It’s always good to have a supply of pasta at home. If you’re looking for pasta recipes to cook up all the stuff you’ve got in your fridge, no problem. We’ve selected five dishes you can make at home that will make you forget you can’t go to your beloved Italian restaurant around the corner.
Why pasta recipes make us happy
Durum wheat semolina and water: pasta ingredients couldn’t be simpler. And yet, pasta recipes can trigger unimaginable feelings of happiness in us. The reason: pasta increases the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin, the happiness hormone, is produced by the transformation of the amino acid tryptophan. Normally, however, other amino acids compete with tryptophan in the brain. When we eat pasta, the body has to break down carbohydrates and the pancreas releases insulin in the process. This promotes the absorption of amino acids in the muscles, with the exception of tryptophan. This can reach the brain through the bloodstream, without difficulty, where it is converted into serotonin.
The history of pasta recipes
In 2005, the heated dispute that erupted between China and Italy over who invented pasta came to an end. During excavations in China, archaeologists found a 4,000-year-old clay jar a few years ago containing long noodles made from corn and millet. However, it is also not true that Marco Polo brought pasta from China to Italy in the 13th century and that the proud Italian pasta is an ugly plagiarism. Rather, it seems that pasta was invented in several places independently. For example, illustrations of pasta-making devices have been found in ancient Italian tombs in the 4th century. Apart from a few regional specialties like spätzle, pasta has long had an obscure existence in some European countries. It was thanks to Italian workers that pasta arrived in Germany across the Alps in the 1960s and eventually became accepted by the Germans. It is also thanks to travelers, who have discovered the advantages of Italian cuisine in Rimini.
The correct shape of the pasta depends on the recipe
It is said that there are up to 600 different types of pasta in the world. The right way to choose them depends on the recipe. The rule is: long, wide noodles are the right choice for a creamy, smooth sauce, because the sauce sticks well to the smooth surface of the noodles on its own. Short pasta varieties with slits or cavities also absorb watery sauces very well.
How to store the dough?
It is always advisable to have a certain supply of different types of pasta at home. After all, dry pasta holds up well and pasta recipes like butter and parmesan tagliatelle or spaghetti aglio olio are perfect as an emergency meal if you’re stuck in the office late. Pasta should always be stored in a dark, cool and dry place. Ideally, put the pasta in airtight glass containers and store it in the pantry.
Fusilli with zucchini and cottage cheese
For 5 or 6 people:
- 500 g Fusilli
- 400 g zucchini, cut into cubes
- 100g cottage cheese
- 50g grated cheese, mixed pecorino and parmesan
- A pinch of grated nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- A few basil leaves
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan (preferably non-stick). Add the garlic, courgettes and basil leaves. Cover the pan and sauté the zucchini for about 20 minutes until tender. Stir occasionally. If the zucchini becomes too dry, add hot water to the pan. Put the steamed zucchini in the container you will use for pasta. Mash them with a fork, add the ricotta, grated cheese and nutmeg and work everything together to obtain a cream. Cook the pasta al dente in plenty of salted water following the instructions on the package. Before draining the pasta, save a little cooking water. Add the cream noodles to the bowl with a little pasta water and mix well.
Linguine alla Carbonara
For 4 people :