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Pasta: By shape, color and size

Pasta is one of the most popular foods in the world. It is versatile and very easy to cook, since we can mix it with a wide range of ingredients. There are those who like to make simple pasta with tomato sauce while others prefer it with meat, fish or vegetables. Therefore, pasta is the handiest food because it goes with almost any seasoning and ready in minutes.

The basic classification, if we look at its development, distinguishes between dry and fresh pasta dough, but different shapes and sizes of pasta give a great variety to it. Pasta has not stopped evolving in the imagination of cooks worldwide. Creativity is the key that helps us enjoy pasta filled with innovation, originality and imagination.

Long pasta ribbons

 Long pasta ribbons

Long pasta ribbons

All varieties of larger size are called long pasta. It is characterized by its length, not width. Within this class, we find the ‘angel hair’ or capelli d’angelo. Noodle can be of different thickness: the thicker it is the better it accepts gravies. However, there are special pastas attractiveness soups and broths: stars, letters, wonder, and so on.

Spaghettis are the undisputed kings of the long dough and there are thousands of different recipes in which we will have the opportunity to taste them. Cooking requires some art and we should avoid splitting them and watch out so they are cooked to the same degree. A relative of spaghetti is bucatini or perciatelli. The difference is that this pasta has a hole in it, like straws. Moreover, there are the languages or linguine, just longer than the spaghetti, but more plane. Also note lunghi fusilli, long pasta in spirals.

As for the ribbons of pasta or fettucce, the most famous are tagliatelle, original of Bologna. This pasta is a wide, about 8 mm long, and combines perfectly with tomato and meat. Another variety of thickness is more pappardelle measuring up to 2 cm wide. You cannot forget either the fetuchinis or fettuccine, best suited to creamy sauces, and usually about 5 mm wide. If we continue down the millimeter width of the dough strips, we find tagliolini, highly recommended to eat with dips.

Macaroni, King of the tubes

 Macaroni, King of the tubes

Macaroni, King of the tubes

If we said before that the spaghetti was the king of long pasta, within the classification of different types of tubes, macaroni or maccheroni are the stars for excellence. The tubular pasta is also versatile. Thanks to its hollow interior, the flavor hidden within awakes the flavor.

The term macaroni is so widespread that almost all kinds of tubular pasta are nicknamed this way, however there are a variety of terms. On one side there are the classic feathers, named for the cut at the ends. Feathers can be smooth or grooved, to the second type is known by the name of penne and is universally known.

In Italy, the tubes reach spectacular sizes, such as giant or gigantoni. By the way they are excellent to be cooked in the oven. It has been proven to fill these tubes with pieces of meat, fish or vegetables, but the filling voids the flavor of the pasta making this dish into something too heavy. Other tubes more or less popular are rigatono, delicious with butter and Parmesan, and corkscrews or Cavatappi, original and good for sauces, or elicoidali and millerighe.

Filling and color of pasta

Filling and color of pasta

Filling and color of pasta

It is impossible to complete a list of pasta types without naming the stuffed pasta. We must classify prefer cannelloni and lasagna in the long pasta, while others do not conceive of these plates without the traditional filling and delicious without the sauce. These two types of pasta are ideal for filling with almost everything that could cross the mind of the one who cooks it. Lasagna has a pie-shaped end, while cannelloni has a rolled one.

The stuffed pasta we buy in the supermarket may be dry or fresh. It’s like each which to prefer one version or another. This is what happens for example with unmistakable tortellini or with appetizing ravioli. Pastas are hiding a heart of most food, as we find in them everything from spinach to ricotta cheese, to ham to beef.

Most of the indicated pasta may include in its recipe any special ingredient which serves to give color and flavor. Some of the ingredients used to give it color are egg, tomato or spinach. Eggs gives it such an appetizing golden color, while the most common color the flour and water dough has is a classic yellow hue.

Tomato pasta distinguishes perfectly with a red color. Ii is used for processing dried tomato powder. Another most common color of pasta is green, which is added with spinach. The secret is to use this vegetable chopped fresh or frozen and add to eggs mixed with flour. Experimentation is ongoing and proposed to us almost incredible flavors that come to color the dough with ingredients such as beets, mushroom or squid ink.

The originality of the form

 The originality of the form

The originality of the form

We might think that the group of specially shaped pasta is kind of mixed bag where they fit any culinary idea. The more curves and corners pasta has, the better it suits meat, fish or vegetables. Some of the most popular pasta shapes are shells or conghiglie, marketed in a wide range of sizes: the smallest for soup, medium for sauces and large for oven.

One feature that characterizes the more original pastas is their names that are taken directly from the objects inspired their creation. There are quite popular farfalle or butterflies. This pasta takes its name from its peculiar shape, very similar to a loop. Another exquisite kind is gnocchi dough, made of boiled potato dough. The best advice to taste them is to use a homemade tomato sauce, so we can appreciate its distinctive flavor. Also there are radiatori or radiators, lumache or snails, and orecchiette or ears.

Due to the wide variety of pasta colors, shapes and sizes, along with its ‘easy’ flavor that suits almost any food you can imagine it is not surprising pasta has the prominence it holds in many parts of the world. Always having some of these varieties in our pantry guarantees us to cook fast, nutritious and delicious meal with a delightful taste.

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