Simple is best when it comes to pasta. And this is exactly how pasta is enjoyed in its place of origin, Italy. Simple sauces, uncomplicated preparation and the freshest ingredients make for the best pasta preparation.

I recently tried Barilla lasagne sheets and was so impressed at the texture and shorter cooking period, it makes complete sense as to why it is said to be the number one pasta in Italy.

Highly decorated master of pasta, Chef Giorgio Nava,  places his reputation on the line when it comes to Barilla products, which is also a reason why it’s worth trying.

The proprietor of 95 Keerom, which has been a bastion of authentic Italian dining in Cape Town for the past 15 years, Chef Giorgio won the Barilla World Pasta Championship in 2013 and is an ambassador of Academia Barilla in Parma – which makes him the perfect person to understand the product.

Made of the best quality 100% durum wheat semolina and inspired by authenticity and family tradition, Barilla pasta is said to be the preferred choice of the world’s top chefs.

“In Italy every person of my generation grew up with Barilla pasta in the classic blue box. Its presence in every store is hard to miss but above all, it’s the good quality and value that has made Barilla Italy’s favourite choice of pasta,” says Nava.

But what sets this pasta apart from all the other products out there?

Qualities that set Barilla pasta apart

– Made of 100% semolina, the inner part of durum wheat kernels
– Golden amber colour
– Al dente quality
– Low GI energy food
– Water remains clear during cooking with no excess starch
– Protein structure lends elasticity and strength
– It does not break or stick during cooking and will always hold its shape

There are several different products on the shelves for home cooks to try. Aside from easy preparation, Barilla pasta is also really healthy.

Pasta made from durum wheat semolina and cooked al dente has a lower glycaemic index (GI) than other starches. The protein structure of durum wheat pasta lends elasticity and strength, and when cooked al dente, is digested more slowly than most other carbohydrates.

Lower GI foods help to regulate your blood sugars. Soft pasta has a higher GI as the longer cooking time accelerates the gelatinisation of the starch.

“The firmer the pasta, the longer the digestion time which means a lower spike in blood sugars,” adds Chef Giorgio.

So, in actual fact, if you cook your pasta al dente, you don’t have to worry about the carb intake.

In Italy the golden rule for cooking pasta is 1:10:100 which translates to 1-litre of water, 10g of salt and 100g of pasta. The cooking time will depend on the cut and shape of the pasta. Follow the cooking time on the Barilla box and make sure the pasta is slightly resistant to the bite by tasting your pasta while it’s cooking for the best results.

Give it a try, it may change your outlook on pasta, if you’ve cut it out of your diet.

Pictures: Supplied

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Article written by

Nidha Narrandes

Nidha Narrandes is a food-obsessed travel addict with 19 years of journalism experience. She is happiest on a road to nowhere without a plan. A masterchef at home, she can't do without chilli - because chilli makes the world a tastier place.