Wild rice pasta has won a place at the test kitchen table. We like it because it is lighter than regular pasta, it has the unique nutty flavour of wild rice, and it is produced by a Canadian family business based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

A few years ago we met Murray Ratuski at his wild rice production site near Winnipeg. It was there that we learned the secret to cooking wild rice properly – until each grain transforms into a soft blossom.

The story of our visit to Keewatin is in our latest grilling and smoking cookbook, On The Road with The Cooking Ladies, Let’s Get Grilling accompanied by a recipe for Wild Rice-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin.

Recently, we saw that Murray’s company, Floating Leaf, was promoting a new product, wild rice pasta. It sounded appealing so we contacted him and he sent us a sample. Actually samples. A package arrived with Artisan Wild Rice Egg Linguine, Sprouted Crimson Lentils with Wild Rice & Quinoa, Sprouted Brown Rice with Split Pea & Quinoa, Sprouted Black Bean with Organic Brown Rice, Organic Wild Rice in Minutes, and Wild Rice & Flax Pancake, Waffle & Muffin Mix.

At the test kitchen we combined Floating Leaf Artisan Wild Rice Egg Linguine with our Red and Green Tomato Sauce. It was so good we were grateful we had prepared enough for a second meal. The next day we went to the Floating Leaf website, www.eatwildrice.ca, to ensure ourselves that we would be able to find their wild rice products in local stores. Yes, we can.

Part of the lure of wild rice is that it is not rice. It is a water grass indigenous to Canada. It grows in and is harvested from the fresh water lakes and streams of northern Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. As a whole grain it is high in fibre and protein, low in calories and fat, and includes phosphorus, potassium, and B vitamins.

Canadian wild rice is 100 percent natural. A lot of the wild rice we see in grocery stores is cultivated, coming from Minnesota and California, in order to fill the demand.

It is exciting to know that the natural, nutty qualities of this grain offer themselves to all sorts of new culinary creations.