For generations, pasta has been part of Italian family traditions from weeknight meals to holiday feasts. Now this tradition has become popular in cuisines located around the world. From hearty lasagna to delicate pasta salad, the recipe possibilities are endless. Busy families of today’s age continue to search for foods that are healthy, satisfying and economical – and they need not look any further than the pasta aisle. Pasta is very low in sodium and all non-egg varieties are cholesterol-free.
Per cup, enriched pastas provide an excellent source of folic acid and a good source of other essential nutrients, including iron and several B-vitamins. Also, as a food that is low on the Glycemic Index (GI) – low GI foods are digested more slowly – pasta provides a slow release of energy without spiking blood sugar levels. Pasta is categorized in two basic styles in the form of unleavened dough: dried and fresh. Dried pasta made without eggs can be stored for up to two years under ideal conditions, while fresh pasta will keep for a few days under refrigeration.
Dry Pasta Essay Example
In Italy, the dough made mostly from durum wheat or, more rarely, buckwheat flour, with water and, sometimes eggs. Pasta comes in a variety of different shapes that serve for both decoration and to act as a carrier for the different types of sauces ( puttanesca, amatriciana, carbonara, etc. ) and foods ( gnocchi, lasagna, tortellini, ravioli, etc. ). Pasta is eaten in Italy only as the first course or as “piatto unico”. WHO “INVENTED” PASTA? Popular legend has it that Marco Polo introduced pasta to Italy following his exploration of the Far East in the late 13th century; however, we can trace pasta back as far as the 4th century.
But it was Thomas Jefferson who was credited with bringing the first “macaroni” machine to America in 1789 when he returned home after serving as ambassador to France. The first industrial pasta factory in America was built in Brooklyn, in 1848 by a Frenchman, who spread his spaghetti strands on the roof to dry in the sunshine. HOW IS PASTA MADE? 1) Mixing: American dry pasta is made with semolina, which is produced by grinding kernels of durum wheat. Sometimes other hard wheat are also used. The semolina is mixed with water until it forms a dough.
If any other ingredients are being added to the pasta, such as eggs to make egg noodles, or spinach or tomato to make red or green colored pasta, those ingredients are added at this stage. 2) Extruding: The dough is kneaded until it reaches the correct consistency, and then it is pushed or extruded, through a die, a metal disc with holes in it. The size and shape of the holes in the die determine what the shape of the pasta will be. When the extruded pasta reaches the right length, it is cut with sharp blades that rotate beneath the die.
The pasta is then sent through large dryers which circulate hot moist air to slowly dry the pasta. Because different pasta shapes vary in degrees of thickness, they dry for different lengths of time. Most take 5 or 6 hours to dry. 4) Packing: The dried pasta is then packed in bags or boxes. Some of the more fragile pasta shapes, such as lasagna and manicotti, are often packed by hand to protect them from breaking. HOW DO YOU COOK PASTA PERFECTLY EVERYTIME? 1) Boil 4 to 6 quarts of salted water for one pound of dry pasta 2) Add pasta with a stir and return water to a boil. 3) Stir the pasta occasionally during cooking.
If the pasta is to be used as part of a dish that requires further cooking, undercook the pasta by 1/3 of the cooking time. 5) Taste the pasta to determine if it is done. Perfectly cooked pasta should be “al dente”, or firm to the bite. 6) Drain pasta immediately and follow the rest of the recipe, remembering to use a small amount of the water when adding to the sauce to allow for proper coverage on the pasta. Today, manufacturers have introduced nutritionally enhanced pasta varieties such as whole wheat (more difficult to cook “al dente”) whole grain and pasta fortified with omega-3 fatty acids and additional fiber.
Some varieties of whole grain pasta can provide up to 25% of daily fiber requirements in a one cup portion. There are now more options than ever for consumers to enjoy healthy and economical meals every palate can appreciate depending which type or shape. Considering these facts, it’s not hard to see why pasta has been around for centuries and probably will be for many more. There are hundreds of different shapes of pasta with at least locally recognized names. The following is an attachment, listing some of the most popular shapes listed in order from A-Z as downloaded from the National Pasta Association’s website.