KANSAS CITY — As consumers continue to seek different options for common pantry staples, grocery store shelves continue to expand with pasta formulated with alternative ingredients.
Instead of using the traditional blend of ground durum wheat and water or eggs for dry pasta, pasta manufacturers are reaching for new ingredients, including chickpeas or Kernza flour.
Patagonia Provisions, the food brand under Patagonia, added an organic fusilli pasta that is formulated with Kernza, a perennial grain that comes from intermediate wheatgrass.
Since Kernza is a perennial grain, its roots stay alive in one place throughout the year, and it doesn’t need to be planted annually. The grain also uses less water than wheat and requires no tilling. It was first developed by plant breeders in 1976 at The Land Institute in Salina, Kan.
“We are excited to continue to find delicious innovative ways to help scale Kernza,” said Birgit Cameron, co-founder and head of Patagonia Provisions. “Full of warm, nutty flavor and a pleasing springy texture, our new pasta works well in just about every plant- or meat-based recipe, including comforting pasta bakes and pasta salads. Just as satisfying is knowing every bowl of Kernza pasta contributes to a healthier planet.”
Using alternative ingredients in the pasta category don’t stop with the noodles, however, as the pasta sauce category also is adding new innovations.
Tomato company Red Gold has added to its portfolio with two private label plant-based sauces.
“Our new plant-based Italian sausage pasta sauce and plant-based Bolognese pasta sauce represent a new opportunity to offer tomato sauces with plant-based meat alternatives in the center aisle of stores,” said Colt Reichart, senior director of marketing at Red Gold. “The sauces have a meaty flavor offering 3 grams of protein in the plant-based Italian sausage pasta sauce and 5 grams of protein in the plant-based Bolognese pasta sauce per ½ cup serving.”