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Pasta comes in an awesome range of shapes and sizes, right from tiny shells to long strands and is an overall term for noodles made with durum wheat semolina, divided into 2 main categories; ‘Pasta Fresca’ which is basically fresh home style Pasta and ‘Pasta Secca’ – Dry and normally produced on machines. Pasta is further subdivided into three heads namely ‘Pasta Corta’ which are short noodles and includes all types of soup noodles to penne, and shapes like spirals, wheels, snails etc. ‘Pasta Lunga’ are long noodles, like Spaghetti etc and ‘Pasta Ripiena’ are filled pasta parcels, examples being ravioli and tortellini.
DID YOU KNOW?
Dry pasta /Secca is more nutritious, 100 gm of dry pasta made from durum wheat semolina has 346 calories as compared to 140 calories from fresh pasta. An average portion for one, which would be approx. 60 gms provides 230 calories and has a good content of protein.
MOST POPULAR SAUCES WITH PASTA
Aglio e olio – Crushed garlic, parsley and olive oil, add pepper and a variation is Aglio e olio pepperoncino - Best with Spaghetti.
Alla Napolitano – Basil flavoured tomato concasse (skinned, deseeded, finely chopped tomato pulp); goes well with all kinds of pasta regardless of the shape.
Alla Panna – in cream (with loads of pepper), is best with tortellini and rigatoni.
Arrabiata – tomato concasse and pepperoncino with all kinds of pasta regardless of shape.
Carbonara – Pancetta, cheese and eggs; is great with long noodles.
Pesto – Basil sauce, eaten with filled or unfilled noodles, especially with, fettuccine, tagliatelle, and farfalle, Mamamia!
Bolognese – Ground meat, a great option for all kinds of long pasta, also used as a filling for lasagna.
Alla Sicilian – Cooked tomato concasse with aubergine, olives and capers; best with penne, farfalle, or fusilli.
Alla amatriciana – Pancetta and tomato concasse; best with penne, farfalle, fusilli.
Pasta should only be allowed to swim in the much-loved clear broths and soups. Otherwise, the sauce should be portioned so that the pasta completely absorbs the liquid; if the sauce is thin pasta must be more absorbent and hollow than for a thicker sauce.