Somewhere before on this site, we recommended Barilla or De Cecco pasta as the only two brands that we like. Unlike pretty much any other brand of pasta we've tried, these two cook up al dente pretty much every time -- even if you slightly overcook it. We don't know what makes the pasta better, but we've always figured it was just a matter of quality.

In a recent issue of Runners World (which is surprisingly good for motivating oneself to keep running), we saw an ad for Barilla Plus. It's a pasta that's supposed to give you a little more fiber and some protein in addition to the carbs. While carbs are a runner's staple, most people are starting to agree that adding some protein, especially just after a long run, helps your muscles recover.

Soon afterwards, while we were buying pasta, we found that our local Ralph's grocery store carried Barilla Plus, and we decided to give it a try. If the texture and flavor is pretty much the same, we certainly don't mind getting more fiber and protein.

We're sorry to say that it wasn't very good. It had a slight taste of wheat (or maybe buckwheat) and a softer texture. In fact, it reminded me a bit of soba, a Japanese noodle made of buckwheat and wheat flour. We like soba. We occasionally go to a restaurant that specializes in soba. But soba is not pasta, and a noodle with that kind of texture and flavor just doesn't seem right with the kind of pasta we eat (clam sauce, arrabiata, or pasta with chicken and broccoli...).

Oh well. Maybe there will be a better healthier pasta in the future, but this wasn't quite it.