What is Pasta 2.0?

Pasta with the deep flavors and nutrient density of true whole grain wheat, now with the texture and bite of the finest Italian white pastas. 

“Absolutely flawless! Yes, nutrient density off the charts, but also taste. Depth of flavor to hold space for whatever sauce you toss it with. And the texture! ‘I can’t believe it’s not white flour!’.”–Erik Oberholtzer, see below

The Story of Pasta 2.0

I’ve always distrusted the words “new and improved” and have taken it to mean “same old same old”. But I think Pasta 2.0 is a real advance and wanted to tell you the story of how we got here.

We introduced 100% whole-grain pasta in 2012. Up until that time whole-grain pasta was the clunky pasta of the 1960s and was not true whole grain,  Community Grains used wheat from healthy soil, whole-milled the flour fine, and paid attention to the shapes, avoiding shapes with thick walls that could get gummy when cooked. We never found a  penne that worked. The Community Grains standards were high, organic, with extensive transparency–and the press response was positive.

But then a few years later I did a tasting in Los Angeles. Erik Oberholzer, the founder of Tender Greens restaurants thought the pasta was good, but it didn’t meet the expectation of bite and texture of Italian white pasta. I experimented by adding some gluten and reformulated the flour. A year later at a Google event, I dropped some of this pasta on him. In developing a pasta for Google cafés, we needed a pasta that would hold up to cooking in big kettles and being held in steam tables without breaking up or getting mushy. And we needed to continue to make the pasta with our 100% whole milled, regeneratively grown local flour. So we developed our Food Service pasta that had all the characteristics of our Retail pasta, but with the addition of a small percentage of gluten .

I wanted to keep the Retail pastas pure, nothing added, but Mark Bittman and his team really liked our Food Service pasta, and I had to question my stance on purity. And there is nothing impure being added. Mark thought I should offer it retail.


And then, Erik’s posting on Instagram put me over the edge:

For a short while, Pasta 2.0 will only be available in our holiday gift boxes, until we catch up on production. Treat your loved ones to a stunning gift box this year, and be among the first to sample Pasta 2.0. We’ll keep you posted on when they become more widely available. Until then, happy holidays and Buon Appetito!

Bob Klein
Founder, Community Grains
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