Tessa’s Tips: February

Hi Everyone! My name is Tessa Stamper and I’m Noodles & Company’s chef and registered dietician. I’m back this month to give you more helpful tips on cooking, health and wellness. Last month I talked about reducing calories, but not reducing flavor. This month I’m going to focus on pasta, and since February is heart disease awareness month, I will share with you how pasta can be part of a heart-healthy diet.

 When it comes to pasta, we take pride in what we serve. It all starts in the fields of North Dakota with #1 hard amber durum wheat. It’s what gives our pasta the al dente texture, bright amber color and nutty wheat taste. We have 8 different varieties of noodles and pasta on our menu from udon to penne to cavatappi.

Tessa Stamper, Noodles & Company’s chef and registered dietician

Want to learn more about our pasta? Check out this video to see how it’s made and what makes it taste so good.

February is heart disease awareness month. A great pasta option that’s also recommended for a heart-healthy diet is whole wheat pasta. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that were just released last month by the USDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, whole grain is a great source of nutrients such as iron, magnesium, B vitamins and dietary fiber. The new dietary guidelines also states there is evidence indicating that eating whole grains may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

To offer you a heart-healthy pasta option, we serve whole wheat linguine. It’s featured in our Whole Grain Tuscan Linguine on our Mediterranean menu. Although it’s featured in one dish, it may be substituted in any of our dishes!

Noodles & Company’s Whole Grain Tuscan Linguine

For more information on how to eat heart healthy, please visit the American Heart Association.

Check back next month for more tips from yours truly!

Tessa Stamper

Chef & Registered Dietitian

Noodles & Company


How do you customize your meal at our restaurants to incorporate whole grains? What bowl do you sub in our whole grain linguine? Tell us and we’ll choose five people to win a free bowl card by Friday, 2/18 at 5 p.m. MST.


40 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Jane said,

    My favorite dish @ Noodles & Company is the (small) spaghetti & meatballs. I’m following the Weight Watcher Program and I like the fact that I can get whole wheat noodles. The fact that I’m getting a serving of whole grains helps to make me feel better about the 15 Points I spend to eat it!

  2. 2

    Annette Freid said,

    Bankok Curry

  3. 3

    Elizabeth Stasny said,

    I always order the penne rosa with the whole wheat pasta and tofu. My daughters snitch the tofu and are starting to steal my noodles as well.

  4. 4

    LuAnne Jacobs said,

    I would customize the wheat linguine with the parmeson cheese chicken

  5. 5

    Anne said,

    Suggestion: Gluten Free options. Brown rice pasta is so great compared to the corn gluten free options of yester-yore. I haven’t been able to eat at N&C for the last five months because of this gluten issue. There are millions of us. Please consider it!

  6. 6

    Jessica Workman said,

    I like the Whole Grain Tuscan Linguine, but a trip to Noodles just isn’t the same without the Pasta Fresca. I like to sub the penne pasta for the whole grain so I can eat a little bit healthier. Thanks for giving me that option!

  7. 7

    Cindy said,

    Bangkok Curry is great with whole grain linguine. The seasoning is great with the whole grain and the linguine provides fiber…a great healthy duet!

  8. 8

    Kate said,

    You all now have me thinking about substituting whole grain into the Bangkok Curry. I try to go as low-sodium as possible, which is why I pick the BC, but would love to add the whole grain to make it even healthier. Thanks for a great idea!

  9. 9

    Bev said,

    I substitute them in any of the Italian-style bowls, the Bangkok Curry, the Thai Curry Soup. Anything that is fairly saucy and spicy works well with the whole wheat linguine.

  10. 10

    Gerald Phillips said,

    When I visit Noodles And Company (usually 2-3 times weekly – it’s good stuff!!) I almost always order the Indonesian Peanut Saute` with shrimp added, and a Chinese Chop salad. I always order this dish (and any other I may wish to try) with the whole wheat linguine. I am diabetic and this type of pasta is recommended by the American Diabetes Foundation and my family physician.

    The whole wheat linguine used by Noodles And Company has the best flavor and texture of any other whole wheat pasta I have tried elsewhere. Even though the color is slightly darker than regular semolina pasta, I absolutel cannot detect any difference in the flavor. Some whole wheat pastas taste like cardboard, but not the whole wheat linguine at Noodles And Company.

    I am an extermely satisfied customer due to this pasta choice at your restaurants – keep up the good work and I’ll keep coming back for more!!

  11. 11

    julie hunt said,

    I always add chicken breast to any of the bowls but it especially good with the mac n cheese

  12. 12

    Lindsay Rossum said,

    Everytime I go to Noodles, I order whole grain linguine even though every time I’m getting a different pasta. The fiber in whole grains always fills me up and makes me more satisfied with my dish besides the fact it has so many more nutrients and tastes yummy too! I can’t imagine going back to white floured pasta! 🙂

  13. 13

    chris said,

    I like using the whole grain linguine in the penne rosa. Is there a way to “lighten up” the sauce on that?

