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As Fall beckons, and we begin harvesting our garden’s tomato supply, only one event occupies the space of my frontal cortex.

It’s time for our annual assembling of spaghetti sauce.

The challenge is not in creating a masterful marinara but in choosing the grain to go along with it.
White pasta is not a food we normally include in our diet. In the past, we have substituted different grains, such as quinoa and rice noodles, for the pasta and this year we have included soba noodles.

Known for its nutty flavor, these noodles are primarily used in Asian dishes. Being the unconventional person that I am, I don’t hesitate to use soba in unusual pairings.

Soba noodles are considered by some to be a super food due to its nutritional value.

The “super” aspect of soba comes from its source, buckwheat.
Thought of as a grain in the culinary world, it is actually a seed from a fruit related to the rhubarb family.

A gluten-free, phytonutrient (chemicals found in plants that help fight disease in the human body), buckwheat contains 8 of the essential 10 amino acids (proteins our bodies need but cannot make on their own).

Rich in manganese, calcium, vitamins E & B, buckwheat is also high in fiber which aids in feeling fuller longer.

Not all soba noodles are manufactured equally. Make sure to check the ingredients label as some brands are not 100% buckwheat and may contain other ingredients.

Although it can be an expensive purchase, its nutrient value and its ability to stand as a substitute for grains in soups, stews, stir-fries and salads make this occasional treat well worth it.


Do you have a favorite pasta substitute? Please leave a comment…