The whole truth on wholewheat pasta
FairPrice's wholewheat pasta is tasty and nutritious
Wholewheat pasta is healthy and nutritious but it may not rank that high on taste.
Memories of gritty pasta with flavours that range from bland to sour come to mind.
But in recent years, wholewheat pasta has improved in taste and texture by leaps and bounds.
Gone is the unpalatable pasta of times past.
Today's wholewheat pasta is almost indistinguishable from regular refined pasta.
Not only can some versions pass for refined pasta, tasting similar to or even better than refined pasta, it also comes with an extra dose of nutrients.
For one, wholewheat pasta contains all three layers of its wheat kernel - germ, endosperm and bran - since nothing is removed during its milling or refining process.
This means that it retains the nutritious germ and bran, unlike refined pasta, which only leaves the starchy endosperm.
Wholewheat pasta is packed with fibre and a variety of nutrients, including selenium, potassium and magnesium.
It is also an excellent source of vitamins and iron, and contains a lower glycemic index.
In a bid to encourage healthy eating, local supermarket chain FairPrice introduced high-quality and authentic Italian wholewheat pasta that includes all that and more at an affordable price.
For example, its new wholewheat Pasta Fusilli ($2.15 for 500g) and wholewheat Pasta Spaghetti ($2.15 for 500g) are both trans fat and cholesterol-free.
The halal-certified products from Italy also feature the healthier choice logo with a "higher wholegrain" endorsement, and includes the Guideline Daily Amount (GDA) system that labels the products' nutritional details.
In a blind taste test, there is hardly a difference between wholewheat pasta and refined pasta.
It has a springy texture and robust flavour, with a mix of earthiness, nuttiness and sweetness - making it the perfect pasta to pair with rich and decadent sauces, or go simplewith an olive oil dressing.
FairPrice's Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($8.95 for 500ml; $15.50 for 1L) is cold-pressed to retain nutrients, and is trans fat and cholesterol-free.
The product of Italy is also rich in omega-3 and fatty acid, and contains high levels of monounsaturated fats, which is an essential fat.
While it is best served as a dressing for salads, pasta, meat and fish, its distinctive fruity taste and smell also make it ideal for making exquisite-tasting sauces and roasts.
For sauces that require butter, swap in some extra virgin olive oil to bring out more complex flavours.
FairPrice also sells a range of regular pasta, including spaghetti, linguine, penne, fusilli and elbow pasta.
Like the wholewheat line, it is a product of Italy, and is both trans fat and cholesterol-free.
MENTAIKO PASTA (By Hed Chef Hedy Khoo)
INGREDIENTS (Single serving)
- 2 shiso leaves
- 2 litres of water
- 2 tsp fine salt
- 85g spaghetti
- 1 tbsp thickened cream
- 45g mentaiko (marinated pollock roe), removed from the sac
- 10g finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Pinch of sea salt
- 10 nori strips
- 3g Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings
1. Rinse and dry the shiso leaves.
2. Place the leaves one on top of the other. Roll them up and slice finely. Set aside.
3. Bring 2 litres of water to boil in a saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons of salt.
4. Let water reach boiling point again and add pasta. Boil according to packet instructions. It is usually around 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off heat.
5. Drain pasta in a colander. Place pasta back into pot.
6. In a bowl, mix thickened cream with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
7. Add this to the pasta and stir through.
8. Add in three-quarters of the mentaiko and toss through. Sprinkle on a pinch of sea salt and toss briefly.
9. Transfer the pasta onto a plate. Place the remaining mentaiko on top. Garnish with finely sliced shiso, nori strips and Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings.
10. Serve immediately.