It’s got 20 percent fewer carbs, 50 percent more protein, three times more fiber and no eggs. How good is Dueminuti’s reinvention of the noodle?
Did pasta really need a reboot?
Two guys from Italy took two years to re-engineer one of the world’s favorite foods, and now they’re inviting Seattle to “Come discover Pasta 2.0.” The first release of pasta — dating back to at least 1154, according to the BBC — needed both less and more, in the entrepreneurial duo’s estimation. Their “proprietary pasta formula” has 20 percent fewer carbs, 50 percent more protein, three times more fiber, and an unspecified amount more vitamins and minerals than Pasta 1.0. Handmade daily and “based on a mix of natural flours,” it’s got no eggs, but does contain soy; a gluten-free option is available.
Pasta 2.0 also cooks in just two minutes, hence the name: Dueminuti Healthy Pasta.
Dueminuti Healthy Pasta
412 Broadway E., Seattle; 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; 206-397-4375; dueminutipasta.com
The setting: Opened last October, the Broadway spot — formerly home to Samurai Noodle — gleams futuristically bright, with glossy white tiles and energetic music. An array of herbs under glaring grow lights in one corner lends a space-station feel. At the counter, you choose from three pasta shapes (helpfully on display, should you wonder what campanelle is), select a sauce (from a half-dozen options) and add any desired extras (like Parmesan shavings, $1, or a Camano Island poached egg, $2). Salad, bruschetta, beer, Italian wines and a couple of desserts are also on offer. When your order’s up, they call your name, and you go fetch it toward the back.
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Pasta 2.0: As you might surmise, Dueminuti’s pasta is … different. Our tasting team — all big fans of regular old pasta, carbs be damned — was not won over. The spaghetti provoked the most disappointment: “Stiff,” “wheaty,” “starchy” and “tough” were among the descriptors. Its topping, “Carbonara 2.0” (organic eggs, house-cured pork belly, aged Parmesan, some strands of arugula and undetectable Szechuan pepper), did not differ significantly from version 1 until it sat for a while, at which point the sauce took on, oddly, the taste of peanut butter. The rigatoni, while not as reviled, also possessed an unpleasant toughness, different from just al dente; its pesto sauce, while fresh and bright, lacked any semblance of garlic zing. Campanelle (shaped like a fringed trumpet) had the best, most pliant bite. Paired with Dueminuti’s amatriciana — missing the customary spicy heat, but made with smoky, house-cured guanciale and rich-tasting organic heirloom tomatoes — it came closest to approximating the joy of traditional pasta.
The upshot: The sauces we tried achieved a toned-down tastiness, and the health-obsessed may find something to love, but true pasta aficionados won’t be making any favorable comparisons to Il Corvo at Dueminuti.
Prices: Pasta dishes range from $8.10 to $11.80 before tax and tip.