Waitrose LOVELife Green Pea Pasta (250g) £1.99
- Flavour: ★★★★☆
- Nutrition: ★★★★☆
- Value for money:★★★★☆
Gluten-free; Grain-free; Paleo; Low-Carb
Well this is nice. Someone has produced a pasta substitute that exceeded our expectations.
Incredibly, these little fussili spirals contain only one ingredient: Green Pea Flour. That’s it. Nothing else. Somehow it behaves much like real pasta. Now I’m no pasta expert, but before going Paleo/Primal (grain-free) our household regularly downed a ton of the wheat based stuff. So I can speak with some experience. It turns out that this pasta is the real deal – made by a small family business in Italy. It’s not surprising as Italians know all about the problem with gluten and lead the world in research into coeliac and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity.
Now I’m not interested in going back to the days of pasta as staple fare, but this gluten-free version ticks all the boxes so I may be using it now and then. One of the problems with being gluten-free is fitting in with other people’s eating habits. For example, I have relatives whose kids expect pasta almost every day, so now we can cook familiar meals for them when they come to stay. The beauty is that this can sit in the cupboard and be there when I need it. (It has about a two year shelf life).
How it Cooks
We cooked the green pea pasta al dente and it was very good. It held together well, looked nice on the plate and did exactly what you want pasta to do. It’s texture is closer to a wholemeal pasta – a little more granular than white-flour pasta. It’s flavour is mild. My daughter thought she could just detect a pea flavour, but I didn’t notice it myself. All in all it’s a nearly perfect replacement for the real thing.
We served it with a simple salad and a home made beef Bolognese sauce. Grated goat’s cheese topped it off. A perfect garden meal, eaten as the sun slowly set and the swallows circled in a cloud-dappled sky.
But is it Paleo?
I’m sure some of you are wondering if this pasta can be classed as Paleo because peas are pulses, which are eschewed by Paleo purists due to their high levels of anti-nutrients. However, according to Lauren Cordain – the father of the Paleo diet – peas are acceptable as they have some of the lowest levels of phytate and lectins of all the legumes, and can be eaten raw straight off the plant (unlike kidney beans for example)
The lectins found in peas and lentils seem to be much less toxic [than those found in other legumes] – Lauren Cordain: BEANS AND LEGUMES: ARE THEY PALEO?
The macronutrients per 100g pre-cooked product are Carbs: 24g Protein: 10g
Compare to standard whole-wheat pasta this green pea version contains only half the carbs yet 50% more protein. What’s not to like?
For us, one 250g packet was enough for five adults, so 50g each. Which works out as just 12g of carbs per person. Brilliant!
Amusingly, this pasta is marketed as counting towards “one of your five a day”. Not a concept I have much truck with, as – believe it or not – it lacks any real scientific basis. But it makes good marketing.
These two green-pea pastas are made from exactly the same single ingredient, but the larger 500g pack from Sainsbury’s works out cheaper per 100g, whilst the Napolina version is 100% organic. Wow!