March 11th is National Eat Your Noodles Day. And somehow I’m betting you didn’t know that!The noodles we most often think of when the word is mentioned are made from flour, egg, milk or water and a bit of salt mixed into a paste and rolled out into thin strips or otherwise shaped.  There are actually around 600 shapes of noodles!  

The noodles in the photo above are farfalle pasta also known as bow-tie pasta or butterfly pasta.  You can try the recipe for farfalle pasta in creamy basis pesto that we posted when we took that picture. The first macaroni shaped noodles were brought to American in 1789 by Thomas Jefferson after returning from France.

More and more we are seeing alternatives to the “traditional” flour noodle.  Rice noodles, made from either white or brown rice are a gluten free alternative to flour noodles.  The brown rice noodles are traditionally used as a substitute in regular pasta dishes, while I find the white rice noodles more often used in Asian cuisines.

Mung Bean noodles are Chinese noodles that have also been calld glass noodles or cellophane noodles due to their almost transparent appearance.  They are most often used in stir fry, spring rolls and soups.

I haven’t seen these in stores yet, but would like to find them.  Chickpea noodles.  They are high protein and gluten free.  They are also higher in nutrients than other forms of noodles.  Black bean noodles are also another nutrient dense alternative.

Zucchini noodles, commonly called Zoodles are a nutritious and tasty alternative to flour noodles.  They are made by “spiralizing” zucchini squash into thin ribbons that resemble spaghetti noodles.  They are quite easy to make and don’t significantly alter the taste of your favorite Italian pasta dishes.  The same can be done with carrots, sweep potatoes, cucumbers etc, but I don’t feel they substitute as well in dishes where flour noodles are typically used as zucchini.

food photography