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Whole grain pasta kills my sauces

When cooking pasta sauces I use white pasta vs whole grain pasta as it seems the whole grain pasta kills the flavor of the sauces and you lose the nuances of flavor. Besides the consistency and taste is odd. Is there a way around this?


  • Hi David - You're somewhat right. Whole grain pasta has a stronger, often nuttier flavor than semolina pasta and can negatively affect the flavor of more subtle pasta sauces like marinara, aglio et olio, pasta al limone, etc. Its texture, which can be granular, doesn't work well with others, such as carbonara or cacio e Pepe. It's best to combine these heartier whole wheat pastas with strong-flavored sauces such as duck or beef ragu, nutty pesto, or any combination of ingredients with strong flavor and texture such as anchovies, chilies, roasted vegetables, crumbled sausage, or bitter leafy greens. Finally, though you should always strive for al dente noodles, it's especially critical not to overcook whole wheat pasta. When cooked too long it tends to mush together. Drain the noodles a couple of minutes shy of al dente and then toss with the sauce and serve immediately. Best, Lynn C.

  • Thanks for the confirmation! I was hoping there was some magic I didn’t know!

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