Whole grain pasta just got tastier.
Last week I was invited to attend Barilla’s Whole Grain Masterclass at their cooking school Casa Barilla in Annandale. At the Masterclass Accredited Practising Nicole Senior provided us with an insight into the benefits of adding more whole grains to your diet, while Barilla’s Executive Chef Luca Ciano took us through a hands on cooking class making a delicious cold whole grain pasta dish. I have to say, Barilla’s whole grain pasta is delicious, which is not always the response we get when it comes to whole grain pastas.
Most of us know that whole grains are nutritional powerhouses that we should be eating regularly. But knowing something is good for you doesn’t mean it will feature very highly on your weekly menu, particularly if it doesn’t taste good. According to research conducted by Barilla, while more than four in five Australians know that whole grain pasta is a healthy option, nearly a third have never tried it and only 13 per cent of Australians eat it regularly. Many of us are confused on how to cook it, with one in three Australians admitting they don’t know the difference between whole grain and white pasta, and 55 per cent saying they would like to know how to cook it better. The research also found that Australians believe that whole grain pasta is difficult to prepare.
The good news is, Barilla has made their whole grain pasta not only easy to prepare, but also extremely tasty. Cooking the same way as regular pasta, “Barilla whole grain pasta is made using the highest quality semolina, oat fibre and a unique milling technology that preserves the nutrients and flavour of the whole grain – a combination that achieves the perfect balance of taste and texture,” say Luca. Barilla’s whole grain pasta contains 51 per cent whole grain (that’s all the naturally occurring parts of the entire grain: the bran, germ and endosperm) and is an excellent source of fibre containing three times more fibre than regular pasta. With the average Australian household consuming two pasta dishes every week, switching from a white pasta to a whole grain pasta is a simple way to provide more nutrients with every mouthful.
Luca’s top five tips for cooking the perfect pasta
- Water: Use a big pot, enough to allow for one litre of water per 100 grams of pasta.
- Don’t waste your olive oil: Adding olive oil to water is a waste! A good quality pasta does not need oil to stop the pasta from sticky together. Adding oil coats the pasta making it harder for the sauce to bind well with the pasta.
- Add salt: Just before your water reaches the boil, add salt. This will enhance the flavour of the pasta.
- From pot to pan: Good quality pasta won’t stick together so there isn’t any need to rinse the pasta. In fact, rinsing the pasta removes the light starch coating, which is important for holding the sauce. Remove the pasta from the water just prior to it being cooked and combine it with the sauce in the pan.
- Just enough sauce to coat the pasta: As a general rule, use as much pasta as you do sauce.
Here’s how we went cooking our own whole grain pasta.
Have you tried Barilla’s Whole Grain Pasta?