Skip to main content

Evolution of “Made in Italy” Pasta: with the advent of “Free From” is it still pasta?

By 12 February 2020May 2nd, 2022No Comments

Everyone knows Pasta made in Italy, but perhaps not everyone knows that in Italy Pasta is produced 100% with durum wheat while in the rest of in other countries it is more commonly produced with soft wheat flour or mixtures of durum wheat flour and tender.

In fact, in Italy, the products obtained by drawing, rolling and consequent drying of doughs prepared respectively and exclusively are called “durum wheat semolina pasta” and “durum wheat semolina pasta”:

  • a) with durum wheat semolina and water;
  • b) with durum wheat semolina and water.

While in other countries it can be produced in whole or in part with soft wheat flour. In this case, one of the following names should appear for the Italian market

  • a) soft wheat flour pasta, if totally obtained from soft wheat flour;
  • b) pasta made from durum wheat semolina and soft wheat flour, if obtained by mixing the two products with a prevalence of semolina;
  • c) pasta made from soft wheat flour and durum wheat semolina, if obtained by mixing two products with a prevalence of soft wheat flour.


Pasta and new market trends

Nowadays in Italy every addition of ingredients must be communicated on the packaging (eg. Durum wheat semolina pasta with the addition of spelled, eggs, etc …) and also the origin of all the ingredients (100% Italian wheat or from countries of the ‘EU)

The attention of the consumer is looking for healthy and respectful foods and also for pasta the time has come to be fashionable, to change, to evolve.

Thus was born a new trend for “Made in Italy” pasta that adapts to the times that are running. For example, you may have found pasta made with the so-called “SuperFoods”, foods rich in vitamins, proteins, fiber and low in carbohydrates, or pasta with faster cooking times to face new lifestyles. Some in my opinion are excellent. Just think of the “free from Gluten” pasta, gluten-free, which from consumer product only for people with celiac disease has become a common variant on the tables of all Italians.

So Italians say enough to the usual pasta and also in other countries there is fertile ground for innovative products so Italian and worldwide pasta makers respond to new consumer requests by focusing on types related to wellness and health and, why not, to taste and lifestyle. The reasons for the choice are different, out of necessity, out of curiosity or to change. Here are some examples of pastas that are on the market today and deserve to be mentioned.

Enriched pasta

The historical pasta “richer in something” made with special flours, with chickpeas, with flax seeds, with turmeric or spirulina algae. To meet the demand of consumers who are looking for more fiber, vegetable proteins, mineral salts, vitamins.

Kamut paste

Kamut is a variety of wheat rich in potassium, magnesium, selenium and zinc, therefore it has an antioxidant power.

Rice pasta

Corn pasta – The most classic gluten-free pasta

Buckwheat pasta

A pasta that brings to the table the tradition of Valtellina Pizzocherri, with buckwheat flour, which is a fake cereal such as quinoa or amaranth, and is also naturally gluten-free. It is generally not used alone in pasta, but in a mix with other gluten-free flours, especially rice and corn.

Spelled pasta

Spelled is the most ancient of cereals domesticated by man (so much so that etymologists make the same word “flour” derive from it). Historically, a poor cereal, in common use, is now becoming the prince of many recipes.

Quick-cooking pasta

Let’s talk about real durum wheat pasta designed for catering and the foreign market, it has also arrived on the consumer’s table to meet modern rhythms with numerous advantages: speed in cooking, drastic reduction of energy used (gas, electricity, water, etc ..).

Legume pasta

Legume pasta is a low-calorie and very protein pasta, made only of legume flour (chickpeas, lentils, peas, soybeans) and water, it does not contain cereals and for this reason it is far from the classic definition of Pasta, but for convenience it is called pasta.

Pasta with Taurisolo extracts

This pasta would be part of the “rich in” pastas, but I want to investigate slightly because it has benefical skills given from 2 different Itlian product: wine and pasta. You should know that a wine called Taurasi is produced in Calabria, and that like all wines it is rich in Resveratrol.
Resveratrol which is contained in grapes and wine is good for human health, especially from the point of view of the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. If a person wanted to take a useful amount of resveratrol in his diet he would have to drink about a liter and a half of wine a day. It wouldn’t be bad but it could have contraindications!

For this reason, extracting resveratrol (which is called Taurisolo when extracted from the marc of Taurasi) and using it to enrich the pasta is a combination of two typically Italian winning products. There are basically two reasons: cereals have beneficial properties and wine has beneficial properties. In fact, from studies carried out by the Federico II University of Naples, researchers have come to create a paste based on Taurisol extracts, rich in resveratrol, which has positive effects on the cardiovascular health of those who have tried it. For the uninitiated, taurisol allows the restoration of normal heart function, reduces vascular obstructions, keeps the blood vessels intact.
While on cereals in general, there are several scientific studies that confirm how good it is for our health and our heart to consume cereal pasta. Consuming 80 grams of whole wheat pasta per day, for example, reduces the risk of heart attack by 21%. The most beneficial cereal should be oats because it contains high percentages of beta-glucan, a fiber that has a high ability to reduce cholesterol at the table. But this beta-glucan is present even if in a lesser percentage in barley.