Food trend forecasters have declared 2023 to be the year of plant-based and alternative grain pastas.
According to the Whole Foods’ Trend Council, plant-based pastas are one way to up your produce intake—without sacrificing your favorite comfort foods.
Brands are utilizing ingredients like hearts of palm, squash, and seeds as either a base or additive in pasta dough. One company in the HV is way ahead of the curve: Since 2012, West Coxsackie-based Sfoglini has produced pastas from organic durum semolina and an assortment of puréed herbs and vegetables. Here’s why they’re worth a try.
Sfoglini co-founder Scott Ketchum and chef Steve Gonzalez, who launched their brand in Brooklyn, began adding veggie-infused pastas to their line primarily as a shortcut for home cooks. They figured “pasta with some flavor already built in made for easier and faster meals,” says Ketchum.
After experimenting with ingredients from NYC green markets (and then moving to Greene County), Ketchum and Gonzalez have solidified their core offerings. The most popular varieties are their porcini trumpets, beet fusilli, and hemp radiators and rigatoni. Last year, they created kale penne, and they recently released sun-dried tomato ziti. These flavors are all made by combining vegetable purée with water, and then adding the mixture to their standard semolina dough. According to Ketchum, the purée makes up anywhere from 10–25 percent of the finished product.
Good For You
Sfoglini’s plant-based pastas have nutritional benefits. Their hemp rigatoni contains more protein per serving than plain durum semolina. It also has omega-3 fatty acids and increased fiber. The addition of porcini adds iron and calcium to trumpet pasta; beet juice in the fusilli packs in potassium; and kale gives penne extra protein, fiber, and antioxidants.
You can sub in vegetable pasta for regular wheat pasta in any of your favorite dishes. Sfoglini has recipes on their website that will give you ideas. Porcini trumpets are perfect for truffle mac ‘n’ cheese and mushroom ragu. Kale penne shines in a brothy caldo verde with fresh kale and sausage. The nuttiness of hemp pasta complements fennel and cauliflower. Beet fusilli is delicious in a goat cheese alfredo or in a vegetable-forward pasta salad.