Pasta, together with bread, is the main staple food here in Italy. It is a quite ancient food, dating back at least to XII century, in Sicily. Ancient Greeks used to make a dish called làganon with water and flour, rolled out and cut into sheets, that probably has been the predecessor of our lasagna sheets.
Pasta is still made with water and durum wheat flour, formed into various shapes, and let to dry. There are long and short Pasta shapes, Pasta (lasagna) sheets to be layered with seasoning or rolled up around some filling, minute Pasta shapes for soups and children, big Pasta shapes to be filled and baked… Many shapes to be seasoned with many different ingredients, as the different shapes fit different seasonings. That’s also due to Pasta texture: Pasta bronze drawn is very rough and porous and perfectly catch any sauce or filling or seasoning you may choose. Here in Italy, by tradition, most of Pasta shapes is usually tied to some special seasoning. So, we actually have countless Pasta recipes.
Pasta is a highly nourishing food, as contains complex carbohydrates, which slowly release energy, thus providing long-term energy for the body. It also contains a small amount of sodium, vitamin B and no cholesterol.
On the market you can also find (fresh or not) egg pasta. Even colored Pasta has been commercialized, thanks to vegetables or different ingredients (tomato, beet, carrot, spinach, but also saffron or Cephalopod Ink) added to the other ingredients. If you prefer a healthier Pasta, you can buy whole wheat Pasta, containing much more minerals, such as magnesium and iron, and, of course, dietary fiber, and thus having several health benefits. Because of the diffusion of intolerances, you can now also find gluten-free Pasta, or anyway Pasta made from different cereals, like buckwheat or quinoa.
Fun fact: most people around the world can’t cook our famous “pasta al dente”. Pasta should be cooked in a large pot of boiling salted water, at a rolling boil, following the cooking time reported on the package, and drained when still a little firm, not mushy. According to what nutritionists say, Pasta al dente is much more digestible.
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