Pasta has been a source of comfort (and carbs) for thousands of years, but for many of us today it's a dish we're not used to making from scratch at home with pasta flour.
Pasta is a store-bought ingredient, dried, packaged, and stored in a cupboard for months. We are often not sure what the process of preparing delicious pasta looks like, but we know that we will like it!
However, making homemade pasta is not that difficult, especially withpasta machineDo all the hard work. Homemade pasta is healthier and fresher than store-bought. The most basic part of the process is choosing the right pasta flour. As you will see, there are many different types of flour that can be used to make pasta, each with its own unique flavor and texture.
Read on to find the best pasta flours!
So what is pasta?
Let's start simple. What the hell is pasta?
This seems like an easy question, but can you really tell the difference between macaroni and noodles? Unfortunately, there is no simple definition as different types of pasta are often very similar to pasta. Other types can also be similar to the dumplings we describe (why are stuffed ravioli considered pasta and not dumplings?). There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of different varieties of pasta, from spaghetti to fettuccine, from spaghetti to scallops.
We usually think of pasta as pasta. The country produces more pasta than any other country in the world, and most of the dishes we eat that call for pasta come from Italy. It is true that the Italians popularized pasta and helped spread it around the world, but it is also believed that the origins of pasta can be traced back to the Arab world or to the legendary adventures of the legendary Italian explorer Marco Polo in Asia (probably Willa or may not bring Italy of pasta in the form of pasta!).
Defining what pasta is is actually quite difficult due to its unclear origin and definition.ThoughSo if we see pasta in the supermarket or start eating it, we are always sure that we know what we are eating. Whether it's penne, fusilli or penne, we all know it's pasta.
How is pasta made?
How do we know it's pasta? Well, the answer to that question is to look at the ingredients of pasta.
Pasta only requires two ingredients. All you really need is flour and some liquid. This is what makes up most of the dry pasta we often buy in the store. Pasta flour and liquid (water, eggs or oil) are used to form the dough, which is then rolled out and cut into hundreds of different pasta shapes from around the world.
Well, pasta flour is obviously the key ingredient. But it doesn't have to be the only ingredient. Different recipes will call for eggs for the pasta dough, a different type of oil or a pinch of salt. Different regions (especially Italy) have their own unique pasta recipes, made in extravagant shapes or using exotic ingredients.
As you can already see, there is a wide range of what can be categorized as pasta.
Traditionally, pasta dishes are always made fresh with eggs. This is what gives the pasta its unique taste, texture and color. Traditionally, pasta is made exclusively from durum wheat flour, also known as semolina pasta.
The most important element of pasta is the shape. We need pasta to keep its shape and integrity when cooked in water. For this we need a high gluten content. Gluten gives our pasta the strong bond it needs to survive cooking, not break down into a terrible mush, but keep the shape of the pasta like a hero.
What is not pasta?
But do you still not know what counts as pasta? Isn't pasta also made with flour and eggs? Yes, and the differences are in many ways very subtle. The noodles are no different from the noodles you choose for frying or ramen!
If we want to understand what is important, it is easier for us to see what is not. While pasta flour is not limited to semolina (you can make pasta dough with all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and even almond flour), its scope is limited compared to pasta, which typically uses rice flour as a base instead of pasta. than wheat.
Egg content also varies. For a product to be officially classified as pasta, it must contain a certain percentage of eggs. For pasta, eggs are not required in the recipes, although traditional recipes do. As already mentioned, pasta dough can be made with flour and water or flour and oil.
Please note that the pasta is unleavened. If you use the same wheat flour to make the bread, no leavening products will be added to the pasta recipe. Now we are beginning to understand what macaroni, macaroni is.
What kind of flour do we use for pasta dough?
Thus, flour is the most important ingredient in pasta. It does not matter what liquid we use to prepare the dough. We can use eggs or water, depending on your favorite pasta. However, it is the flour that binds the shapes of our pasta together.
When deciding which flour to use for your pasta, consider the gluten content of the flour. Without this all-important gluten, your pasta will break down quickly and turn to starch in boiling water. Not very useful if you're making lasagna for the family!
Let's take a look at the 3 most common types of pasta flour. These are popular choices due to their high gluten content:
- all-purpose flour
- wheat flour
- wholegrain flour
Can you use all purpose flour for pasta? Yes you can. All-purpose flour is intended for any application. Suitable for bread, pasta, cakes and more. This is a versatile product in the flour game and you can't go wrong.
All-purpose flour is made from wheat, but whole grains are not used. It is white in color and finely refined to a very fine powder suitable for many tasks. It's a good choice for homemade pasta because it's high in gluten (though not as high as other flours) and, more importantly, because it's so versatile.
All-purpose flour is fairly neutral in taste, easy to use because it's so good, and you probably already have a few packets in your pantry. You can mix all-purpose flour with eggs, water or oil to make a firm, elastic dough that is suitable for a variety of pasta shapes.
wheat flourA classic and traditional choice for making pasta. This ingredient has been used by Italians for hundreds of years, and if you're looking for the best flavor and texture in pasta, it's unbeatable.
Semolina is made from durum wheat and has a much coarser texture than fine all-purpose flour. It is yellow (again characteristic of pasta) and, importantly, contains a lot of gluten. The gluten content will give your pasta the best shape.
Semolina is becoming more and more popular and can be found in the store together with all-purpose flour, but it does not have many uses. However, if you're craving Italian-style pasta, this is the ONLY option with pasta flour!
Whole wheat flour is also gaining popularity among pasta lovers due to its competitive health benefits over all-purpose or semolina flour.
Whole wheat pasta is brown in color and has a distinct flavor that may take a while to get used to if you've been eating all-purpose flour most of your life. But whole wheat pasta is full of nutrients. It is rich in fiber, useful vitamins such as B vitamins, and has much less calories and carbohydrates.
It's a healthy choice because it's not that refined, but with a lower gluten content, it won't always hold its shape well.
So what Italian flour is best for homemade pasta?
We proved that defining pasta is not as easy as we thought. But that's why we love pasta. The amazing thing is that food with only two main ingredients (flour and liquid) can sometimes be so complicated!
The variety is also surprisingTypes of pastaYou can start production with a simple foundation. Flour is obviously the deciding ingredient, so what do we think works best for pastahandmade pasta?
All-purpose flour wins in terms of convenience. It's readily available, easy to use, and a versatile ingredient that's worth keeping in your pantry (you can also use it for so many other things, like baking).
However, in terms of taste and tradition, semolina has an advantage. This flour, made from durum wheat, is the one that Italians have used for centuries to make pasta. It has a rough texture and a yellow appearance that other pasta flours don't have. It also has a very high gluten content, which is why it holds its shape so well!
But whole wheat flour also works especially well. This is a healthier option that is usually less refined and not high in carbs or gluten. It takes a while to get used to the taste (not traditional), but the health benefits are great!
what do you think? What flour will you use this week to make homemade pasta? Why not bookmark our guide to Italian flour for later?
Learn how to make delicious pasta at home - check out our free homemade pasta guide:
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