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Pasta, Rice and Polenta

Pasta, Rice and Polenta

Pasta, Rice and Polenta: traditional Italian food

With its excellent taste and nutritional properties, pasta is the mainstay of the Mediterranean cuisine

Pasta and rice are two typical products of the Italian tradition and pasta, in particular, is universally renowned as the Italian food per excellence, the products which have made our gastronomic tradition famous all over the world.


is a healthy food made with hard wheat and water without the addition of preservatives and colouring agents which represents an important source of energy for our body. The Italian gastronomic tradition can boast a large variety of pasta shapes, all designed to be matched with a particular vegetable or meat-based sauce.

Pasta is a tasty food with high nutritional properties, it is easy to digest and at the same time capable of providing nutritional elements normally supplied by more noble and expensive foods such as meat. 100g of pasta, for example, contains only 367 calories and provides a good quantity of carbohydrates which give our body the necessary energy to work.

To obtain high-quality pasta, the whole production process is subject to a strict and constant control.
After harvesting, wheat is selected. Wheat is first sifted and freed from impurities, then milled. The durum wheat semolina obtained is mixed with extremely pure water. During the next phase called kneading, the dough is properly mixed to become homogeneous and elastic. Then it is moulded to obtain the different shapes we all know.
At this point pasta is placed in the pasta dryers to diminish the presence of water content. The duration of the drying process varies according to the kind of pasta. The last phase is the cooling and involves leaving the pasta at room temperature before packing it in transparent or paper bags to protect it from any kind of contamination.


forms the basis of the diet for a large part of the world and originates from the Asiatic area which embraces eastern India to southern China. The rice plant belongs to the gramineous family and grows in water until it becomes a cob with one-hundred or two-hundred corns.

Like all the other cereal grains, rice is mainly composed of starch, proteins, vitamins, minerals and fibres. Unlike other cereal grains, rice is the only one that is gluten-free and for this reason it can be eaten by those who suffer from food intolerances like celiac disease.

There are more than 50 varieties of rice. The most important are: rice originating from India, with long and thin grains (Basmati and Patna rice); Japonica rice, originating from China and with short, round and pearly grains. From this rice variety originate the rice types cultivated in Italy which are: Arborio, Carnaroli, Padano, Baldo, Vialone Nano, Roma, S.Andrea, Balilla and Lido. To conclude there is the Javanica variety, featuring a very large grain.

Besides the three main varieties there are types of rice obtained through special “crossbreeds” such as the Venere black rice originating from China which is currently cultivated in particular areas of the Po valley;  the "black rice of the American Indians" and, to conclude the "red rice" of oriental origin.

Along with rice, the following also belong to the cereal grain category: maize, wheat, barley, sorghum, millet, oats, rye, triticale, buckwheat, fonio and quinoa. Cereal grains provide most of their nutritional energy from starch and are also important sources of proteins and energy in general (about 350 kcal per 100 g).  Although cereal grains are generally poor in protein, rice does contain it and provides lysine which is  considered to be the best amongst the proteins found in cereal grains.