By law, Italian dried pasta must be made of durum wheat semolina. In order to make a good quality pasta, the first and most important factor is the raw material and the ability of millers to be able to mix different grains, thus enhancing the different characteristics of each. The Italian origin crops are characterized by a good protein content that gives the finished product nutritional value and cooking resistance.
Another fundamental factor for obtaining good quality pasta is the drying phase which must bring the humidity of moisture from 33-35% to the legal maximum parameter of 12.5%. The time varies, depending on the format of the pasta, from a few hours up to 24 hours. When the dough has a deep yellow colour it means that it has undergone a drying process at a temperature that was too high (120 °C instead of 80-90 °C) that will give it a bitter taste.
Pasta that is cooked in the "al dente" Italian way, not only enhances the flavour of the grain but also makes the dish more digestible with a lower glycemic index. When Pasta has a very short cooking time or easily overcooks and becomes rubbery it means that the grain was subjected to aggressive grinding that broke the core protein (gluten) .In addition, the proteins retain the amids spillage during the cooking, so if the water used remains quite clear it means the semolina is of good quality.
Pasta making process
If the pasta is rough to the touch and more porous it means that it has been drawn in bronze, while if it has a smooth surface it indicates that Teflon has been used. In the first case, the toppings are better absorbed by the pasta allowing you to prepare tastier dishes.
In order to be able to use the words "pasta made from durum wheat" on the packaging, Italian producers must meet certain parameters: in particular, 100 grams of pasta must contain not less than 10.50% of protein (at least 11,50% if whole wheat) and a maximum humidity content of 12.50%.
La Molisana's position on the matter
The relevant assertions come out from a seminar driven by La Molisana's experts. La Molisana is located on Campobasso in Regione Abruzzo e Molise that's togheter to Regione Marche e Regione Campania the three area where come from the premium Italian pasta. The company has successfully combined traditional, artisanal quality with state-of-the art production and has achieved the objective to have a fully integrated supply chain in order to track production from grain to table. In Italy the integrated supply chain in the pasta field isn’t common, only 7% of manufacturer carry this out.
Durum wheat used by La Molisana to produce pasta is made 50 % by Italian wheat and the other half from wheat coming from foreign countries (mainly from Canada, Australia and the US): "The Italian grain gives an important gluten contribution and the foreign grains complete the mixture with other features".