Contributed by: News Canada
You Asked: What is the nutritional value of pasta? (NC) - Pasta belongs to the Grain Products food group in Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions on pasta and grains, courtesy of Ronzoni Foods Canada, makers of Catelli, the pasta kingpin that offers 12 whole grain varieties in its Healthy Harvest line (wholegrainpasta.ca):
A: Grain products and specifically whole grain pasta contain many nutrients notably iron, zinc, magnesium, B vitamins and vitamin E. Plus, grains and whole grain pasta are also a tasty source of carbohydrates, protein, and dietary fibre.
Q: Should salt or oil be added to the cooking water?
A: You should add 5-10 ml of salt per 500 g of pasta. Some cooking experts also suggest adding a little oil to the cooking water to prevent pasta from sticking together or boiling over.
Q: Should pasta be rinsed after cooking?
A: Once cooked, pasta should be rinsed in cold water if you want to chill it to make a cold salad or stop the cooking process and use it for dishes that require further cooking. If you plan on eating the pasta right away however, it should not be rinsed. The water removes the natural starch covering the pasta, which helps make the sauce stick to the pasta. Once cooked, however, pasta should be drained. If left in the cooking water, the pasta will actually continue to cook and will become too soft.
Q: How many daily servings of Grain Products are recommended in Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating?
A: The Food Guide recommends that Canadians four years and older consume five to 12 servings of grain products daily, preferably whole grain or enriched grain products. If you think that sounds high, keep in mind that the serving sizes are typically quite small. One serving size of grain products is:
Preparation: 10 minutes - Cooking: 30-35 minutes
Cook macaroni according to package directions.
In a pot, heat oil and saute onion, oregano and parsley 3 minutes. Add chicken and continue cooking 3 minutes.
Add honey, mixing well to coat chicken, and cook 3 minutes until caramelized.
Add tomatoes and simmer 15-20 minutes or until liquid is almost evaporated. Add macaroni, mixing well.
Pour into a baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese and broil in oven until cheese melts and browns lightly.
Serving Size: Makes 4 Servings
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