Pasta a lip smacking treat from Italy


Fresh, dried, egg filled, pasta are the undisputed queens of Italian gastronomy. It is important to buy good pasta that holds its shape through the cooking process and then enables the sauce cling to it. It is also important to remember that pasta is made into many different shapes for good reason. Thick sauces demand large pasta shapes such as thick fettuccine or pappardelle. Light and delicate sauces work well with capellini (angel hair pasta).

Kinds of pasta

 There are approximately 350 different shapes of pasta. Examples include spaghetti (solid, thin cylinders), maccheroni (tubes or hollow cylinders), fusilli (swirls), and lasagne (sheets). Two other noodles, gnocchi and spätzle, are sometimes counted as pasta. Pasta is categorized in two basic styles: Dried and Fresh. Dried pasta made without eggs can be stored for up to two years under ideal conditions, while fresh pasta will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator. Pasta is generally boiled to soften it before being eaten.

Conchiglie-  seashell shaped

Farfalle-  Bow tie or butterfly shaped

Fioriettini-  Shaped like a flower

Fusilli-  Three-edged spiral, usually in mixed colours.

Pipe-  large version of macaroni

Rotelle-  Wagon wheel shaped pasta

Spirali-  A tube which spirals round

Maccheroni-  As long as a little finger, usually striped

Penne-  Medium length tubes with ridges, cut diagonally at both ends

Rigatoni-  Large and slightly curved tube

Ziti-  Long, narrow hose-like tubes

Spaghetti-  solid, thin cylinders

Health Benefits

Pasta is very nutritious and is rich in folic acid, which protects against heart diseases and some types of cancer. Pasta is a good carbohydrate with a low gylcemic index and only 99 calories in each half-cup. By selecting fresh vegetables and olive oil to pair with your pasta, you can create a multitude of tasty, light meals.

Greek Pasta with Tomatoes and Beans


 2 bowls diced tomatoes

 250gms beans, drained   rinsed

o  Fresh spinach, washed   chopped

o  Penne pasta

o  1/2 cup crumbled feta/ processed cheese


o  Cook the pasta in boiling salted water.

o  Combine tomatoes and beans in a large non-stick pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

 Add spinach to the sauce; cook for 2 minutes or until spinach wilts, stirring constantly.

o  Pour sauce over pasta, and sprinkle with grated cheese