Take homemade pasta to the next level with easy techniques using simple ingredients

Today, there are different types of “pasta” on the market to suit people with allergies or intolerances, as well as vegans, vegetarians or those simply looking for options. healthy alternative.

For those with a wheat allergy, there are plenty of whole-grain pastas made with buckwheat, corn, quinoa, and rice. And for those who don’t eat grains, there’s pasta made with legumes, seed meal, and vegetables like zucchini, sweet potatoes, and squash.

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What we do know is that “pasta” is of Italian origin, and pasta means paste in Italian. It is made by mixing grain or ground flour with a liquid (eggs, water, and/or oil). While many different cultures eat some kind of noodle-like food, mostly grains, the main characteristic of pasta is that semolina is made from durum wheat, with a high gluten content, made with a special technique. technique that allows the finished dough to have a high degree of flexibility.

There are many ways to elevate your pasta dishes with easy techniques and simple ingredients.

Add “bacon” shiitake mushrooms

Shiitake “bacon” gives the noodles a pleasant, umami-rich flavor. Just cut and thinly slice half a pound of shiitake mushrooms, mix the mushrooms with two tablespoons of olive oil and half a teaspoon of salt. Bake until crisp, tossing once, about 20 minutes.

Get creative with pesto

Pesto can be made with anything from herbs, to leafy greens, to the tops of carrots or beets. Adding it to pasta dishes is a great way to get important vitamins and nutrients from leafy greens like spinach, arugula or parsley. Our favorites are the arugula-walnut pesto and the carrot pesto.

Includes cheese alternatives

Host a gathering and serve pasta? Make sure there are dairy-free alternatives for those with intolerances or allergies when it comes to cheeses and sauces. Try making cheese with nuts and soy! Make one quart of tofu ricotta by mixing one pound of firm (pressed) tofu, two tablespoons of lime juice, one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, one teaspoon of minced garlic, one teaspoon of white miso, and one tablespoon of umeboshi powder in a blender Blend food and process until smooth.

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Twist your veggies

If you’re cutting back on carbohydrates or looking for a healthy alternative to traditional pasta, a vegetable twist or strip will successfully mimic our favorite pasta while also adding nutrients, such as beta carotene, vitamin C and fiber from sweet potatoes or potassium, folate and vitamin A from zucchini. Try the sweet potato noodles with sage brown butter sauce for a comfort food.

Keep it simple

You don’t need a lot of ingredients to elevate your noodles. Infused oil, roasted garlic and stewed vegetables can create a delicious dish with very little effort.

By the Natural Gourmet Center at the Institute of Culinary Education

Even more ways to up your pasta game: Take homemade pasta to the next level with easy techniques using simple ingredients

Bobby Allyn

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