Pasta is made from durum wheat, which has a 15 per cent protein content. This makes it a good alternatives to rice and potatoes for vegetarians. Pasta also contains carbohydrates in the form of starch, which gives the body energy. Eating more pasta is in line with the recommendation to eat more starchy carbohydrates'.
Traditionally, pasta was eaten as a starter, but it is now used much more as a main course or stand alone dish
TYPES OF PASTA.
There are basically four types of pasta, each of which may be plain or flavoured with spinach or tomato:
1. Dried durum wheat pasta
2. Fresh egg pasta
3. Semolina pasta
4. Wholewheat pasta
There are an almost infinite number of types of dried pasta, especially if you include all the regional variations. Almost 90 per cent of the pasta eaten in Italy is dried.
Fresh pasta has a short shelf life as it contains egg.
Pasta that is to be stuffed must be rollex as thinly as possible. The stuffing should be pleasant in taste and plentiful in quantity. The edges of the pasta must be thoroughly sealed otherwise the stuffing will seep out during poaching.
The list of the possible stuffings is almost endless as every disrict in italy has its own variations and, with thought and experimentation, many more can be produced.
Examples of stuffed pasta include the followings:
. AGNOLINI small half moon shape, usually filled with ham and cheese or minced meat.
. CANNELLON large tubes of pasta, poached that may be stuffed with a variety of fillings (e.g. ricotta cheese and spinach) and finished with an appropriate sauce.
. CAPPELLETTI shaped like little hats and usually filled as agnolini; they are available dried.
. RAVIOLI usually square with serrated edges. A wide variety of fillings cam be used (fish, meat, vegetarian, cheese, etc)
. RAVOLINI little ravolini half the size of ravioli.
. TORTELLINI a slightly larger version of cappelleti; also available in dried form
. TORTELLONI a double sized version of tortellini.
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