Once upon a time, if you wished to eliminate gluten from your diet, pasta was simply off the menu. But today there are oodles of gluten-free pasta brands and types to choose from.

We checked out a few of the more creative gluten-free pasta offerings — a noodle made from an ancient grain, an organic red lentil penne and a funky-colored spaghetti made from black beans — to see how they compare to traditional pasta.

red-lentil-penne-585Explore Cuisine has a whole a new generation of colorful pastas made from beans and pulses. Their Organic Red Lentil Penne is made from a combination of red lentil flour (73%) and brown rice flour. It’s low fat, ranks low on the glycemic index scale and offers a decent amount of protein (11 grams) per serving.

When cooked, the pasta remains firm, but the texture is a little mealy and the color fades considerably. The slight lentil flavor is easily disguised once incorporated into your recipe and would make a good choice for a cold pasta salad.

Buyer beware: if lentils give you gas, you may experience the same excessive bloating with this product.

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