Can vegans eat pasta? Let's clarify vegan pasta
Can vegans eat pasta?
It's a pretty common question! However, as with most questions regarding foods that are part of vegan and plant-based diets, the answer is not obvious.
Everyone loves pasta, or so it seems, since it's one of the few foods that can be found practically all over the world. And understanding why is not at all difficult: the simple goodness of pasta makes it super usable, versatile and easy to cook.
Naturally, people following a vegan diet can eat many different types of pasta. But the real question is “what types of pasta can vegans eat?”.
So let's dive into the history of this ancient and varied source of nourishment and see what differentiates the pasta that vegans can eat from the one they should avoid!
A brief history of pasta!
The origins of pasta can be traced back to the greater Mediterranean region of Greece , in the BC era
Some type of pasta, made from flour and water, has existed since at least Roman times , and potentially even before that time. A form of pasta similar to modern lasagna has been documented by a historian of the time: it was usually layers of pasta filled with meat.
There are scattered reports of fibrous forms of pasta that were dried before being cooked. A boiled dough was also eaten in Palestine in the Late Classical Age, which dates back to the 3rd century AD
There are also chronicles from 1154 of these dried pastas being produced and shipped out of Norman Sicily . Some historians believe that pasta was introduced to Sicily from Arabia and North Africa, as couscous was a staple in this area during the early Middle Ages, around the 9th century.
From the 13th century, pastas such as macaroni, ravioli and vermicelli were documented. In the 14th and 15th centuries dry pasta was marketed throughout the Mediterranean. Its popularity grew thanks to the pasta's ability to be kept dry!
In the following century, pasta was exported all over the world, thanks to the great maritime exploration voyages.
What is pasta made of?
The simplest homemade pasta recipes include four ingredients: flour, water, olive oil, and salt . Here then is that the pastas made in this way are absolutely vegan! Of course though, many pasta recipes also include egg yolks, thus making it no longer suitable for the vegan diet.
Since at least around 160 BC, the basic dough for pasta has been made predominantly from wheat flour or semolina. In Southern Europe and North Africa, durum wheat was mainly used, in the northernmost areas of Europe the dough was typically made from soft wheat.
In various regions of the world , barley, buckwheat, corn and rice have also been used (and are still used) to make pasta. Some pasta makers have even used nut flour and chickpea flour to create the doughy delight we all love to dip into.
Vegans can eat pastas created from all these wide and varied ingredients, as long as they are free from animal products, such as egg.
What types of pasta can vegans not eat?
Fresh pasta is much more likely to contain animal ingredients than dried pasta – there are a whole host of ingredients to watch out for!
First, eggs are the main "culprit" that makes pasta unusable for all those people who try to avoid animal products. Hence, vegans do not eat pasta that contains egg.
However, fresh pasta without eggs does exist, but you have to be careful that it doesn't contain cheese !
Cuttlefish ink is another ingredient to keep in mind, but it is very easy to spot due to the black color of the dough. Some people may also incorporate milk into the dough, as a way to moisten the dough.
Also, even though butter is usually a flavoring agent added to cooked pasta, some manufacturers tend to incorporate it into their processed pasta doughs. So be careful, as those who follow a vegan diet do not eat pasta that contains this animal fat.
Some of the easiest pastas to avoid contain very clear indications on the packages themselves, such as the wording "egg tagliatelle" or information on the presence of particular fillings, made with cheese and animal proteins.
When eating out, it is always better to get help from the waiters and check exactly the type of pasta and the ingredients with which it is served. If necessary, it is often possible in restaurants to make the necessary changes and still enjoy a great plate of steaming pasta.
What types of pasta can vegans eat?
Dried pasta is almost always a great option for vegans. Plus, the best local producers are always creating new ways of making pasta, using interesting animal-free ingredients, such as rice, lentils, beans, sweet potatoes and even seaweed!
Here are some excellent 100% vegan and organic pasta options to bring to the table right away:
This excellent pasta is handcrafted in the beautiful Marche from Montemonaco, mixed with mountain water and slowly dried, with a fully traceable history via blockchain, from field to table!
This organic lentil pasta goes beautifully with all the pestos and sauces in the Mindful Morsel shop. Can we give you some advice? Try it in combination with our Ligurian basil vegan pesto: you will see (indeed, you will hear) how good it is!
This organic chickpea pasta is also 100% vegan and sparkles when combined with our pestos and sauces. If you want to prepare a truly gourmet and mouth-watering dish, try it in combination with our pepper and almond pesto : you won't be able to do without it!