Pasta is one of the most consumed foods in the world. Being a staple Italian cuisine, pasta has now found its way into homes worldwide. However, an interesting question that comes up often is – Is pasta vegan? With veganism on the rise, more and more people are looking to make the shift to a plant-based lifestyle. So it is essential to note the ingredients of our favorite pasta and get to know if pasta is really vegan.
What is Vegan Pasta?
Vegan pasta is pasta that adheres to the tenets of veganism. This kind of pasta does not contain any products that come from animals in any way. All dry pasta types are generally vegan; however, the preparation and recipe play a key role in deciding whether pasta is vegan or not.
What is Veganism?
Veganism is a broad philosophy. Its general idea is to refrain from consuming any kind of food or beverage that comes from animal sources. People who follow veganism, also called vegans, typically also follow a plant-based lifestyle. They do not use any product made out of animal sources and restrict themselves to using objects only made from plant-based sources.
Veganism as a philosophy is based on the ethical connotation of consuming animals and entails the environmental aspect of animal consumption. Following a vegan lifestyle is known to be beneficial to the environment, and at the same time, promotes good health for all.
However, it is important to remember that veganism is a choice. Just like we cannot force someone to consume animal products, in the same way, we cannot force anyone to turn vegan. Therefore, while spreading the vegan message, it is vital to do it with compassion and grace. Food forms an integral part of our identity, and culture, history, and heritage largely influence our consuming patterns. So even if you decide to shift to veganism, know that it is okay to take your time and adjust to its philosophies.
Is Dried Pasta Vegan?
Now, considering that you have decided to become vegetarian, you might wonder if you can still enjoy your favorite pasta. Generally, we use two kinds of pasta. One is dry pasta which we buy from the market, and the other is fresh pasta, where we knead the dough and make the pasta from scratch. Most dry pasta is made from whole wheat or refined flour, water, and possibly some oil. So, most dry pasta is actually plant-based. Usually, if you check the labels of the pasta before buying it from the market, you can see the ingredients used to make it. If you see eggs or any other animal product there, you can’t call it vegan.
Another thing to look for is vegan certification. Some countries certify vegan products in their market, and it is a good practice to check the certification criteria for your region. In case your area does not offer vegan certification, make sure to check the ingredients in your food thoroughly.
What Kinds of Pasta are Vegan?
As described above, most dry pasta is vegan. However, fresh pasta recipes usually recommend adding eggs to your dough. If you are making fresh pasta, you can refrain from adding the eggs. If you are ordering pasta in a restaurant, it is good practice to ask your chef the ingredients in their fresh pasta.
Common Ingredients that are Not Vegan
We may be cautious while choosing our pasta, but sometimes, it is the other ingredients in it that make it non – vegan. Here are a few animal-based ingredients which we can commonly find in pasta.
1. Cheese and Other Dairy
Found in almost every pasta, cheese purely comes from animal-based ingredients. Therefore, while ordering pasta, make sure to order it without cheese if you plan to have a strictly vegan diet. Along with cheese, butter and cream are the most-used ingredients in pasta. All of these are made from milk which is an animal product. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid any kind of dairy when following a vegan diet.
Our beloved white sauce pasta is unfortunately not vegan. Try to find alternatives to animal-based mayonnaise so that you can enjoy your white sauce pasta in a vegan way.
Very often, eggs are a vital ingredient in pasta. Be sure to order your pasta without any eggs in it so that you can maintain your vegan diet.
4. Other Additions
Sometimes, flavors, colors, or other additions made to pasta can directly or indirectly come from animals. When following a vegan lifestyle, it is essential to go the extra mile, find out the ingredients in your pasta, and ensure that they are vegan.
While doing all this, do remember that veganism is a journey. It may take some time to get used to following this lifestyle, but if it is a choice you have made, you can enjoy it to the fullest! If you are curious: is pasta vegan? The answer is simple most of the time, they are, but still, whenever you cook, make sure to go for plant-based ingredients only.
Also Read: This also proves why everyone in the family should learn how to cook. You can make your vegan pasta at home yourself.