    • 14

      Hi Chris,

      Sure! You may ask your Noodle Ambassador to have the dish cooked without adding the cream. This will cut about 100 calories and about 11 grams of fat in the regular serving size. 🙂 -Tessa

  14. 15

    The Mac and cheese is just as yummy made with whole wheat linguine!

  15. 16

    Janell said,

    rice noodles for me 🙂

  16. 17

    Janet said,

    Well, I didn’t know until this newsletter that it was possible to substitute! But now I’m going to do it every time, because I love whole wheat pasta, and what I will order it with is the Pesto; my favorite!

  17. 18

    Sunny said,

    I would like to see my favorite Asian Pan Noodles made with whole grain Linguine. The noodle is the same type and it would be a good combination with the spicy sauce.

  18. 19

    Jean Parulski said,

    pasta fresca with whole wheat linguine……yum……

  19. 20

    Angie said,

    I am also a Registered Dietitian and I recently subbed the whole grain linguine for the penne rosa dish. The new creation, linguine rosa with shrimp was delicious!

  20. 21

    Christine S said,

    I ask for the whole grain linguine to be the pasta used in the penne rosa bowl.

  21. 22

    Linda wiebold said,

    My husband and I order buttered whole wheat linguine and add 3 kinds of fresh vegetables. With a little Parmesan cheese on top, it’s delicious!

  22. 23

    Judy A. said,

    I love the Pasta Fresca with whole grain linguine! I honestly think it tastes even better and keeps me full longer.

  23. 24

    Duncan said,

    I add the whole grain linguine to the penne rosa with chicken. Makes it very tasty.

  24. 25

    Scott Woyak said,

    I didn’t realize I could substitute the whole grain linguine, so I’m going to try that in my 3 favorite dishes: Penne Rosa (which will be Linguine Rosa), Bangkok Curry, and Japanese Pan Noodles.


  25. 26

    Kris Williams said,

    I am a big whole grain linguine fan. I have substituted it in almost everything, but the one I like the best is the Pasta Fresca (second would be Penne Rosa). I would likely substitute it in all of them, every time I ordered, if you had whole grain noodles for the different types (penne, macaroni, etc).

  26. 27

    Jeanine said,

    As a chef and registered dietitian aren’t you concerned about the amount of sodium that is a feature of so many of Noodle and Company’s dishes? It is important for me and others to watch the amount of sodium consumed to control/reduce blood pressure. I enjoy Noodle and Company’s menu items and would like to see reduced sodium options.

    • 28

      Hi Jeanine,

      Thank you for your comment. Funny you should ask that! We are analyzing our menu and working to decrease the amount of sodium where it makes most sense. The best way to manage sodium intake while dining with us is to check out our complete list of nutritionals, which are available in every restaurant and featured on our website at http://www.noodles.com. Please write back with any other questions or concerns. –Tessa

  27. 29

    kris barnes said,

    Tess, Please do us “gluten-free but in love with Noodles” folks a big favor and create a mac n cheese using gluten free pasta. There are a couple good ones out there, Tinkyada (sp?) brand is one of them. It is easy to cook and does not get mushy.

  28. 31

    Debbie said,

    Next time I order my favorite Bangkok Curry, I’m going to try the whole wheat noodles! Thanks – I didn’t know I could substitute!

  29. 32

    Sarah said,

    My favorite dish is the Pasta Fresca. I haven’t substituted for whole grain linguine yet but am eager to try this combo! Thanks for the idea and delicious food.

  30. 33

    Linda Foshag said,

    Wow, I never knew we could substitute!! Starting today, Valentines Day, I will order my favorite Pasta Fresca with the whole grain pasta!
    Thanks for your informative newsletter!!

  31. 34

    Diane said,

    I didn’t realize I could substitute the linguine until I read this last week! On Friday I had the pasta fresca with it, and it was fabulous. Thanks for being so flexible…and delicious!

  32. 35

    Jennifer said,

    We always substitute with the Whole Grain Noodles on Penne Rosa, it is more filling and has a great flavor with the slightly spicy sauce! Thanks NOODLES & Co. for reminding everyone that they can substitute with the noodle of their choice 🙂

  33. 36

    Kevin said,

    I substitute the whole grain linguine in the Pasta Fresca with chicken. The oil clings better than on the penne, too! Next, I will try the tofu which will wrap better in the linguine.

  34. 37

    Laura said,

    I like the whole wheat linguine with my favorite dish Mushroom Stroganoff- only 12 points from Weight Watchers. But after reading these replies- I may try some other combos that sound tempting.

  35. 38

    Sue Goodwin said,

    I want to hurry…..and try the curry! Didn’t realize it was an option!

  36. 39

    Therese said,

    I also did not know that you could substitute the whole grain pasta in other dishes. I don’t know if I can pass up the whole grain Tuscan Linguini though.

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