Many people do not think too much about pastas they buy, even if they eat quite a bit of it. Lots of people just grab the fastest and cheapest brand, or the one they are most familiar with. This is unfortunate, because if they bothered to look at other Italian pasta brands and types, they would see that not all pastas are created equal, and some are far superior to others.
A Long History
Great food, especially one with such a long tradition, usually has some kind of traditional method to making it. Sure, there may be modern twists and innovations, and some of them are really great. But many times, the traditional method is best. This is because it usually focuses on simple ingredients, and does not contain manmade chemicals and preservatives. This makes the food taste fresher and makes it healthier to consume as well.
Ingredients in Italian Pasta
Pastas are made with wheat, but in order to be officially sanctioned under Italian law, the flour must be 100 percent durum semolina. This is high quality flour that gives pastas their unique texture, bite, and taste. If any other kind of flours are used, then it is not authentic and cannot be sanctioned as pasta.
Making of Italian Pasta
The durum semolina is mixed with other ingredients such as eggs and water, depending on what kind you are making. The dough is then air dried slowly, which also ages it. The extra time it takes to air dry it contributes to the superior taste of artisan made brands, and is part of the reason why it costs more than machine made and dried brands. It is worth every extra penny and then some.
Cutting of Italian Pasta
Though you could use any old knife to cut and shape the dough, it is best to use bronze cut dies. These give the noodles their texture. Using a bronze cut die creates tiny crevices in the surface of the dough. These crevices hold sauce really well, which means every bite is delicious and has that perfect al dente bite.
Types of Italian Pasta
There are three main types, and which one you select will depend on what you ultimately want to use it for. Short-grained, medium-grained and long-grained are all available. From soups to the long, thick noodles of a good lasagna, there is a type for every dish.
One of the most popular types is risotto, and for good reason. This type looks almost like rice, but is actually made with durum semolina. It soaks up broth and spices really well, which is why it is perfect a flavorful dish like risotto. This is why people covet this food, and will pay quite a tidy sum of money at a restaurant for it. You can make it at home cheaper and suited to your tastes by buying authentic arborio instead.
The Artisan Italian Pasta Difference
Investing a little extra money in authentic pastas to stock your pantry is a wise idea. When you have people over for dinner, they will be impressed with just how good your dish is. There is a texture, bite, and flavor that just cannot be replicated with cheaper brands that do not care about quality and tradition. You will enjoy your food more, which the Italians know is one of life’s great pleasures.
Papperdelle Pantry is well known Italian Restaurant in Sydney. Visit our restaurant and have your favourite Italian dish.