Pasta originates from Italy but has been embraced by the world over. In Malaysia ourselves, pasta has fast becoming a firm favourites among Malaysians. By definition, pasta is made from durum wheat semolina as a key ingredient, mixed with water, which is then kneaded and may be formed into various shapes. Sometimes pasta may contain other ingredients such as eggs or vegetables. As a staple food, pasta has many advantages compared to other carbohydrate mainly because of durum wheat semolina. It is a complex carbohydrate high in protein and renders many health benefits compared to rice, bread or noodle.
In Malaysia, we can commonly find extruded commercially dried pasta on the supermarket shelves. However, the fresh ones are not so common. Only certain supermarket that mainly caters for consumers with higher spending power may sell these commercially produced fresh pastas which were produced some months prior to hitting our supermarket.
So what is the fuss with fresh pasta and what is the main difference between fresh and dry pasta?
First of all we believe much like bread, pasta is originally meant to be eaten fresh and is best eaten fresh. However unlike bread, fresh pasta can be kept frozen (up to 6 to 8 months) or chilled (for up to 2 weeks) before you cook them and still taste good! Furthermore, fresh pasta may also contain higher nutritional value if prepared properly compared to dry pasta as fresh pasta would normally be preserved in frozen or chilled state. As any food lab analyst may testify (such as MARDI), sunlight and air will damage the nutritional value of a food. Compared this to the commercially produced dry pasta and you get the idea.
Secondly, from our experience visiting Bologna, Italy (where we learnt to prepare fresh pasta), fresh pasta are most commonly produced with many variations by adding vegetables to the pasta dough. The work may be tedious as you have to first prepare fresh vegetable puree but the nutritional benefits far outweigh the effort. You can basically produced any vegetable pasta variations so long as you can make the vegetables into a fine puree (very important or else you will not be able to produced a fine and smooth pasta). Bingo! Basically you get a complex carbohydrate plus the vegetable nutritional benefits in one go! It looks appetizing to the eye and serves your body well at the same time.
In our case at Eatalian Express, we take it one step further and we presented our sample to MARDI for lab test. As expected, MARDI food analysis testified and confirmed the high value of vitamins in our mixed vegetable pasta.
This brings us to our third point. Comparing our food analysis results to that of the available mixed vegetable dry pasta on the supermarket shelves also shows a remarkable difference. The mixed vegetable dry pasta shows almost negligible nutritional value. What makes the difference you may asked? Based on our observations there are three main contributing factors.
The first is that, commercially produced dried vegetable pasta commonly use only three vegetables element in their pasta. Meanwhile, Eatalian Express’ mixed vegetables pasta is made from 10 different vegetables. Yes, a whopping mixture of 10 vegetables! Our list includes broccoli, beetroot, carrot, purple carrot, cauliflower, green spinach, red spinach, pumpkin, tomato and sweet potato.
Secondly, we also found that the commercially produced dried vegetable pasta use powdered vegetables. Well, of course this are not the same as the real thing, I mean fresh vegetables.
Thirdly, upon checking the content of the commercially produced dried vegetable pasta, we found out that they only use 2%-3% of vegetable powdered to the mixture! Whereas, we at Eatalian Express use between 40%-50% of fresh vegetables. Some say that for the commercially produced dried vegetable pasta, colouring the pasta is their main goal (read marketing gimmick). After all they are fully aware vitamins will be damaged upon exposure to sunlight and air. This is the main reason why our pasta is made frozen prior to our delivery to you, to keep the nutritional value intact.
So, there you go, some pointers for you to consider the next time you want to purchase pasta especially for your loved ones. There are many other topics and health benefits that you get from fresh pasta that I do not cover here but that is for another postings. Feel free to browse our e-store, the 1st Fresh Pasta E-Store in Malaysia to get more info and pasta cooking recipes. You may also want to follow us on our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/eatalianexpress.freshpasta/. Thanks for reading and till we meet again soon, ciao!
Outrageously Tasty & Healthy