Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tinkyada Brown Rice Fettucini Style Pasta Product Review

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For my What's for Dinner? Wednesday blog carnival post I decided to do a dual product review/easy dinner idea: pasta with tomato sauce. I dressed mine up a bit with some sausage from New Seasons (they don't add any wheat or other fillers to their deli sausage) and some broccoli. However, this is always a go-to meal when I want something fast and satisfying. This has always been a favorite meal.

For other GF dinner ideas, visit Linda at the Gluten-Free Homemaker.

When I discovered Tinkyada pasta for the first time, I was pretty excited to try a new brand. They have a white rice pasta which I reviewed last month and thoroughly enjoyed. Then I realized that everyone else knew about Tinkyada pasta before I did! It's sold in most of the stores I frequent, including New Season's on NE 33rd and at Food Front on NW Thurman. (It's also widely available on the internet.) I read several blog posts about how good their brown rice pasta was, and I was eager to try it.

Well, I was disappointed. I actually like the Trader Joe's brown rice pasta better, if you want to campare apples with apples. To read about my all-time favorite pastas, Ancient Harvest and Mrs. Leeper's, read my review The Best and Worst of Gluten-free Pasta.

This pasta gave me problems from the start. Trying to be fair, I tried it three times. The first time I under-cooked it, and the noodles stuck together, probably because I paused before stirring to take this picture:
That picture was really not worth it. The second time I stirred it diligently so it wouldn't stick to itself, then I over-cooked it. The third time I stirred it and timed it diligently, I tested it often, I took it off the stove five minutes early (for a 13-minute stated cooking time, a 5-minute difference is significant), and it was still over-cooked.

I like my pasta al dente, it's true. It's possible my standards are too high. But for a product that proclaims right on the front of the packaging "NOT MUSHY AL DENTE" I thought it was pretty soft. It certainly didn't live up to the Tinkyada white rice pasta I had before (which I still haven't seen anywhere in town - any ideas?) It also didn't live up to its claim that it could "withstand quite a bit of over-cooking." I found the texture smooth enough for brown rice pasta, but otherwise the texture was a disappointment. I also found the flavor a bit lacking. I salted the water, but it the pasta was pretty bland.

Enough kvetching. Here is what I did for dinner:

I started some water boiling and heated a saucepan on another burner. I cut some sausage up into pieces and threw them in the saucepan. When the water started boiling I threw in the pasta and stirred it diligently. Then I put some chopped broccoli in the pan with the sausage. I stirred that for a bit then threw in some Classico spaghetti sauce (my favorite when I can't get home-made). By the time the pasta was done the sauce was hot and I served everything piled on a plate and with cheese on top. This whole process takes about 15-20 minutes.


Then I eat.

This is a shot of the meal prepared with the Ancient Harvest linguini. It was so much better!

19 comments:

Rebecca said...

At least the pasta seems to have a normal color. You can't have everything, I guess.

glutenfree4goofs said...

I like mrs. leepers as well but haven't had trouble like that with tinkyada, bummer!
Jessie

Cheryl said...

Gluten free pastas are so difficult. Sounds like you gave it more than a fair share of effort. Thanks for the review.

WendyGK said...

I just tried DeBoles last month because the local grocer was selling it half-price. I like the fettucini a lot.

Gina said...

Jessie - what shape of Tinkyada pasta do you usually like? Maybe I'm not a fettucini person. I'm willing to try it again!

WendyGK - I haven't tried De Boles yet. I'll have to check that out. Good tip! Thanks.

Linda said...

That's interesting. I've only used the fettucini a couple of times. I really like the penne. I've been using Tinkyada for so long, but maybe I should try some others.

Love the quick and easy dinner idea.

Katrina said...

Hi there! I'm sorry you had problems with the Tinkyada brown rice pasta. I find it's the best kind to use in a baked pasta dish, like baked ziti. It holds up better than other kinds of pasta.
Also, I just started my own food blog about eating gluten free while traveling on a bus and truck tour across America. Check it out if you get the chance!
www.glutenfreegidget.blogspot.com

Brian said...

New Season's has some great sausage.I only use Tinkyada for lasgna.My wife prefers Ancient Harvest Quinoa noodles for spagetti and we also use Lundberg Farms penne pasta which is pretty good.

Gina said...

Katrina and Brian - Thanks for the tips about using Tinkyada for baked dishes. I haven't done that yet. My all-time favorite is definitely Ancient Harvest. I haven't tried the Lundberg farms yet - I'll definitely try it now that you recommend it, Brian!

Babyfro said...

I find that the Tinkyada fettuccine does tend to stick together. I haven't had any problems with the rest of the varieties though and I've used most of them. Around here Tinkyada is the best brand I can get I'll keep my eye out for Ancient Harvest though and give it a try if I get the chance.

The Gluten-free 'Dish' said...

It's nice to see your product reviews. I like Ancient Harvest Quinoa pastas.

alison -- surefoodsliving.com said...

I actually LOVE Tinkyada fettucini and order it by the case from Amazon. I have found that you need to cook it in a LOT of water, and cook it for less time (like 10 minutes instead of 16 or whatever it says). If pasta sits in the colander for a while, run hot water through it before tossing with sauce.
To me, this pasta seems the most "real" and I have tried a lot of them. Other gf pastas actually crumble and break. These noodles don't break at all and have a great texture when cooked al dente.

Gina said...

Allison - agree that the brown rice pastas in general have better flexibility and elasticity than other kinds. If you need a pasta that can endure a lot of handling, this might be the one for you. I definitely did cook it in a lot of water the last try, and I cooked it for about 8 minutes. I just didn't get that al dente firm-center feel from it, which is what I look for in a pasta when using it with a sauce. For some people that's not the most important thing. Everyone else seems to really like this pasta, so I think I'll try other shapes and see what happens. thanks for the feedback!

l'actrice said...

I ALWAYS FIGHT WITH GLUTEN FREE PASTA! THE BEST IS STILL MADE OF CORN!

Gina said...

I agree, l'actrice. My two favorites are made with corn: Mrs Leeper's and Ancient Harvest. Corn gives it a firmer texture. The best rice pastas I've had were white rice pasta.

BC said...

Heinz Bioglut brand is very very good but not widely available. It has lupin flour in it and remains firm without being brittle or gelatinous.

Dazy said...

I'm making this tonight. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as bad as your picture!

Culinarytaste said...

Hey, I don't know if you are already doing this but I like to cook my GF pasta with a bit of olive oil added to the water. Keeps it from sticking. :)

Gina said...

Culinary Taste,

Culinary Taste: With good gluten-free pastas I don't need to put olive oil in. Have you tried any quinoa pastas?

BC Bioglut? Really? That sounds horrible! If they are decent tasting, they at least have bad taste in naming!

Dazy - yours will almost certainly not be as bad as my pictures!