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The good news is that Pasta has a GI of 41 which is similar to pears and lower than many types of bread. And one easy way to lower the GI of pasta is to cook it like the Italians - "al dente". Most pasta today is made from semolina flour obtained from durum wheat. This creates a firm dough which in turn also lowers the GI while also providing a good source of nutrition. Homemade and dried pasta contain plenty of B vitamins folic acid and iron. It s low in sodium and despite a prevalent myth pasta is not high in cholesterol even though it is usually made with eggs. It was once thought that egg consumption needed to be drastically reduced due to their high cholesterol content but subsequent research has shown eggs are quite healthy in moderation and greatly contribute to the health benefits of pasta.
Undercooking is less common because undercooked pasta is crunchy and obviously difficult to chew. Overcooked pasta (much more common) is limp loses its shape easily and won t hold a sauce well. Unfortunately overcooked pasta is not salvageable so you ll have to throw it away and start again. The key to cooking pasta well is to keep testing it as you cook it. There will be a guide cooking time on the packet so about a minute before that time is up start testing the pasta. It is ready when it is slightly firm to the bite - a state the Italians call "al dente" (firm but not crunchy). At the al dente stage turn off the heat and drain the pasta in a colander. Shake the pasta to get rid of all excess water (be especially careful to do this if they are pasta shapes which catch pockets of hot water) and serve immediately. The pasta continues to cook while it s draining it in the colander so when you are testing remember that what you eat will be cooked for a minute or two longer than what you re testing in the pan.
Most manufacturers will put the recommended cooking time on the package. Pasta should always be cooked al dente which literally means to the tooth. You should be able to bite easily into pasta; it should not be hard or dry nor should it be mushy. If using the pasta for casseroles or lasagna the pasta may be slightly undercooked as more cooking will take place in the oven and the added sauce will be absorbed by the pasta and help to soften it also. Fresh pastas should be cooked in the same manner as the dried pastas but the cooking time will be considerably shorter. Fresh pasta usually cooks in one or two minutes. Always test the pasta by taking out a piece running it under cold water and tasting it to be sure it is the way you like it. Take your time and learn a little about each of the types of pasta. Start with one and try different sauces and meat variations with it. Once you have become familiar with one type (this can include different thicknesses) then move on and try another.