her taste test --
drbabs October 13, 2010
In the interest of science, I made pasta for dinner tonight. I used Trader Joe's organic whole wheat penne. I think the trick to having it taste good is to leave it slightly undercooked and sauce it with really hot sauce so the sauce completes the cooking. WHole wheat pasta tastes like cardboard if it's overcooked at all. I have't tried the imported version, though. That will be my next shopping expedition.
gibilix October 13, 2010
Here in Italy I usually buy De Cecco or Barilla and they are both fine, although not the best.

I find whole wheat past more tasty than white pasta and even a very simple recipe becomes interesting. Like this for example:

Chop a couple of fresh tomatoes and put them in a bowl with a couple of garlic cloves and a tablespoon of good olive oil. Add some cheese cut in small cubes, three/four basil leaves and some arugula. If you can allow yourself few more calories, add also some beacon slightly toasted on a pan without any added fat. Mix with whole wheat pasta.

I took a picture last time I did it:
nutcakes October 13, 2010
I have only liked expensive imported ones. There is a fantastic recipe in the yellow SF Chronicle book for WW Spaghetti with Arugula from Janet Flecher Anyone who thinks they don't like WW pasta should try it with the best imported one (and quality cheese) they can find.

4 T evoo, 12 garlic cloves thinly sliced, 1/2 t red pepper flakes, 3/4 lb young arugula, salt, 1lb ww spaghetti, 3/4 freshly grated pecorini romono.

Heat 2 T oil med-low heat add garlic, pepper 10 min add arugula and wilt 2 min. Heat bowl in oven w/ with 1T oil. Add hot cooked pasta with bit of water to bowl, toss with arugula and cheese

I recently made the Lydia B. Spicy Capellini with Barilla whole wheat capellini and was disappointed, found it gritty, and I usually love this simple recipe.,54292,52766
mrslarkin October 13, 2010
I've tried Ronzoni and Barilla. Didn't like either.
JessieLK October 13, 2010
Gia Russa is the best. You can't even tell it's wheat, I've tested the majority of them and this is the only one I like. I can find it at a regular grocery store in NYC, and I know it's sold on too. Try it out!
anyone October 13, 2010
Yes, I have tried Ronzoni whole wheat pasta. I love passt and am somewhat of a purist. I did not like. Texture was a problem for me.
AntoniaJames October 13, 2010
My kids really like the Trader Joe's whole wheat penne. ;o)
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