Whole Wheat Pasta

Whole wheat pasta is eaten in Italy for it's diversity in flavor. It is called pasta intergrale and I remember the first time I had it. I was in Rome and my friend Mirko made a summer pasta recipe with wheat pasta. He told me that in Italy they also refer to it as dirty pasta.

It was deliciously full of nutty, grainy flavor. The texture was slightly different as well but it still maintained it's al dente consistency and, because of the blend of fresh ingredients he used in his Italian pasta recipe, it came out perfectly.

The deeper the color the more full the flavor of the wheat and that's what you want if you intend to use wheat pasta. The lighter the color the lighter the flavor of the wheat.

Should a whole wheat pasta taste the same as a semolina or regular pasta? NO!

I read a great deal about people comparing the two and you can't. It's like comparing apples to oranges. Wheat pasta is not a regular pasta so if you are looking for a brand that tastes like regular pasta, save yourself the trouble and buy a good quality semolina pasta instead.

Wheat pasta has equal benefits of semolina pasta. The grain is processed to make both pasta types the same way. It is milled and processed to a fine flour exactly as you would manufacture regular semolina pasta. Once a whole grain is broken down it looses it's whole grain fiber. So although there are slightly higher protein values, the nutritional values of a wheat pasta are almost identical.

Whole wheat pasta has the following nutritional advantages:

  • 180 Calories
  • 1.5 Grams of Fat
  • 35 Grams of Carbohydrates
  • 6 Grams of Fiber
  • 1 Gram of Sugar
  • 7 Grams of Protein
In comparison the difference is very small. So if you're looking for fiber, eat your veggies. Italians use different types of pasta for creating variety of flavor, color, texture and appearance to to traditional Italian pasta recipes.

Today you can buy great tasting wheat pasta and you don't have to go to a health food store to get it. The brands of pasta available today are just as extensive as they are for semolina pasta or regular pasta. Stick with the names that you know are good quality basic pasta brands. There's a good chance their wheat pasta is just as good, and in some cases better then their standard brands. I like a brand of wheat pasta with a deep rich color. They tend to have a more robust wheat taste.

Want to make your own whole wheat pasta? Use this "How to make Pasta" recipe and guide with a high quality brand of whole wheat flour and you should end up with a pasta recipe you'll be proud to serve with all your Italian pasta recipes.

Vivere, Amare, Ridere e Mangiare Bene
Live, Love, Laugh and Eat Well!
Kira Volpi

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