A gluten-free diet shouldn’t condemn a person to bland, mushy pasta or tasteless, spongy pizza crust.

But if you’re not careful when selecting from the many new gluten-free convenience foods, that’s what you’ll get.

To improve your odds of getting a great one, we recently tested about a dozen gluten-free pastas and a handful of pizza crust mixes. The disappointments were many, but the winners were surprisingly good.

The pastas sampled were made from a variety of foods, including brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, soy, corn, as well as various blends. Most were either unbearably mushy or inedibly crunchy.

The exceptions included Tinkyada’s Organic Brown Rice Pasta Penne, which not only cooked up to a perfect traditional pasta texture, but also was quite delicious.

Also exceptional was Glutino’s Gluten Free Brown Rice Pasta Spaghetti, which was almost indistinguishable from a traditional pasta.

For a superb pizza crust, try Chebe Pizza Crust Mix, which was simple to prepare and produced a respectable thin-crust pizza with great, true doughy taste.

Go online

• Tinkyada’s Organic Brown Rice Pasta Penne is available in 12-ounce bags for $2.99 from http://www.glutensolutions.com

• Glutino’s Gluten Free Brown Rice Pasta Spaghetti is available in 10-ounce boxes for $2.99 from http://www.glutenfree.com/

• Chebe Pizza Crust Mix is available in cases of eight 7.5-ounce bags for $20.50 from http://www.chebe.com

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