What Makes Sourdough Pasta Unique

If you were on social media at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there's a good chance you saw a video of someone enthusiastically baking sourdough bread at home. We saw sourdough's yeast and popularity rise in 2020, and the New York Times even claimed it was an essential sanity-saving tool. The Guardian declared rolling, kneading, and mixing to be components of "stress baking," which they said could help people work through difficult emotions during the pandemic.

So what's so great about sourdough? Besides its ability to mentally soothe the country in a time of crisis, it contains a multitude of health benefits. According to WebMD, the bacteria present in sourdough can help increase our ability to retain its nutrients, which include magnesium and potassium. Perhaps most famously, sourdough is good for your gut and acts like a prebiotic to help keep your digestive system healthy (via WebMD).

If you think you've seen it all with sourdough (and we have seen a lot on Instagram), you may be surprised to learn about sourdough pasta. This offshoot of Italian pasta was first made by pasta company Kaslo Sourdough in a small town in Canada. According to Kootenay Business, Kaslo's sourdough pasta also contains the "good" bacteria that are beneficial for gut health.

Pasta that's good for your gut

That's not the only difference between sourdough and other types of pasta, however. Sourdough pasta is made with a sourdough starter, notes Masterclass, although they recommend using sourdough discard to ensure the pasta doesn't become too puffy. In addition to the starter, you only need flour and eggs to make sourdough pasta, according to The Pantry Mama. Classic pasta doughs, on the other hand, are generally made by combining oil, flour, eggs, and salt (via Bon Appétit). Another big difference, notes The Pantry Mama, is that sourdough pasta can be cooked in as little as two minutes, while other types of pasta can take around 11 minutes.

The bacteria that gives sourdough its digestive benefits also creates a tart flavor and chewy texture in sourdough pasta, according to Masterclass. Although it can be eaten with any pasta sauce, Snacking in Sneakers notes that it pairs particularly well with rich tomato sauces. Not sure where to get started with sourdough pasta? If you're not looking to make it yourself just yet, Kaslo Sourdough offers a variety of sourdough pasta for purchase, including macaroni, linguini, and even hemp rotini, which contains 76% of your daily iron. With all these options, a sourdough renaissance may just be on the horizon.