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Back in the day, Christina and I decided to try a no dairy, no gluten diet. Because of my obsession with cheese, this didn’t last. But after it all, we decided to try to make better food choices when possible. And when homemade Italian white pasta is in front of you at say, your favorite Italian restaurant, it is not always possible… But when you are safe in the comfort of your own home, you can try other things. Enter fresh Buckwheat Fettucini Pasta. I spotted it at Whole Foods, in the refrigerated pasta section, first clue that it could be great.

So what’s the deal with buckwheat pasta? This is not the Soba noodles that you use in stir frys. This is pasta intended to replace your regular pastas. Buckwheat pasta is a specialty of the Lombardy region (Italian Alps) in Italy. It’s a little chewy but super delicious. A lot of good things come out of that region, like wines and cheese. So how can this pasta not be yummy? Buckwheat pasta is nutritious, in that it is high in fiber, and actually contains protein. And those of you smarties out there, thinking that buckwheat has to be mixed with some wheat flour to make pasta like the real stuff, it’s true. In this case it’s mixed with Spring Wheat Flour. Okay so does this mean that it’s any better for you? Well yes and no. The spring wheat flour knocks it down a notch, but buckwheat has lots of fiber, magnesium and can help with blood pressure.

It is slightly gray-purple, but don’t be afraid. I made a quick pesto sauce to go with this and it was wonderful! And trust me, I am a pasta critic. The pasta took a mere 3 minutes to cook, and was surprisingly tender and flavorful. The only thing to be careful of is the possibility of clumping. A little salt and olive oil will fix that. Keep an eye on it — it cooks fast!