Pasta: the benefits of the new types

    Pasta: the benefits of the new types

    by Francesca Soccorsi

    The shelves of shops and supermarkets abound of new pastas that tickle the palate of consumers and are liked by nutritionists, so much so that they were the protagonists of the last edition of Cibus, the International Food Exhibition held every year in Parma.

    The most requested are those of vegetable (chickpeas, yellow or red lentils, peas, black beans and even lupins), but those with flaxseed flour, of hemp and, the latest arrival, of tritordeum (a new grain).

    «The glycemic index is lower, compared to that of traditional white body, due to the presence of fibers, therefore they adapt without too many restrictions to the nutrition of those on a diet and those suffering from diabetes», Explains Dr. Cinzia Longobucco, a nutritional biologist in Bari. Legumes, then, represent a solution to increase the consumption of these valuable foods, often overlooked. They cost more, but they eat less, because they have a higher satiating power.


    Ingredients - The best contain only legume flour and water. So, they are also ok for celiacs.

    Because they are good - "The energy supply is similar to that of semolina pasta (335 calories instead of 353 per 100g), but not the nutrient composition. A hectogram of lentil fusilli, for example, provides 25 g of protein against 10 g of the traditional ones », adds the expert.

    They allow you to increase your protein intake when needed. Furthermore, they are rich in fiber insoluble and help fight constipation », explains Dr. Federica Piccolino, a nutrition biologist in Rome. 

    The best dressing - The flavor is intense, so it is better to focus on delicate “additions”: «They go well with vegetable sauces. The red lentil one is excellent with a sweet pepper sauce », says chef Fabio Campoli.

    How much do they cost - Between € 3 and € 4 the 250 g pack,


    Ingredients - «Some types, in addition to water, are prepared with durum wheat semolina and flaxseed flour (about 20%), others only with flaxseed flour added to tapioca starch and eggs », explains Federica Piccolino.

    Because they are good - “Depending on the dough, they have varying amounts of proteins and carbohydrates, as well as valuable minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus and copper. Then, there are a lot of fatty acids Omega 3, vitamins of group B, enzymes, pectins, phytohormones and lignans (antioxidants that protect the intestinal mucous membranes) », says Dr. Longobucco.

    They are also good for the cardiovascular system: «Thanks to Omega 3, which they regulate cholesterol and blood pressure. Recent studies, then, have made it clear that regular consumption of flax meal decreases the risk of cancer to the prostate and breast », adds Cinzia Longobucco.

    The best dressing - «The ground seeds make it a" raw "and homemade product, therefore, this season, it is worth trying them with game sauces or mushrooms », says chef Fabio Campoli

    How much do they cost - Between € 2 and € 3 the 450 g pack.


    Ingredients - Durum wheat semolina, flour of edible cannabis seeds (sativa), water.

    Because they are good - «Hemp seed flour contains edestin, a protein rich in fundamental amino acids essentials with medium-high biological value; polyunsaturated fats, with an excellent ratio of Omega 6 and 3; fibers », observes Dr. Piccolino. Experts define it "nutritional vaccine": If introduced regularly with the diet, stimulates the immune system, strengthens the nervous system and rebalances the hormonal structure.

    Plus, it's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. «The pastes made from it represent an alternative to soy as a protein source for i vegans. Furthermore, due to the fatty acid composition, prevent cardiovascular diseases»Says Doctor Piccolino. Therefore, it is worth choosing packages on which a percentage of not less than 30% is reported.

    The best dressing - Hemp has a strong nutty aftertaste which goes well with strong flavors with a vegetable component: «I recommend it with a dried tomato pesto», suggests Campoli.

    How much do they cost - About 3 euros, 500 g.


    Ingrediants - Tritordeum semolina (a new cereal, created in Spain mixing durum wheat and wild barley), water.

    Because they are good - "They have less starch than durum wheat flour, as well as high quantities oflutein antioxidant (10 times more than wheat), phenolic compounds and mineral salts », explains Federica Piccolino.

    La presence of gluten, albeit in small quantities, they make them suitable for those suffering from "non-celiac gluten sensitivity". Tests validated according to the Codex Alimentarius, moreover, have made it clear that it is highly digestible gluten ”, says Dr. Longobucco.

    “Also, thanks to lutein protect eyesight and skin, especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun, while the phenolic compounds prevent colon cancer », explains Piccolino.

    The best dressing - The vaguely sweet taste requires strong "contrasting" sauces: «Ok with the game ragù», advises the chef. 

    How much do they cost  - € 3,50 the 250 g pack.


    Science fiction? No, already reality: «Un French brand has recently been marketing one cricket and grasshopper flour paste that it is selling like hot cakes », says Dr. Federica Piccolino, nutritionist biologist.

    «On the other hand, in many areas of the world insects are daily food, because rich in proteins, calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B12. Therefore, they promote bone growth and counteract iron deficiency and megaloblastic anemia (due to nutritional deficiencies).

    The high biological quality of their proteins, then, allows you to reduce meat consumption and ensures that the insect paste is indicated when a protein surplus is needed ».

    2 A company in the country, on the other hand, has recently launched the semolina pasta with chitosan: ingredient obtained from the carapaces of shellfish, which satisfies and reduces the glycemic index of the products to which it is added. Chitosan has long been used for the production of Dietary Supplements that promote weight loss. 

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