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. 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 B.C., where an Etruscan tomb showed a group of natives making what appears to be pasta. The Chinese were making a noodle like food as early as 3000 B.C. And Greek mythology suggests that the Greek God Vulcan invented a device that made strings of...