Here are some simple pasta tips to help you when cooking delicious Zafarelli pasta.
What does it mean when pasta is ‘al dente’?
‘Al dente’ is a term commonly used to describe when the pasta has been cooked properly. ‘Al dente’ means “to the tooth” in Italian. It refers to pasta being soft on the outside but still slightly firm on the inside. The best way to see if the pasta is cooked ‘al dente’ is to try it. It should be slightly chewy with a firm bite to it.
Should pasta be rinsed after cooking?
Pasta should never be rinsed after cooking, except where the pasta is being used in a salad. It is important to not rinse because the natural starches released from the pasta help the sauce stick to it, giving you a more flavoursome pasta experience.
The pasta should be rinsed in cold water if it is being used in a pasta salad to prevent the pasta from overcooking.
Should salt and oil be added to the boiling water when cooking pasta?
Salt brings out the natural flavours of the pasta, and should be added to the cooking water. For the best result, add salt to the water only once it is boiling. Allow the salt to dissolve before adding the pasta.
Oil shouldn’t be added to boiling water as it makes the pasta slippery which doesn’t allow the sauce to bind to the pasta
Why is the best pasta made with Durum wheat?
Durum wheat has a very hard yellow kernel. This hard kernel makes Durum wheat the best wheat for making pasta because it produces a firm product with consistent cooking temperatures. It gives the pasta a perfect ‘al dente’ texture that is more resistant to overcooking and falling apart.
The best pasta has an attractive golden colour, just like Zafarelli pasta, which is a sign of high quality Durum wheat.
So, how is Zafarelli pasta made?
Zafarelli pasta is made by mixing the appropriate amount of semolina with water to form a dough. This dough is then pushed through a die to give the final size and shape of the product. Each shape has its own die, with blades rotating beneath the die to cut the pasta as it reaches its correct length.
The pasta is then put through a drying phase which involves carefully controlled temperatures and humidity levels. Short pasta shapes are moved through the drying process on vibrating trays and conveyor belts whilst long pasta shapes are draped over suspended canes.
The drying phase involves two stages: pre-drying and finish-drying. Pre-drying, where approximately one third of the original moisture is removed, is very important to prevent the pasta pieces from sticking together. Finish-drying is where the temperature of the pasta is gradually lowered and the moisture is reduced. The product is then stabilized by cold-air treatment and is ready to be packaged.