Used for thousands of years by Inca tribes in South America, the versatile grain quinoa has recently been discovered by vegetarians and chefs across America. According to the BBC, quinoa contains many healthy substances, such as amino acids and fiber. The grain puffs slightly when cooked, so quinoa pasta tends to be combined with corn. In general, quinoa pasta cooks in exactly the same ways as normal wheat pasta. Boiling the pasta on the stove is the most straightforward method of cooking.
Fill a gallon-sized cooking pot to the three-quarter level with fresh, cold water. Add 2 heaped tablespoons of table salt to the pot of water. Bring to a fierce boil.
Plunge 8 oz. of quinoa pasta into the boiling water. Let it return boiling. Separate the pasta in the water gently with a fork after a few minutes.
Check the packet for exact cooking times, usually between 10 to 15 minutes for most types of dried quinoa pasta. Lift a piece of pasta from the water and test after 10 minutes. Look for a soft but firm bite to the pasta.
Drain the pasta in a large colander over the sink. Grind some fresh pepper and salt over the pasta and serve with a sauce.
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- Quinoa pasta's strong, semolina-like taste puts some people off. In this case, try using a very strongly flavored sauce in your recipe.
- Ensure you have boiling water before adding quinoa pasta; otherwise it may create a congealed clump of pasta.
- Take care moving the pot to the colander. It's very heavy and you may require assistance.
Based near London, U.K., Peter Mitchell has been a journalist and copywriter for over eight years. Credits include stories for "The Guardian" and the BBC. Mitchell is an experienced player and coach for basketball and soccer teams, and has written articles on nutrition, health and fitness. He has a First Class Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from Bristol University.