Pasta is a very simple idea for a quick lunch or dinner. Most often it is prepared with spinach, chicken, tuna and more. Find out what types of pasta there are and whether the pasta is healthy. How many calories do you have?
What is pasta?
Pasta is one of the most consumed cereal products in the world. There are many types and shapes. Most often, pasta is eaten in Italy, where many original types of pasta and sauces specific to specific regions come from.
There are many theories about the origin of pasta. One of them says that it was first prepared in Central Asia during the Neolithic period and in Italy in the 12th century thanks to Marco Polo.
Others claim that pasta was made in northern Italy in ancient times, and its pioneers were Etruscans, who received pasta by grinding cereal grains and mixing them with water. There are also reports that lasagne was known to the ancient Romans in the 3rd century B.C.
Pasta – types and method of production
The ingredients for making pasta are flour and water. Depending on the type of pasta, different types of flour are used to make it, including wheat flour, buckwheat flour, cornflour, spelt flour, rice flour, soy flour and macaroni, so-called semolina. Wholemeal pasta is also popular.
Sometimes eggs are also added, which make the pasta harder and have a more intense yellow colour. The characteristic colour of the pasta can be obtained by adding herbs, spinach, nettle, dried tomatoes, carrots or sepia (cuttlefish dye).
In the first stage of production, the dough is obtained by kneading the flour and water and optionally adding eggs. Then the dough is formed by passing it through razors with various holes. The next stage is cutting the pasta, cooking raw or drying the dough with warm air for about 8 hours, and finally – packing.
Pasta is divided depending on the shape and diameter (small, long, sheets, for stuffing), the place of production (industrial, craft, home-made) and the addition of eggs (with or without).
Pasta – health properties. Does pasta make you fat?
Pasta is a product of moderate calorie. Also, its energy value is increased by the sauces with which it is served. It is also a source of protein, B vitamins and copper, zinc, iron and magnesium, but the content of vitamins and minerals is insignificant in white noodles. Whole grain macaroni contains much more. Besides, they are rich in dietary fibre and have a lower glycemic index, which is why it is worth replacing white pasta with whole-grain pasta.
Pasta can be part of the diet of people with diabetes, overweight, obesity and those on a diet. However, you should limit the portion size of pasta and consume it in moderate amounts (to three portions per week), cook al dente and serve with sauces with low fat and sugar content and rich in lean meat, olive oil, seafood, vegetables and legumes.
Whole grain and buckwheat macaroni will be a good choice for diabetics because they contain more nutrients.
Whole-grain pasta is also more recommended for people who are overweight and obese and who are on a slimming diet because of their lower calorific value and higher fibre content.
Wheat pasta should not be consumed by people with gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Buckwheat, soy and rice pasta, which are natural products that do not contain this protein, and gluten-free pasta are recommended for these people.
Pasta can increase body weight if consumed with fatty sauces, in excessive amounts, or as part of a high-calorie diet.
Pasta – application
Pasta due to its large variety is widely used in the kitchen. Depending on the shape, it is an important addition to many dishes.
Penne, fusilli, spaghetti, farfalle, rice noodles are usually served with meat, meat and vegetable and vegetable sauces. They blend well with minced meat, chicken, tuna, spinach, tomatoes, as well as in a seafood sauce.
Thin, fusilli, shell or noodles are a great addition to soups.
In addition, pasta is great for casseroles and salads. They can also be stuffed with various fillings and baked (e.g. cannelloni pasta).
Pasta can also be served in a sweet version, e.g. with strawberries, cottage cheese or yoghurt and apples, and as an addition to milk soup.
How to cook pasta?
The pasta is boiled in boiling, previously salted water until it has a semi-soft consistency – al dente. The cooking time of pasta depends on its type, size and shape. The exact number of minutes to cook pasta can be found on the label. After cooking, the pasta must be drained thoroughly.