While high-protein pasta is a new venture for Annie’s Homegrown, the company is no stranger to accommodating allergies and dietary restrictions. It already produces a wide range of boxed mac and cheese items, providing options for those with restricted diets. Included in the brand’s classic boxed macaroni lineup are the aforementioned gluten-free options, reduced sodium mac and cheese made with grass-fed cows’ milk, and even vegan macaroni.
Balancing the carbs in pasta with higher-protein sauces and toppings has long proven popular with diners – traditional Bolognese sauce is one such example — but the move toward creating dried pasta with a higher protein content is a relatively recent one, having taken off in the last decade or so. Pasta is traditionally made with durum wheat, which has a high protein content compared to other kinds of wheat, but it still doesn’t yield a protein-dense finished product.
Increased awareness surrounding food allergies and gluten-free diets has prompted a growing movement to create pastas made with alternative flours and ingredients. Even Italy’s largest dried pasta manufacturer, Barilla, is in on the game, having created a pasta that incorporates plant proteins (from chickpeas, peas, and lentils) into the process. As with all things gastronomy-related, though, it’s a matter of balancing nutrition and taste.