How Do I Choose the Best Rotelle Pasta?

Kristeen Moore
Kristeen Moore
Whole wheat versions of rotelle pasta are the healthiest.
Whole wheat versions of rotelle pasta are the healthiest.

Rotelle pasta consists of miniature wheels that work well with a variety of both traditional and non-traditional Italian dishes. The healthiest rotelle pasta is made from whole wheat because it has more fiber and protein than enriched versions. Other forms of this pasta might even come in different colors because it can be made from vegetables. Wheel pasta is widely available in packaged boxes, but some specialty Italian food stores might carry fresh rotelle, which generally has a better taste. No matter which type you choose, there are certain ingredients that you should consider using when cooking it for the best results.

Boxed versions of rotelle pasta are typically made with enriched wheat flour.
Boxed versions of rotelle pasta are typically made with enriched wheat flour.

“Little wheels” is the English translation for rotelle pasta, but it is actually not considered to be a traditional Italian food. Still, the wheels are popular in many Italian dishes because they offer unique textures, as well as a different kind of aesthetic appeal. This type of pasta is your best choice if you are entertaining a crowd with meals that consist of cream sauces, meats, and seafood.

The most common forms of rotelle pasta are boxed versions made from enriched wheat flour. Whole wheat versions are the best choice if you are looking for a healthier type. The enriching process strips the pasta of important nutrients, and the wheels end up providing far less protein and fiber than their whole wheat counterparts. Still, it is important to keep in mind that pasta itself is a low-fat food, so enriched versions can be used as an alternative if you do not care for the taste of whole wheat rotelle.

For added variety, many pasta manufacturers make rotelle noodles out of vegetables, which give the wheels different colors. Carrots, spinach, and tomatoes are often used, which gives the noodles a different appearance compared to traditional beiges and browns. This type of rotelle pasta works particularly well in salads, as well as with creamy vegetable dishes.

Supermarkets widely sell dried versions of rotelle pasta in boxes, and they are your best choice if you are on a budget. If you have extra money to spare, you might consider instead choosing fresh rotelle noodles from an Italian food market. Fresh pasta tends to taste better and it also takes less time to boil than traditional boxed versions.

Wheel-shaped pasta is known for absorbing flavors well, so it is important that you choose the ingredients that you pair with the noodles wisely. Basic ingredients, such as olive oil, butter, and tomatoes are essential basics to have if you do not have time to create a complex meal. A dash of salt used during boiling will also accentuate the taste of rotelle pasta.

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    • Whole wheat versions of rotelle pasta are the healthiest.
      Whole wheat versions of rotelle pasta are the healthiest.
    • Boxed versions of rotelle pasta are typically made with enriched wheat flour.
      Boxed versions of rotelle pasta are typically made with enriched wheat flour.