Durum wheat pasta became famous in the world thanks to Italians. True, there is an opinion that they were not invented on the Apennine Peninsula, but in distant China, and came to Europe thanks to the traveler Marco Polo. One way or another, the advantages of this product have been appreciated: currently the average Italian consumes about 26 kg of pasta per year. The achievements of the Russians are much more modest. What is the reason for this? First of all, the fact that in our country this product needs rehabilitation. Back in Soviet times, pasta became a symbol of crisis and was associated with poverty. They were cheap and could be stored for a long time, so they stocked up in advance. Such pasta was prepared, as a rule, without any frills. And they, alas, really contributed to the fullness, as they were made from low-quality flour.
Characteristics of raw materials
Nowadays, this product is gradually being rehabilitated, mainly due to the fashion for Italian cuisine. It has been proven that pasta made from durum wheat with proper preparation do not harm the figure. Moreover, they are even used in diet food. But what is meant by the concept of "hard varieties"?
The fact is that a widespread agricultural crop - wheat - is divided into soft and hard. The latter in our country is grown in the Orenburg and Saratov regions, as well as in Altai. Only such wheat is suitable for the manufacture of pasta, as it contains a high percentage of gluten and nutrients. The starch, which is part of it, has a crystalline structure that does not collapse during grinding or during cooking. Durum wheat pasta
They are an easily digestible food product and provide the human body with energy for a long time.
What is the complexity of the "rehabilitation" of pasta in Russia connected with?
As already mentioned, in our country durum wheat pasta is produced in very small quantities. This is because the cost of raw materials is unjustifiably high, and the purchase prices for grain do not suit farmers. In addition, durum wheat requires special climatic conditions, and its processing is complex and time-consuming. That is why high-quality pasta sold in domestic stores, are mainly of foreign origin and are not as cheap as we would like. But still, they should be preferred if only because they do not boil and have a taste, which Russian counterparts can not boast of.
In order not to waste money, you need to have an idea of what is the difference between pasta from durum wheat and lower-quality products. Firstly, a good product is never sold by weight. Look for packs with a transparent "window." Secondly, keep in mind that the right pasta is made from premium flour and water. To create color products using natural dyes (for example, beetroot juice). The presence of other ingredients is undesirable. On the package it should be written that the products are made from wheat flour of “Group A” or belong to “Class 1”. The following inscriptions are also a good sign: “durum” (durum), “semolina di grano duro”. And finally, a manufacturer’s assurance that the pasta is "made exclusively from durum wheat" is a good recommendation. Products of group B (from soft wheat) and C (from baking flour) should be bypassed: they are useless.
Definition of quality in appearance
Whatever is written on the package, before buying pasta from durum wheat, you should evaluate it “by eye”. Truly high-quality products are very elastic: they bend easily, but breaking them is not so easy. Make sure that there are no crushed pasta in the bag (box): fragility indicates low-grade raw materials. Products, regardless of their shape, should be smooth and even. Their color can vary from cream to amber yellow. If the pasta is very light or dirty gray, they must have been made from soft varieties or even ordinary baked flour. Too rich yellow color gives the use of dye. Colored pasta is popular abroad: it is often bought for children. But they cook such products using natural tinting substances: spinach, beetroot or carrot juice, turmeric. Of course, all these additives are necessarily listed on the packaging in the "Composition" section. As for the “suspicious” inclusions, there is no need to be afraid of the dark spots on the pasta: these are just the remains of the grain shell. But the presence of white suggests that at the first stage of preparation of the product, the dough was poorly mixed.
Italians distinguish a huge number of varieties of pasta. They are usually classified in form. Without going into details, consider some of the most popular types of pasta. Durum wheat pasta can be long (spaghetti, buccini, fettuccine, tagliatelle), short (feathers, vermicelli, horns), curly (stars, farfalle, shells). Soup products are also distinguished. They, as a rule, have the form of wheels, ringlets, rice grains and have the ability to not boil for a long time, despite their small size. Good pasta for soup does not stick together and does not cloud the broth. And finally, it is worth mentioning products for stuffing or baking. These are cannelloni (large diameter tubes), giant shells and sheets of lasagna. Such pasta is not pre-boiled: they are softened directly in the oven, soaking in the filling juice. All of the above products differ from each other only in form, but not in content.
Durum wheat pasta: useful properties and tips for consumption
Bodybuilders and athletes involved in cyclic sports will confirm that properly cooked pasta helps to restore the body’s energy reserves and (if desired) increase muscle volume. As you know, pasta consists mainly of "slow" carbohydrates, which are absorbed by a person gradually and provide a pleasant feeling of satiety. Therefore, they can be used for weight loss (in this case, a specific diet is combined with physical activity). Bodybuilders use pasta in the phase of gaining mass (muscle, of course), and cyclists, runners and skiers after the competition must visit the "pasta party" to replenish energy reserves. Nutritionists recommend eating carbohydrate-rich meals in the morning.
Durum wheat pasta: calories (calories, proteins, carbohydrates, fats)
High-quality pasta contains about 70% carbohydrates and more than 11% vegetable proteins, as well as some moisture and a very small percentage of fat. The more protein, the better (12-15% is the best indicator, 10% is too little). Dry pasta is quite high in calories (up to 350 kcal per 100 g of product), the nutritional value of boiled is much lower (up to 125 kcal / 100 g).
It is worth mentioning that the previously described beneficial properties of the paste are explained by its low glycemic index. But if you cook them for too long, the crystalline structure of starch will begin to collapse, and the GI will increase. This will lead to an increase in blood sugar, which is undesirable. Moreover, overcooked pasta contributes to obesity.
Note that durum wheat pasta has a limited shelf life. Products without additives should be consumed within two years, and colored ones within a year. The fact that pasta has deteriorated is evidenced by their bitter aftertaste.
And finally - the simplest recipe. Boiled pasta from durum wheat is prepared as follows: in boiling water (at the rate of 1 liter per 100 g of pasta) add a little salt and a spoonful of olive oil. Then pour the pasta. Cooking time should be less than what is indicated on the package. It is important to achieve the state of "al dente" ("per tooth"). Pasta cooked in this way will be a little tougher than we are used to, but will bring much more benefit.