Promoted by nutritionists, pasta claims its leading role even at dinner. In a guide of Unione Italiana Food practical advice and best recipes for the last meal of the day.
"The ideal to combine sleep is to combine Tryptophan, and pasta is an excellent source, with B vitamins, Omega-3 and magnesium", says Luca Piretta, nutritionist and gastroenterologist, member of the Board of Directors of the Company Italian Food Science (SISA). Among the foods rich in magnesium: spinach, beets, chicory, black cabbage, beans, dill, peas, seaweed, basil, mushrooms. While the essential fatty acids Omega-3, with anti-inflammatory properties, are contained in foods such as salmon, mackerel, swordfish, clams, anchovies, algae, flax seeds. Here is the Unione Italiana Food guide to the 10 perfect pasta dishes for the last meal of the day (doses for 4 people).
1. Penne with peas and mushrooms
Perfect for a vegan dinner, pasta with peas and mushrooms provides an excellent supply of magnesium. You need 250 grams of champignon mushrooms, 250 grams of peas, a clove of garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Brown the garlic clove in a pan with about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, add the peas and sliced mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes. Drain 320 grams of pasta (mezze penne or format to taste) and sauté in a pan with mushrooms, peas, parsley and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. A good variant is also excellent when baked with the addition of grated cheese.
2. Tortiglioni with artichokes, mushrooms and potatoes
With a gentle and balanced taste, pasta with artichokes, mushrooms and potatoes conquers even the most demanding palates. Clean and cut all the vegetables: start by peeling 200 grams of potatoes and leave them in a bowl with cold water, proceed with 200 grams of mushrooms and 4 artichokes, being careful not to throw the stems. In a frying pan brown a clove of garlic with extra virgin olive oil and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and drain 320 grams of pasta al dente in the pan with the sauce, finishing cooking and adding a ladle of water if necessary. Season and serve hot.
3. Spaghetti with tomato sauce
A great classic of Italian cuisine, appreciated all over the world, spaghetti with tomato sauce is always a good idea, even for an unexpected dinner with friends. To prepare them, 800 grams of peeled tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, basil, 1 clove of garlic and salt are needed. In a pan, brown a clove of garlic with extra virgin olive oil, add the peeled tomatoes and cook for 15/20 minutes. Drain the spaghetti (320 grams) and let them season in the tomato sauce. Add basil to flavor and make your spaghetti dish special. An alternative is the version with fresh sauteed tomatoes.
4. Linguine with clams
Simplicity is the real secret of this symbol of Italian cuisine. Allow 1kg of clams to drain in cold water for about an hour, changing the water from time to time. Drain and sauté in a pan with 2 tablespoons of oil and a crushed clove of garlic, until they open. Strain the water leaking from the clams and set it aside. Heat in a frying pan half a glass of oil with two cloves of garlic, add some white wine, the water of the clams and let it boil; add salt and pepper to this mixture and season with the shells (or without them, to taste), adding plenty of chopped parsley. Drain the spaghetti al dente (320 grams is the quantity indicated for 4 people) and sauté them in the pan with the clams.
5. Spaghetti with garlic and oil
Simple and quick to prepare, it is the must of the "midnight pasta" that respects itself, a ritual still in vogue especially among the Millennials. Start by cooking the spaghetti and, in the meantime, place a finely chopped garlic clove in extra virgin olive oil in a pan. Once it has browned, add a little pepper, some chopped parsley and a ladle of spaghetti cooking water. Leave to flavor and serve.
6. Pasta and beans
A typical Italian dish, of which there are several regional variations, ideal on slightly chilly evenings. Cut celery, carrot and onion into tiny cubes, and let them dry for 3 minutes on the fire with 4 tablespoons of oil and 2 bay leaves, to which you then add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste for 2 minutes. Add 2 liters of cold water and the fresh shelled beans and, once boiling, add a sprig of rosemary, salt and pepper. Drain half of the cooked beans and blend together. Combine the cream with the rest of the whole cooked beans and bring back to the boil. Add 320 grams of pasta for the required cooking time. Meanwhile, very finely chop half a clove of garlic, some