Growing up on the Adriatic coast of Italy, known for its obsession with great food, Angelo Tredicucci learned the time-honoured skill of artisan pasta making.
The result is Pasta mia, a taste sensation of bronze-extruded pasta made from his family recipes, bringing the best of Italy to your table since 1994. Buon Appetito!
• Maize flour
• Rice flour
• Tapioca Starch
• Guar Gum
I am not a young man any more. Life has used me hard and left me toothless, so for me it is either soft foods or liquid foods. I can be a mean drunk, so it comes back to soft foods. Also, in recent months I have been told by the quacks with MD after their names that I should really consider a gluten free diet. As though that matters a damn at my age. I'm too old and too close to my expires-on date to worry about such things as looking pretty in my coffin. If my whanau have to get some stronger blokes to haul my coffin to the grave, so be it.
Having to visit whanau in the Waikato thanks to surgery and tests at the local hospital, I was fortunate enough to be able to get some of these pastas and sauces, normally only available to the local crew because of shipping needs. There is the silver lining to the health cloud I suppose. I am glad I was here though, because these were worth it.
Easy to cook, and being gluten free they shut the doctors up for a few days with their nagging and silly carryings on. Like a flock of mother geese they are! I can't really stand for long periods at the moment due to abdominal surgery causing me a bit of tenderness, so I had one of the kind wahines cook it up for me. She followed the instructions, and then added some steamed mixed vegetables in as well to add some extra bulk and get my greens into me.
Even with my dentures feeling loose, this was a great pleasure to eat. It was just slightly firm to the bite, which is how it is supposed to be they tell me, and the sauce that went with it was so rich and made a great partner for the pasta. If the doctors have their way, I'll be looking for this in stores in Whanganui when I get home next month. They will have to pay for it though, because it's fancy kai alright, and that's never cheap. Worth almost every cent though.
I was lucky to be given this fettuccine to review. My family eat a lot of fettuccine so was keen to give this fresh one a go. I thought that it was a bonus that it was gluten free as although no one in the family is currently gluten free we have been in that position and find it very difficult to find fresh pasta products that are gluten free - and dry gluten free pasta is well not worth cooking.
When opening the packet I was surprised at the serving sizes I found that these were a little less than we would like for 2 of us so needed to think of something else to add to our meal. The pasta however looked and smelt no different from other fresh pastas.
I found that the recommended cooking time for this pasta was not long enough. I was actually expecting very tender pasta which through the cooking process was not really achieved like I would of expected from a fresh pasta. There was very little taste (more than dry pasta though) so was relying on the sauce to pull through the flavour.
Due to the lack of flavour and texture my family and I were not very impressed by this pasta. It was not at all tender and the texture was very gritty (my guess this is the gluten free flours that have done this). I have tried other pasta from this company and was impressed by there other products so am guessing because it is gluten free to the reason that it did not stand up to expectations.
I am such an average consumer! I say that with a tone of self-insult, because when I first saw this package I thought to myself "What a mess! The store-bought stuff is nice and straight and easy on the eye... this looks like a nest!" I immediately felt like such a yutz, when I recalled that this is a hand-made product, and traditionally longer pasta is pulled from the pasta cutters and gently coiled into... you guessed it... a nest. This allows for maximum drying with minimum footprint on the bench, meaning more pasta can be made in a single session.
After extracting the first 'nest' from the pack and resealing it for later use of the second nest, I got the salted water up to boil and dropped the nest in as-is. Big mistake, on two counts. Firstly, I forgot to add a bit of oil, so the water immediately started to foam up with starch bubbles and the pasta stuck itself to the bottom of the pot. A very rapid application of rice bran oil, and some not-at-all-delicate attacks with the fish-slice got the pasta up and off the bottom of the pot before it burned. Second mistake was not gently teasing out the nest first, to open up the pasta strands. The first dish was less than perfect, because sections of pasta were undercooked because they were stuck between other strands.
Still, a quick bit of separation, an extra minute or two in the boiling water, and the raw pasta was close to being cooked, while the cooked pasta wasn't too close to overdone. It was... embarrassing, but tolerable. Topping this with the Beef, Lemon & Rosemary sauce made for quite the tasty meal, and I am thankful that the sauce has such a rich flavour, as it made the mixed-cooked pasta a lot more tolerable.
