Italian Pasta: Typology, Benefits And Varieties

As a good Italian, I am passionate about pasta. The real one, the Italian one. Also, it is one of the simplest and most versatile dishes in the kitchen. I teach you the secrets of this wonderful product.

A little history: the Italian origin of pasta

History traces Italian pasta to the Etruscan civilization (9th century BC). At that time, it was made with the mixture of crushed cereals and water. Subsequently, the mixture was boiled.  

In Naples, the Greek conquerors made pasta with barley flour, and then dried it in the sun.

For his part, Cicero already admired the long pasta, called lagana. Today, it is still consumed. In the third century B.C., the Romans built the first machinery for the preparation, transport and storage of pasta. With the summit of the Roman Empire, the cultivation of cereals was promoted.

Italian pasta would extend its product to America and the rest of Europe. In parallel, in Asia, pasta would also originate. More specifically, the noodles. Regardless of origin, Italy is the largest producer of this food. Around three million tons per year. It is also the country that consumes the most per capita.

What does the pasta contain?

Pasta dough is made with eggs, flour, water and salt. The Italian recipe, and the rest of the West, uses candeal flour. Es la más común. It is the most common. In contrast, in the East, they use rice or buckwheat.

The product can be enriched with milk or soy. In this way, it is made up of additional ingredients, such as vegetables; or supplements, such as vitamins, minerals or proteins.

Types of pasta

There are different types of pasta. Conservation is the most common division:

  • Dry pasta: it has greater possibilities for cooking. As it does not carry water, its duration is longer. This makes it possible to store it in the pantry and not worry about expiration.
  • Fresh pasta: it has not dried. Therefore, it should be stored in the fridge. Its duration is shorter. Therefore, you have to look at the expiration date when you buy it. It is the one chosen by pasta lovers, for its traditional flavor and texture.

Both contain the same nutritional level.

According to their form, they are organized in:

  • Smooth and simple pasta.
  • Bundled, folded or convoluted: spiral, convoluted, ties, …

According to size or length, they are classified as follows:

  • Long: spaghetti, noodles, pappardelle, fettuccine, taglioni or perciatelli.
  • Short: gnocchi, macaroni, rigatoni, nibs, fusilli, tortiglioni or propellers.
  • Tiny: anchellini, armonie, quaducci rigati, anelli siciliani, occhi di passero, nuvole, chiocciole, merletti, creste di galli, maltagliati, grattoni or grain.

Stuffed pasta is another delicious cooking option. May contain cheese, meat or vegetables. The edge can be smooth or curly. There are the following:

  • Ravioli.
  • Panzerotti.
  • Cappelletti.
  • Agnolotti.

According to the texture, the paste is divided:

  •  Lisa.
  • Fluted or ribbed.
  • Bored or tubular.

Also, there is the colored paste. The green is usually spinach, the orange contains carrot, the black is formed by squid or cocoa ink, etc.

What pasta to choose for cooking?

In most homes, one type of pasta is consumed. And almost always the same. However, each paste is made for a specific dish. It is a very versatile food. 

  • For stews and soups, the most suitable is the tiny pasta. Also, it is the best for children. Very easy to consume.
  • Which one to accompany with your favorite sauce? If the sauce is light, better a smooth paste. On the other hand, if it is dense, the striated is better. Finally, if the sauce contains pieces, opt for the boiled one.
  • The short pasta is perfect for stews and stews.

What benefits does pasta contain?

In my previous post, I commented that pasta is not associated with movement realfooding.

In addition, it is optimal for those with digestive problems. It is advisable to accompany it with vegetables and a mild sauce.

In addition, whole wheat pasta is better. Satiates more and the glycemic level is lower. Likewise, pulp is very good option.

The main nutrient in pasta is carbohydrates. This provides the most energy in our day to day.

One last tip: if you consume it al dente, you increase glucose in your body. In addition, the more the pasta is cooked, the faster the absorption of carbohydrates. Therefore, satiate less and burn calories is more complicated.

Dietary varieties of pasta

Over time, pasta has acquired new ingredients for intolerant consumers. Let’s see the following list:

  • Pasta for people suffering from obesity: starch is eliminated.
  • Pasta for coeliacs: the recipe includes cornmeal or rice. It does not include gluten.
  • Pasta for children: contains predigested flour, with sugars and powdered milk.
  • Pasta for diabetics: to reduce part of the carbohydrates, replace the starch with another ingredient with protein.
  • Pasta for people with high blood pressure: the dough is made without salt and with distilled water.
  • Pasta for kidney patients: proteins are replaced by carbohydrates. In this way, the protein level decreases, but the paste contains the same energy.


The history and details of the pasta is very extensive. Like all your recipes. It is not a preferred food but its consumption is very demanded. In addition, the choice of this dish can be healthy, if you follow the above guidelines. What is your favorite pasta?