Is pasta vegan?
What kind of pasta noodles are vegan? Are vegan noodles only the ones that aren't made with egg in the dough?
That's a great question. Most pasta is vegan, but there are a few ingredients you do need to look out for with pastas.
When you're buying pasta in stores, I recommend you get used to checking out the ingredients list. Most regular semolina white pasta and whole wheat pasta is vegan. As a general rule, egg noodles are almost never going to be vegan, unless you can find one that is a "faux egg noodle" pasta.
I only buy pasta made with two or three ingredients-- most of the really cheap stuff has all kinds of additives that just are not at all healthy for you, vegan or not. If you do buy them, watch out for whey and egg whites as hidden non-vegan ingredients in pasta. Another common non-vegan ingredient in pasta is butter. Some manufacturers add it to give the pasta softness, but many use canola or olive oil instead.
If you're ordering pasta in restaurants, the best rule is to remember that boxed pasta is usually vegan and homemade pasta is usually made with eggs. I like to ask about homemade pasta and most waiters will be aware of common food allergies like eggs, so it's an easy thing for them to answer. If the server doesn't know, they almost always offer to ask the chef, or you could ask them nicely to find out the ingredients.
Of course, eggs are not necessary for pasta recipes as I've made my own homemade pasta without an iota of an animal product.
I personally love vegan pasta that is made entirely from whole grains. Buckwheat noodles, or soba noodles, are easy to find in grocery stores and Asian markets, as well as in bulk online for better prices. In most grocery stores you can find more than just whole wheat, such as whole grain vegan pasta made from quinoa, millet, rice, corn, and rye grains.
Ezekial makes a killer sprouted whole grains pasta that is extremely hearty and healthy. It's excellent with a tomato sauce, cashew cream, or a nice summery pesto. I have found that it takes a few tastes of really hearty pastas to get used to the flavor, but after that it's hard to even eat the white pastas again because in comparison they have so little flavor.
I hope that helps!