Say Yes to Westchester’s nonoPASTA, the Healthy Comfort Carb

All photos by John Bruno Turiano

It’s called pasta with benefits, and it’s conceived by an Irvington resident — but it’s for people of all dietary restrictions and nutritional goals to enjoy.

New York began to slowly reopen, but Rachel Katz stayed eagerly waiting in her Irvington home for boxes of her newly formulated pasta to be delivered. Katz and Tal Bar, 30-year friend and co-founder, worked with a small manufacturer in Italy to create a gluten-free, superfood, and adaptogen pasta.

The name of their superfood, nonoPASTA, boils down to the ingredient list having so many “nos,” — no egg, no corn, no soy, no GMOs, and no pesticides, to name a few.

The main ingredient in each of the three varieties of pasta is organic brown rice flour from Italy. The rest of the ingredients are sourced from around the world including Italy, France, Spain, India, and the U.S.

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The first flavor is Immunity, made from spirulina and beets for a stronger immune system. Energy is made from cordyceps mushrooms, nettle, and beets for stamina. The Detox is born from hemp and turmeric to support overall gut health.

All the flavors provide different benefits for the body, which is why they are sold in boxes of four featuring any combination of two flavors.

Before starting the process of the many at-home pasta tastings, Katz watched their vision come to life with the help of the Westchester County Office of Economic Development’s Launch1000 program.

Katz started the program in October 2020 with many ideas and a true passion for helping a community of people who faced autoimmune conditions like she and Tal did. Katz and Bar strive to bring awareness to the importance of real and clean food. “I feel proud to be part of this “movement” of small CPG companies [consumer packaged goods] like us that are slowly spreading awareness and providing delicious healthy alternatives,” said Bar.

“The other thing the program provided was a community,” said Katz. Community is so important when you’re an entrepreneur, you see what other people are asking, you’re helping one another and you don’t feel so alone.”

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Katz and Bar met at work in their early twenties and immediately bonded over being international students from Israel. They’ve always shared nutritional resources with each other, but the pandemic was the pivotal point for creating nonoPASTA and nonoMARKET.

“We were witnessing the growing demand for healthy home-cooked meals, the longing for immune-boosting foods. This was perhaps the main push we needed to get the courage to leave corporate and the monthly paycheck and ‘do something’ that is more meaningful and that we are extremely passionate about,” said Bar.

At one point in her nutrition journey, Katz couldn’t hold her newborn daughter because of intense pain in both wrists, which she later had surgery on. Years later, Katz experienced knee pain to the point where it was hard to walk. She refused to believe cortisone shots were the only solution. She worked with a nutritionist and immediately began to feel better after removing gluten from her diet.

Bar saw nine different doctors, and none could give her a diagnosis. She was constantly told that everything was in her head, but she gained weight, was extremely tired, experienced brain fog, hair loss, and said things that used to be exciting didn’t matter anymore. After taking on the new nutritional lifestyle, she felt that she won her life back.

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“As they say, without our health, we got nothing. It’s so true. I lived it. I felt it,” said Bar. “We chose the name nono for that reason. Besides the very important fact that our ingredient list has so many no’s, it’s also our way of saying “no” to settling for the conventional food and health care.”

“For me food is love. Creating a gluten free pasta that tastes like pasta was a win for myself. Like wow, I can really enjoy pasta with my entire family, and I don’t need to make my own food and food for them,” said Katz.

Amazon is currently the only distributor. Use coupon code WESMAG15 for 15% off your order of nonoPASTA.

Related: Get to Know the Pasta Chef Behind Westchester’s Newest Pasta Truck

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