Want to know how to buy pasta? Good quality dried pasta is dependent on the grade of the semolina flour and the process used to make it. High quality semolina flour means your pasta will be higher in protein and other nutrients and it will taste better. The drying process used affects the nutritional value. Pasta that is dried slowly at a lower temperature will retain more of the wheat’s nutrients.
So how do you determine if store bought pasta uses high quality semolina or if it was dried in a proper manner?
High-grade semolina flour can be used to make a variety of pasta shapes. This is not true of low-grade flour. Low-grade flour is limited to being used to make spaghetti or angel hair. So if the brand of pasta you buy makes more complex shapes, like fusilli, then there is a good chance that all of their pasta uses that same high-grade nutritious flour. If you are unfamiliar with fusilli, watch this video:
How pasta is dried really affects the quality of the product both with regard to nutrition as well as taste. Commercially dried pasta is usually dried in just a few hours at about 200 degrees. Such a high temperature not only reduces the nutritional value of the pasta but also makes it less flavorful. Homemade-style pasta is dried over a handful of days at about 100 degrees. This process not only helps retain nutrients but it also gives the pasta a sweeter and nuttier flavor because the wheat gets roasted in the process.
You can tell if your pasta choice has been dried using the slow low-temperature method by the way it looks. It should have a rough, sand-like texture to it. And it should appear a bit dusty. The pasta in the foreground is homemade-style pasta. The texture itself comes from the bronze dye the pasta dough was pushed through. But the drying process makes it powdery and accents the rough texture.
So there you have, this is how you choose healthy pasta. Enjoy!