You know we're gluten freaks and wheat is literally all we work with but, we listen, and we have been trying to develop an artisanal gluten free pasta from the very beginning. Many are heading towards a gluten-conscious diet, together with those of you who are clinically intolerant, and it's been challenging to create a product following artisanal rules without taking technical compromises. We did work to make an artisanal gluten free pasta because, well, we pride ourselves for making great pasta and if gluten free is what you're looking for, well, time to make the noodles.
So, after our first tests with rice and konjac (trying to exploit the hot-gelling properties of glucomannan) we pretty much set on a corn/rice combo with a couple of synergizing gums (xanthan and locust bean).
Now, it's come to our attention that not only corn is hard to get gluten free (although we always did get it that way) but also it's becoming hard to get 100% GMO-free corn. Literally it's become a very shaky ingredient to work with and since we became aware of the situation, we have been looking for a sustainable substitute, mostly within the bean family.
For this, we contacted Kenneth "Chip" Morris, a phenomenal heirloom bean grower from Yolo County. From his website:
His family homesteaded in Yolo County just north of Woodland, California over 125 years ago. Chip has been involved in farming all of his life and had grown commodity crops for many years. About 20 years ago, while doing some consulting work he stumbled upon some unusual beans. After doing some serious research, test plots, consulting with several universities and developing some special equipment for the task, he decided to try farming some of these beans. He started out with 54 varieties on 180 acres and has been successfully growing them ever since. Today he farms several hundred acres of the very best and most popular heirloom bean varieties. Chip has also worked on dry bean research at University of California, Davis for the past 9 years.
We became friends and after discussing a bit we have secured his help and provision of California White Lupin Bean flour.
- One of the highest sources of plant proteins available (40%), roughly 4 times higher than whole grain wheat
- One of the highest sources of dietary fiber (36%)
- Easily digestible with high bio-availability of essential nutrients and minerals
- Cholesterol free and contain negligible amounts of trypsin inhibitors (known to interfere with digestion) often found in other legumes
- Very low in lectins and saponins (two known gastric irritants), the latter of which afflicts the soybean even after extensive baking and processing
- Convenient, healthy and do not require heat or chemical treatment
- Are probiotic promoting the growth of good bacteria
- Are very high sources of essential amino acids and
- Gluten free and Non GM
Oh, we might add that they taste delicious too, almost like olive oil. In fact, they retain some of that pungency and bitterness. It's like eating whole durum wheat without the wheat.
So, how to certify it gluten free?
We have talked to Robert Loioco in Los Angeles, a small artisanal producer of gluten free ravioli and fresh pasta. While in LA for the Artisanal LA fair we stopped by and did a few tests. The result was stunning, see for yourself in the gallery below.
Stay tuned, we're defining the details of this awesome collaboration and are very excited to be able to offer you a phenomenally nutritious and fully gluten-free-certified pasta.