The Brand Behind My Favorite Gluten-Free Pasta Launched a New Shape That’s Perfect for Mac and Cheese

published Apr 1, 2022
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Credit: Brittany Conerly

It’s not every day that a gluten-free gal like myself gets to enjoy a delicious bowl of pasta. The truth is, there are just so many sub-par GF brands out there, many of us Celiac (and gluten-intolerant) folks have given up in frustration. Better to abstain than endure the gluey, chalky, or poor-tasting alternatives! When I discovered ZENB, however, I was truly shocked. I mean, we’re talking beautifully springy, a teensy bit sticky, with a silky glutenous mouthfeel. It’s virtually impossible to tell these cuts are gluten free. (I’ve tested ZENB on my gluten-eating family, trust me.)

The pasta is a true work of genius, considering it’s made from one sole ingredient: yellow peas — apparently, the secret is in the fibrous and nutritious pea skins… who knew? Before ZENB, I hadn’t eaten pasta in literally five years, and I now eat it weekly (or bi-weekly), and that’s not including leftovers for lunch. I have tried their Penne (which I personally love Eggplant Caponata style), the Elbows (which I’m thinking of using to try out this Pasta Cup recipe), and my cut of choice: the Rotini. Well, it was my cut of choice, because ever since ZENB released their new cut, Agile, I just can’t seem to get enough.

This sweet little cut is almost like a mini-elbow shape but sliced in half length-wise. Much smaller (and cuter, I have to admit) than the other cuts offered by ZENB, it’s a wonderful substitute not only for traditional pasta dishes, but also in place of rice. Because the Agile is so small, it cooks in virtually no time — we’re talking exactly two minutes for a perfect al dente. I love how speedy the prep is; on nights when I only have a little time, I can whip up a bowl of deliciousness in under five minutes. And with 17 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber in every three ounces, the pasta is just as good for you as it tastes.

While this cut would work miracles in just about any pasta (or rice, or couscous) dish, allow me to share a true pro tip: It’s perfect for mac n’ cheese. When you opt for a small pasta, especially one that has a curve to hold sauce, the cheese-to-pasta ratio just hits differently. Try using the Agile for Classic Creamy Mac and Cheese, a Spinach and Artichoke variation (yes to extra veggies), or for my dairy-free friends out there, a vegan version. If you’re worried about making the roux — flour does have gluten in it, after all — I’ve got you covered there too. Try using this all-natural cassava flour instead. It makes for a beautiful substitute.

For under $20, you can order three boxes of any one cut (and I really recommend going for my new favorite, Agile) or a variety pack. No matter which shape you start with, I can promise you, you’ll be heading back for more in no time.

Buy: ZENB Pasta, Agile, 3 Boxes, $17.99