Barilla Gluten-Free Pasta

There are a few people in my family who are gluten-free and one of their biggest complaints is that finding a decent gluten-free pasta is difficult and costly.  Since removing gluten from their diets, they say the food item they miss most is bread but enjoying a decent pasta dish is a very close second.

A Tavola, Darlinghurst

A Tavola, Darlinghurst

Last year when I attended the Casa Barilla Cooking School I was delighted to hear that after many years of developing and trialling a wheat-free pasta, the company would soon be releasing its gluten-free range.

14.08.26.15A few weeks ago I was invited to the launch of Barilla’s gluten-free range at A Tavola in Darlinghurst.  ‘A Tavola’ is Italian for ‘At the Table’ and the restaurant not only has an extremely lengthy marble table where diners can sit and socialise, it also has extremely authentic Italian pasta.

Fresh pasta

Fresh pasta

Hot, vibrant colour

These were not the appetisers!

On a beautiful winter’s day the launch of Barilla’s gluten-free range started with all guests enjoying a welcome drink of Aperol Spritz or a glass of Prosecco while mingling around the long marble table that is usually filled with A Tavola’s regular and loyal diners.  The welcome drinks were enjoyed with some stuffed and fried green olives that unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to taste.

The long marble table

The long marble table

We moved through the narrow restaurant and past the kitchen, then down a staircase to an enclosed courtyard.  The room was set up Italian-style with two very long wooden tables covered in white tablecloths and decorated simply and elegantly with modern floral arrangements.

The undercover courtyard

The undercover courtyard

Flowers on the tables

Flowers on the tables

We started the meal with some house bread dipped in chilli oil then the first of Barilla’s three gluten-free pastas arrived in big bowls that were placed along the table.  Elbows con Vongole e Cannellini pasta was such an Italian looking dish with the fresh seafood and the beans mixed with the pasta.  I was surprised at how well the elbow pasta shapes held together as my prior experience with gluten-free pasta has been that it tends to fall apart.

Elbows con Vongole e Cannellini

Elbows con Vongole e Cannellini

The next course was Spaghetti dell’ Ortolano which was spaghetti with organic vegetables.  The pasta twirled around the fork beautifully and the vegetable sauce was tasty yet subtle.  I noticed the pasta is slightly more yellow in colour than traditional pasta and it is the corn that gives the pasta its colour as Barilla’s gluten-free pasta range is made with non-GMO corn and rice flours.

Spaghetti dell' Ortolano

Spaghetti dell’ Ortolano

In terms of flavour, the next course was my favourite and it was Penne con Salsiccia e Carciofi which was penne with pork sausages, artichokes and parmesan.  I loved this and will try to recreate it at home.  There was a hint of chilli in the sauce which gave it a little kick and the pork and artichokes were a terrific combination.  The penne pasta holds together very well and has great texture.

Penne con Salsiccia e Carciofi

Penne con Salsiccia e Carciofi

The dessert was a show-stopper.  On the A Tavola menu it is famous and frequently ordered.  It was Creminello which was chocolate, salted caramel and Italian Meringue served in a coffee cup.  It looked so much like a cappuccino that when one was placed in front of the woman opposite me she said to the waiter, ‘No coffee for me, thanks’.

Creminello

Creminello

I was really pleased this wasn’t a coffee and couldn’t believe my luck in finding all three of my favourite dessert flavours served in one cup.  We were informed the best way to eat this is to push your spoon to the bottom of the cup so that as you pull it out, all three flavours end up on your spoon.  This was a fantastic way to finish off a very beautiful lunch and an inspired reason for returning to A Tavola very soon.

Gift bags

Gift bags

As we were leaving we were given personalised gift-bags.  Inside there were a variety of pasta sauces along with the three types of gluten-free pasta; spaghetti, elbows and penne.  There was also an apron with my name on it – love it!

Inside the gift bag

Inside the gift bag

In shopping for gluten-free pasta, I usually find that it’s very expensive.  With Barilla, you can buy a traditional box of their pasta for around $2.50 for 500gms.  I was pleased to hear that the Barilla gluten-free range is less than $4.00 for a 340gm box.

An Italian table

An Italian table

I had a thoroughly enjoyable time at the launch of Barilla’s gluten-free range and was impressed with the texture and taste of the pasta, as well as how well it performed in terms of it holding together and the spaghetti being able to twirl around the fork.  The price is reasonable and then there’s the convenience of being able to purchase the product at local supermarkets.  And then there’s the taste!  I believe Barilla’s gluten-free pasta comes as close to performing and tasting like traditional pastas as I have been able to find.

The menu

The menu

For information on Barilla’s gluten-free range as well as recipes, you can visit Barilla’s website.

Comments

  1. Sounds divine, Charlie. I am still using the wholewheat Barilla pasta that I found out about first on your blog, and am thrilled to read your review of the gluten free as it’s always a god idea to have some around for visitors. I think I’d like best the same dish you did, but they all sound delicious. Buon appetito.

