Nutritionist Paulius Jurkevicius debunks 5 popular myths about pasta

Pasta or pasta consumption in the world is constantly growing, almost doubling in the last twenty years. A similar situation exists in Lithuania – the number of pasta eaters is increasing every year, and especially during the quarantine period. However, rare Lithuanian is distinguished between truly high-quality macaroni.

“Although Lithuanians love Italian cuisine, the essential indicators of pasta quality – source of raw materials, protein concentration, secrets of production technology, for example, the meaning of bronze molds – are still unknown to many. But really, choosing the right pasta is already half the job done – it does not require fancy cooking methods or greasy A mountain of cheese is not required. A good example of this is spaghetti aglio e olio, a dish made with a simple combination of garlic, hot pepper and pure olive oil. The secret to its taste is high-quality pasta and a sauce of few ingredients, which the pasta absorbs completely,” says the expert.

However, how to distinguish high-quality pasta on the store shelf?

Myth no. 1: Equal – High quality

Many Lithuanians believe that the best quality macaroni is smooth macaroni. However, according to Mr. Jurkevicius, this is one of the biggest myths because the opposite is true. The bronze molds used in the production of macaroni are an essential standard, a mystery still undiscovered by Lithuanians.

“Because the smooth, smooth, shiny noodles are formed in Teflon molds. With them, the pasta “dough” slides quickly, they are made in large quantities and in a short time. A completely different thing is the bronze mold used in the production of macaroni, which gives the product a roughness. When conducting the tasting, I observed the following Let me give an example: is it better to paint with oil paints on metal or paint on canvas? “Bronze” paste is like a canvas and completely absorbs the sauce and its ingredients,” says the gastronomy journalist.

A good quality pasta is also revealed by its porosity. Vita Petraviciute, quality manager of “Malsenas”, adds that macaroni made in bronze molds are matte as they are covered with dough.

“Bronze molds are used in the old traditional pasta production because it is a more expensive and time-consuming method. The porosity and porosity of such pasta – almost microscopic cracks on the surface – allow it to absorb water and sauce equally. Therefore, the first step when choosing pasta is to look at the labeling on the package, which indicates the pasta. suggests to be made in bronze moulds,” says the expert.

Bronze Forms

Bronze Forms

© Organizer’s photo.

Myth no. 2: Yellow – high quality

Golden colors and bright yellow – these are the types of pasta that many people see on store shelves. However, this is a myth, because actually pasta should be white. Bright yellow means they are simply “overcooked” and too dry.

“The bright yellow, sometimes almost brown pasta should also tell the consumer that the pasta has been dried at very high temperatures for a very short time. During such intensive drying, baking, proteins, vitamins and other health benefits of durum wheat are burned. It is almost a semi-finished product, its cooking time is very “Small, it is difficult to control, such pasta is wet. The quality of the pasta is indicated by the light, almost yellow color of the grains,” assures P. Jurkevicius.

Pasta

Pasta

© Adobe Stock

A representative of “Malsenas” the durum pasta they produce is slowly dried, maintaining a uniform low temperature during the process, thus ensuring the desired quality and taste. Such pasta should be cooked for about 10 minutes, so it is very easy to achieve and control the desired texture, for example rolling out Al denteWhen the pasta is neither too soft nor too hard, the press release says.

Myth no. 3: The most important ingredient in pasta is flour

Although it may sound strange, quality pasta does not contain flour, it uses semolina from durum wheat. After they are mixed with ground and water, a dough is obtained, from which a paste is formed.

“Law 580 was issued in Italy in 1967, which states that it is an unfair practice to use common wheat flour instead of durum wheat flour. Therefore, the production of macaroni from common wheat and especially dry macaroni is considered against the law,” says P. Jurkevicius says.

Therefore, when choosing pasta, it is important to look for the inscription semola, grano duro, durum or simply durum wheat on the package.

“Durum wheat flour contains more protein and holds its shape better during the cooking process. To maintain the protein structure and stiffness of the dough, durum wheat is ground coarsely. If you take a handful of plain flour in the palm of your hand and try to rub it between your fingers, you will not feel the texture, but durum wheat or The texture of semolina is coarse – this is the secret of their quality,” says V. Petravicuity.

Myth no. 4: All pasta has the same nutritional value

Today, it is a common myth that to eat healthy, you should eliminate pasta from your menu. However, according to P. Jurkevičius, high quality durum wheat pasta is rich in various trace elements important for the body. They have a good effect on digestion, stimulate intestinal activity and provide a feeling of satiety for a long time.

Pasta

Pasta

“Slowly, low-temperature dried from high-quality durum wheat raw materials, pasta formed in bronze molds, which does not break, and the concentration of protein and fiber in their composition is high – such a product follows the instructions. Mediterranean diet. Therefore, when looking for health benefits, choosing high-quality pasta is an important criterion”, assures P. Jurkevičius.

Myth no. 5: Quality – Italian pasta only

Although the quality of pasta today is primarily associated with Italy, V. Every pasta lover can recognize them:

Quality pasta is uniform in size and texture, so it cooks evenly and does not form a film of starch on the finished pasta.

They retain their shape, are strong and resilient. They should stay that way until the last bite. Even if you leave the pasta on the plate with the sauce, it should not lose its shape.

After boiling, the water will be quite clear (otherwise the pasta will “leave” all the important vitamins and useful substances in the water).

When you chew the pasta, you feel a nice, elastic consistency that you can easily make whatever you want while cooking. Al dente Structure It depends on good quality raw material and suitable drying temperature.

Pasta

Pasta

© Organizer’s photo.

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