Of all the international cuisines that has welcomed itself into kitchens around the world, Italian food gets the warmest embrace. The single supermarket shelf of spaghetti, elbow macaroni, and German-style egg noodles has given way to entire pasta aisles devoted to myriad brands—imported as well as domestic—and a dizzying variety of shapes, plus sauces to top them. Even homemade pasta has become a pride and pastime of many. Yet in the grand scheme of anthropological time, the relatively few years it’s taken to go from canned Spaghetti Os to artisanal garganelli would probably register as a nanosecond. So, as popular as pasta is, there’s still a fair amount we’ve yet to learn about it, and misconceptions abound. Here’s the real deal about the coolest carbohydrate around.
Pasta will make me fat.
Pasta won't make you fat, eating too many calories will. And since one 2 oz serving weighs in at only 210 calories, you can enjoy a pasta dinner without worrying about your waistline.
Now that I am eating healthy, I should avoid carbs.
Carbs are a primary fuel source for your body making them an important part of a healthy food plan and when you combine pasta with other healthy foods like veggies, tomatoes and lean meat, you get a nutritionally balanced, healthy meal that provides many essential nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.
Fresh pasta is better than dried.
False. Unfortunately, food snobs have given fresh pasta a superiority complex, but no way is it better than dried. It’s simply that it’s made differently and tastes differently. In general, most fresh pastas include whole eggs or yolks, while most dried pastas are formed from just durum (meaning hard) wheat and water.
Pasta is brain food.
Pasta gives your body, especially your brain, the energy it needs to run. As a carb, pasta gets broken down slowly into glucose, which is a primary fuel source for the whole body and is the key energy source for the brain (which uses on average six grams hourly). So, pasta is a smart meal choice in more ways than one.
Pasta is white because it is made from bleached flour.
"White" pastas are actually made from a blend of semolina and durum flour, both of which are unbleached. Under Italian law, dry pasta can only be made from these two flours and at Tenderoni we adhere to this, all our pasta products are made from durum wheat semolina.
Pasta will give me quick energy and then I'll crash later.
Some carbohydrates cause a spike in blood sugar that later make you crash. But, not all carbs are created equally. The glycemic index rates carbohydrates on how quickly they break down in your body. Pasta has a low glycemic index meaning it breaks down slowly in your body to help maintain a normal blood sugar level and has a more lasting effect on energy levels.
All dried pastas are pretty much the same.
Most of the dried pastas you see at the store are made from a simple wheat flour–and-water. The dough is extruded by machines into different shapes. The best dried pastas are made from dough that’s been pushed through bronze dies, which leave the noodles with a slightly rough surface, giving the sauce something to hang onto. By contrast, newer and cheaper Teflon-coated dies produce smoother, often shinier noodles that lack the cling factor.
Pasta tastes great, but has no nutritional value.
It's quite the contrary. Pasta is a source of several essential nutrients, including Iron, Folic Acid and several B-vitamins. Some pastas are also enriched to provide an extra nutritional punch.