Repeating the dish using the second 'nest' the next night proved to be much more of a success, as the photo shows, and I was impressed by the even texture and delicate flavour of the pasta. I would never have known it was gluten-free had someone just popped the plate in front of me. GF food has earned a reputation, somewhat unjustly nowadays, for being bland and stodgy. A lot of care has gone into devising recipes and mixes that give flour-equivalent results, and this is another stunning example of that desire for quality food that is also allergy-friendly.
Overall, I doubt this one will end up on my shopping list, but I know a growing group of people who are switching to a GF diet due to the health needs of either themselves or family members, and this is one pasta I will be very strongly suggesting they try!
I was recently given some of this pasta to review and although we don't personally need to choose gluten free as a rule in our family, I do have gluten free family and friends that I sometimes cater for, so it's nice to know what options are out there and even better to know that those options are going to taste good.
We don't normally buy fresh pasta as dry pasta as such a long shelf life so I can keep it on hand just in case. But fresh pasta tastes so much better and is so quick and easy cooking in 4 minutes. But it does have a fairly short shelf life which you need to be aware of.
I have tried one other fresh pasta product by this same brand and I could feel a small difference between that one and this gluten free one. It wasn't so much in the taste, but more so the texture which is hard to describe except that it is just ... well just different. However it tasted great and the texture wasn't an issue so although I wouldn't buy this again just for us, I would buy it if I needed to serve it to anyone with gluten issues.
It went a long way - further than it suggested on the pack and I'm happy there are companies out there like Pastamia that cater for gluten free options. Gluten free options can be expensive and as takeaway options can be very limited, having quick easy meals like this are not really that expensive in comparison.
Our family is lucky in that we don't rely on finding gluten free options. I think that it is great that many brands now think of customers who do require quality gluten free products, Pasta mia are one of these companies. Typically, I think of gluten free products of being expensive and not as good as the products which include gluten. I think that Pasta mia's Gluten Fresh Free Fettuccine has hit the nail on the head with regards to creating a product that any customer would enjoy, regardless of whether they need to choose gluten free products or not. If I didn't know that this product was gluten free, I wouldn't have picked it when I was eating it. If I was to compare it with another one of Pasta mia's pastas which isn't gluten free, I would notice a difference but not a significant one that would turn me off the idea. They are just slightly different, that's all.
The pasta is fresh and is made from real ingredients. It uses maize flour and rice flour in order to make it gluten free. It doesn't have any preservatives and therefore has a short shelf life. I don't see this as an issue as I would imagine that people buying fresh pasta would be likely to be planning for dinner that day or for it to be used within a few days.
I served the fettuccine with a blue cheese sauce. It is a very simple combination of a block of blue cheese and a tin of evaporated milk heated together in a saucepan. Even the kids loved the combination of the sauce and pasta together.
The fact that this is gluten free and hand crafted, makes the price higher than what we would usually spend on pasta for the family. I was impressed, however that the single pack seemed to go a long way and served a small main sized dish for each of the two adults and two children in our family.
I would recommend this pasta to families who do require gluten free food. They will be used to the cost of food being more expensive than standard food. Although tee are unlikely to purchase this version for our family, it is always handy to know of good gluten free options to share when inviting people with gluten intolerance to share a meal with us.
I was given Past Mia's Gluten-free Fresh Fettuccine to review along with some of their other products. Thankfully there are no celiacs in my household. My sister does however have a gluten intolerance and combined with other food intolerances finds it difficult to find a pasta she can eat. I was pleased to see looking at the list of ingredients that it was suitable for her. I will be recommending she keeps an eye out for this product. (A shame she can't stock up on it due to the short shelf life.)
I served the fettuccine with their beef, lemon and rosemary sauce. This was a very quick and convenient meal ready in less than 10 minutes. The longest part was waiting for the water to boil. I have always been told to add salt and oil to pasta when cooking it but I didn't this time as it wasn't mentioned in the instructions. I didn't need to. The pasta didn't stick together and held its shape nicely.
The pasta didn't have a noticeable flavour but it complemented the sauce nicely, adding texture and visual appeal to the dish. We found that it provided 3 generous servings, even though the pouch said 2 mains or 3 entrees. As it is gluten-free it is a bit more expensive than most fresh pastas but when combined with a Pasta Mia sauce it is a convenient meal that is more affordable than most takeaways.
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