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Pasta

The durum wheat of the Italian pasta is a synonym of quality, goodness, energy and nutritional value all over the world. Mediterranean food, with its intense and strong flavors, traditionally rich, is based on tasty first dishes where pasta well matches vegetables and other natural ingredients.

For generations, pasta has been a part of family traditions from weeknight meals to holiday feasts. From hearty lasagna to delicate pasta salad, the recipe possibilities are endless.

Pastas are in various lengths, widths and shapes, and varieties that are filled with other ingredients like ravioli and tortellini.

The word pasta is also used to refer to dishes in which pasta products are a primary ingredient. It is usually served with sauce.

There are hundreds of different shapes of pasta with at least locally recognized names. Examples include spaghetti (thin rods), macaroni (tubes or cylinders), fusilli (swirls), and lasagne (sheets).

Two other noodles, gnocchi and spätzle, are sometimes considered pasta. They are both traditional in parts of Italy.

Pasta's origin continues to evoke speculation. While many different cultures ate some sort of noodle-like food, composed mostly of grain,
the key characteristics of pasta are durum wheat semolina, with a high gluten content.

Furthermore, it is made with a technique that allows the resultant dough to be highly malleable, thus resulting in the many different shapes (i.e., ziti, spaghetti, ravioli) that characterize "pasta."

Pasta is generally served with some type of sauce; the sauce and the type of pasta are usually matched based on consistency, ease of eating etc.
Common pasta sauces in Northern Italy include pesto and rag├╣ alla bolognese, which usually adds meat to the sauce.

In Central Italy, there are simple sauces such as tomato sauce, amatriciana and carbonara.

Southern Italian sauces include spicy tomato, garlic, and olive oil, with the pasta often paired with fresh vegetables or seafood.

Varieties include puttanesca, pasta alla norma (tomatoes, eggplant and fresh or baked cheese), pasta con le sarde (fresh sardines, pine nuts, fennel and olive oil), spaghetti aglio, olio e peperoncino (literally with garlic, [olive] oil and hot chili peppers).