Introducing the Breadfast Pantry Guide
This summer, we’re introducing a new section to our blog called the Pantry Guide – where you’ll find tips and tricks on all the products we offer in the Breadfast app. The Pantry Guide has everything you need to know, like how to pick and store fresh produce, nutritional information, recipe ideas, and kitchen hacks.
And this time, we’re excited to start off with one of everyone’s favorite pantry staples – pasta! Not sure whether to use linguini, spaghetti, or penne? We got you! By the end of this post, you’ll be a pasta guru, and you’ll also probably be very hungry.
Pasta la Vista, Baby
Pasta has been around for ages – millenia, actually. Some believe that pasta originated from Asia, and was introduced to Italy after Marco Polo returned from China. Others believe that nomadic Arab tribes brought pasta to Europe. Either way, pasta is traditionally made with the unleaved dough of wheat flour mixed with water or eggs. There are dozens of different types of pasta around the world today, each with its own flavor profile, use, and history.
This type of pasta is a dinner table favorite, because it is so versatile. The corkscrew shape of fusilli pasta makes it easy for sauce to fill up all the little nooks and crannies, making each mouthful a burst of flavor. Pair it with a tomato sauce or cheese base, and you can use it as a pasta dish or casserole.
Here we have the darling of all pastas – spaghetti, which is eaten almost everywhere in the world. Some of the most popular dishes are spaghetti bolognese or any meatball pasta, but you can also make your own mushroom pasta or carbonara.
Penne pasta is one of my personal favorites to make with pesto sauce. The texture of the pasta is smooth and goes so well with lighter, less creamy sauces like pesto, meat based sauces, or tomato sauces. Sometimes it is also stuffed with spinach and riccota.
Also known as ditalini, or “small thimbles” in Italian, this pasta is perfect for pasta salad, mac n’ cheese, soups, or our local favorite – koshary. The little ringlets are great for trapping little bits of flavor in them. Common ingredients paired with ring pasta include ricotta cheese, broccoli, and other cheesy combinations.
This is the key ingredient to what must be one of the most savory, flavorful comfort foods ever: lasagna! Unlike other pastas (which have a variety of ways they can be cooked in,) lasagna pasta is almost always used in a casserole. Layer it with tomato or meat based sauces, cream bechamel sauces, or a mix of both! Other common ingredients include ricotta cheese, ground beef, mushrooms, and carrots. But honestly, with this culinary bad boy, possibilities are endless – I’ve even seen mexican fajita lasagnas!
Seafood linguini is also another one of my favorite pasta dishes ever. It’s a perfect combination of prawns, clams, mussels, and a creamy clam sauce poured over smooth noodles. However, if seafood is not your thing, make your pastas instead with red sauces like arrabbiata or marinara.
Elbow pasta is another versatile form of pasta, you can either boil or bake it and include it with a variety of ingredients. Aside from our beloved koshary, you can also make a mean mac n’ cheese or casserole with elbow pasta. Make sure you combine it with thick sauces to take advantage of the little flavor-trapping nooks.
I most often use shell pasta with soups, because their shape holds small cupfuls of liquid or sauce so well. You can also boil or bake shell pasta. Use it in pasta dishes, soups, casseroles. Sauces that work best are thick and chunky sauces that are cheese, cream, or tomato-based.
Last but definitely not the last is vermicelli pasta. We often see it mixed in with rice for a traditional Egyptian dish, but you can also whip up a delicious pasta salad or dish with some olives, mozzarella, tomatoes, olive oil, and red onion.
Now put on your favorite apron, turn up some Pavarotti, order your favorite pasta, and let’s bring a taste of Italy home. Buon appetito!