Pasta is probably the most widely dish consumed all over the world. It is a favorite meal due to its taste, but also it contains various nutrients and minerals and it is low in calories. But, did you know that the water in which we cook pasta is not for throwing away? Many chefs have recognized the value of the cooking water and started to use it for the sauce or other meals.
Italy is the country where pasta is the staple ingredient in the cuisine and the Italian chefs developed more than 600 varieties of pasta and giving it over 1300 different names. Italian chefs still create new forms of pasta. In 2005, was founded the International Pulp Organization which confirmed that the Italians are the largest consumers of pasta, after them are the Tunisians and Venezuelans having an annual consumption of 16 and 12 kilos respectively. On the other hand, the French eat various pastas more than once a week and 77% eat it as a main course.
The key to happiness – Pasta
According to the latest research the consumption of pasta does not only influences the physical health but as well as the mental one. The intake of fruits and vegetables is accounted for a quarter of the total happiness score, then come the grain products like bread, pasta and cereals, being the major sources of carbohydrates and as well as of fiber and starch.
The International Pulp Organization is a non-profit organization that focuses on the importance of pasta in the diet thus raising awareness about its nutritional value and health benefits.This was needed to done as there is a great misconception about the value of carbohydrates and because of that the disciples of this organization launched a communication program called “The Truth about Pasta”. This program maintains that the pasta is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle and this statement is being supported by the following facts:
- Pasta was banned in every slimming diet, but when dieting the person needs to focus on the intake of healthy carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These three macronutrients when balanced are creating a healthy and balanced diet that can be followed throughout the entire lifetime.
- The Mediterranean diet which has been proven to be a healthy diet is based on pasta. Furthermore, a majority of pasta-based diets prevent and slow down the progression of major chronic diseases and offer a wide range of health benefits which is not the case with the current Western diets.
- This food product is affordable and easily available in almost every part of the world. This actually overcomes the misperception that all healthy foods are very expensive.
The cooking water of pasta
Pasta can offer a lot for your diet, even the cooking water that usually ends up in the sink. However, this is something that you should not do anymore as this is also very usable in other dishes as well. Plus, it is high in starch, and it acts as emulsifier and a perfect thickener of the sauce that accompanies the pasta.
While cooking the pasta, you can add some of the cooking water in your sauce and thus make it more consistent and tastier. Just add a few tablespoons of the water to your sauce which may in the beginning seem that your sauce is watery, but it will magically thicken once the starch gets the sauce. If you have plenty of pasta cooking water do not pour it in your sink, but keep it and freeze it in small quantities. It can be included in various sauces, soups, stews, in fact in any dish that needs to get thicker.
Don’t rinse the pasta after cooking it as the presence of the starch on the pasta allows for the sauce to stick to the pasta thus making this dish tastier.