  2. The last gluten free pasta i ate was homemade and I thought I was going to gag. I’m going to tell her about Barilla! Love the apron. 🙂

  3. This is great to know… I can’t wait to try it! The clincher for me will be how it tastes the next day. I love left over pasta and find that the gluten free ones are always tough! Thanks for sharing! Liz x

  4. I love Barilla’s gluten-free pasta’s too,….What a fun night eating & trying those special Gf dishes,…Yum Yum Yummm!

  5. Good to know that the Barilla GF is pretty darn good! And what an awesome meal you were treated to!

  6. Great review Charlie, the dishes look exquisite. What a lovely gift bag, if love an apron like that! Hope they launch it here in Canada too and fingers crossed that they ask me to the event!

  7. Looks like a nice event. How nice you got invited!

  8. This sounds like such an awesome event, Charlie! Yall sure got to taste test a whole lotta GF pasta! That Creminello sounds absolutely heavenly too!
    My daughter has a slight gluten sensitivity and I have been buying her barilla GF pasta for the longest time – she absolutely loves it!

  9. Hi Charlie, What a fun event to attend, not sure which pasta I like they all sound heavenly. How nice to end the meal with that delightful dessert and a great gift bag.

  10. OOO, Charlie,
    the food and table setting looks divine!
    The Creminello with chocolate & salted caramel!! OH, MYyyy!
    amazing.
    What a superb event….and a gift bag, too 🙂 xx

  11. I am not that big a pasta fan, but I love anything that’s made fresh. But for those who need this, this is great info. Those chilies might not be appetisers, but do look quite appetizing 😀

  12. Wow! What a good time! They definitely spoiled you! I love how the pasta looked! It was firm and it held it’s shape very well. Mine usually falls apart…

  13. What a fantastic lunch – and such an impressive dessert cup! I think the yellow corn spaghetti is really pretty and authentic pasta without gluten is an impressive feat.

  14. I’m glad to hear that it had good taste, texture and held together well, as like you, I hadn’t had the greatest experiences with gluten free pasta. I love the dessert!

  15. Must try this one, Charlie as my middle daughter needs to eat gluten-free. You must have enjoyed the lunch as the food looks beautiful!

  16. Great news indeed Charlie! The biggest problem with GF pasta is that it just doesn’t hold its shape well, so how exciting to have firm pasta with a bit of bite to it! Lucky you to share in the launch and such a yummy meal- not to mention the goodie bag 🙂 xox

  17. Oh, yeah, that dessert trumps coffee all the way!!! What a fun event. I’m glad to know Barilla makes a good gf pasta.

  18. I’m going to definitely have to agree with your GF family members. Bread then pasta. However, I have had luck finding some very good GF pastas. I also just ordered a totally Paleo pasta (made with almond flour) that should be getting here any day. Costly, but maybe worth it for those you know who are grain free as well as gluten free. Barilla’s pasta looks delicous and how fun to be invited to such an event! 🙂

  19. All 3 dishes sure looks tasty. You get invited to so many fun events, glad you enjoyed all the dishes and gave honest review.

  20. Was the bread gluten free too? 😉 I tried GF pasta a long time ago and it was quite strange – will have to give this one a try next time I see it.

  21. G’day What a great Barilla experience Charlie and glad there are more delicious options to those who are gluten-free!
    Cheers! Joanne

  22. God bless those with coeliac disease [one in every ten of us ostensibly!] who may get relief of their condition eating a gluten-free diet!! For most in the community it is indeed a totally unnecessary eating pattern which, so I have been ‘told’ by a number of unis here and overseas lately, may do more harm than good! Methinks: make certain you really need to eat this way 🙂 !!

  23. What a wonderful experience! Great to know about the upcoming gluten-free range. Diners would have learned a lot from the gathering :).

    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

  24. Looks like a fabulous lunch, and a good time out.

  25. That’s great to know Charlie. I actually don’t think I’ve had gluten free pasta but I’d be keen to try it. A Tavola is one of my Sydney friend’s favourite restaurants. I loved it the time I visited.

  26. What a nice event! Thanks for the info on Barilla gluten-free pasta. We usually buy Barilla’s regular pasta, but do have friends who are gluten intolerant. I’m glad to hear you say that the quality of this seems to be good — I’ll definitely give it a try at some point. Thanks.

  27. Such Fun! 🙂 Oh I don’t know what I like more… all the food looks yummmm! We actually switched over to using GF pasta in my household a couple of years back when majority of the fam were showing signs of gluten intolerance.
    Hope the gift bag was filled with all the fun! 🙂

  28. How enterprising of Barilla, and how clever to make gluten-free pasta that holds together.

  29. What an absolutely fantastic event to attend, their gluten free pasta looks lovely – I have tried GF pasta before but it really has never been enticing! Now I want to try this 😀
    And YAY gift bags are always fun 🙂

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  30. I LOVE pasta. Perhaps more than any other food. You have made me so hungry looking at these beautiful and delicious dishes. I would eat them all in a heartbeat! I’ll have to keep my eyes open for this pasta and give it a whirl!

  31. I haven’t had GF pasta before so I have no idea how different it is in terms of taste and texture. Hopefully good GF pasta will be available soon. I can’t imagine living without good pasta and bread, and having that available to GF community would be amazing!

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