The simplest form of pasta is a mix of durum wheat flour and water. Durum wheat is a hard, high-protein wheat, suitable for pasta and semolina products, but not for making bread or other baked stuff.
The flour of durum wheat forms a stiff paste when mixed with water, so it can be easily made into different shapes. These shapes are retained when pasta is dried and cooked.
Whole meal pasta is generally made using whole meal flour mixed with durum wheat. This mixing is done because whole meal flour won’t hold the shape by itself and its texture can be rather chewy.
Pasta has a slightly yellow color which comes from the carotenes in the durum wheat-these are the antioxidants beta-carotene and lutein naturally found in this wheat. Spinach is sometimes added to produce green pasta and tomato sauce. Some beetroot juice can be also added to produce red-colored pasta.
Pasta nutrition: Is pasta fattening?
Pasta is a good source of carbohydrates, proteins, fibers and useful amounts of vitamins and minerals.
100g of dried pasta, a standard serving size, provides around 1,300-1,400 kilojoules with 65g carbohydrate, 12g protein, 3-4.5g fiber and 1-2g fat.
Again, whole meal pasta provides more vitamins and minerals and is an excellent source of fiber, with 100g providing around 13g of fiber (although different products will vary). Pasta generally has a low-medium GI, so it is sustaining energy.
On its own, pasta is certainly not a fattening food. But take care with the sauces: the type of sauce used with pasta will make a big difference in the overall nutrition of the pasta dish.
Tomato-based sauces generally provide more nutrients and energy and less fat than creamy sauces like carbonara.
People who can’t eat wheat or gluten can try gluten-free pastas. These are made using ingredients like maize and soy flour, potato and rice starches. You can experiment with different types of pasta to find what works best for your dietary needs.
How to prepare pasta in a healthy and nutritious way
Just like with other wheat products, we should all know that pasta is an excellent food. Another important thing for all housewives, chefs, cooks and other gourmands is the easiness with which it is prepared.
I know that most of you who work in the kitchen prepare pasta in this way:
- You boil water
- You put the pasta inside
- You cook it for 10 or so minutes
- You strain it and drain it and have a base to go on with
But it’s time you learned something new and good about the way you prepare your usual pasta meal!
Take my word folks: Your tasty meal can get even tastier and you can get even hastier to eat it!
Look at this video that will teach you how to prepare the most delicious pasta in the world!