Cooking With Extra Virgin Olive Oil To Boost The Taste And Health Benefits Of Pasta Meals
Updated May 9th 2023
Olive oil is an essential ingredient for any delicious pasta dish. Using extra virgin olive oil not only adds a rich, satisfying taste but also offers many health benefits to your meal.
- Selecting the Perfect Olive Oil – Tips for Finding the Best Quality
- The Cooking Process – How Long to Cook and When to Add Your Ingredients
- Serving Suggestions – Ideas for an Appetizing Presentation of your Pasta Dish
- The Health Benefits of Cooking Pasta Dishes With Olive Oil
Selecting the Perfect Olive Oil – Tips for Finding the Best Quality
When cooking with pasta, it’s important to choose a quality extra virgin olive oil that will bring out the flavour of your ingredients.
So, what is the best olive oil for you? It depends on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a versatile oil that can be used in both cooking and salads, an all-purpose olive oil would be a good choice. If you want an oil with a milder flavor that’s great for dipping bread or using in dressings, then go with an extra virgin olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality olive oil you can get. Genuine extra virgin olive oil is rare and as a result is slightly more expensive.
The chemical characteristics of extra virgin olive oil (as with all vegetable oils) give an indication of the care with which it was made and stored: how the fruit was grown, transported and harvested, how it was pressed into oil, and how the oil was packaged and bottled. Stringent chemical analysis also helps to determine if the oil is adulterated in any way. The chemical standards for extra virgin olive oil are the highest of all the grades and, as such, offer a guarantee of quality.
The Cooking Process – How Long to Cook and When to Add Your Ingredients
One of the things that most people are likely to have an abundance of in their cupboards at the moment is pasta, but you might be finding endless portions of bolognese a little boring.
Luckily, there are some simple ways to create delicious pasta dishes with minimal ingredients, especially if you have some delicious Moroccan olive oil in your cupboard.
An article for the Guardian recently shared a very simple, but incredibly tasty, recipe from Marcella Hazan, which uses spaghetti as its base and includes a few simple ingredients for a tasty meal.
It’s also a really quick dish to whip up, which is great if you’re in a hurry. Firstly, put your spaghetti in a pan of boiling water to cook. While this is on the hob, put six tablespoons of your olive oil in a small pan along with two teaspoons of finely chopped garlic and a chopped red hot chilli pepper. Cook these on a medium to low heat until the garlic turns golden.
Drain the pasta and make sure you add salt before you pour the spaghetti into the pan with your olive oil, chilli and garlic, making sure that you turn the spaghetti so that it’s all liberally coated with the olive oil dressing.
Serving Suggestions – Ideas for an Appetizing Presentation of your Pasta Dish
Cooking with pasta is a classic dish that is popular across the world. The addition of extra virgin olive oil to your pasta dish is a simple yet transformative ingredient that can really bring your dish to life.
A great presentation can also make a huge difference in how your dish is perceived. Adding herbs and spices to your pasta dish not only elevates the flavors but visually makes the dish appealing. A sprig of fresh basil, some chopped parsley, or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes could turn a plain bowl of pasta into an exquisite dish. For an appetizing presentation, consider using unique serving dishes or garnishing with additional olive oil or grated cheese. Whatever presentation you choose, a stunning pasta dish with extra virgin olive oil will surely be a crowd-pleaser and leave everyone satisfied.
Serve immediately with some chopped fresh parsley, if you have any available, and voila, you have a perfect quick and delicious meal.
The Health Benefits of Cooking Pasta Dishes With Olive Oil
Given that there’s now research showing that extra virgin olive oil retains its antioxidants when it’s cooked, it’s a healthy choice as a pasta dressing too.
Extra virgin olive oil, sunflower oil and canola oil are high in monounsaturated fat (the healthy-for-you kind of fat). So what would put extra virgin olive oil above the others if their fat make-up so similar? It’s not just about the kind of fat molecules that they are made up of, extra virgin olive oil has some extra magic. The biggest thing that makes extra virgin olive oil so healthy is its unique disease-fighting component.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil is probably the most extensively researched foodstuff on the planet and the health benefits are evidence based. Thanks to the recent spotlight on the Mediterranean Diet, extensive research has been done on the phytonutrient composition of olive oil. What has been discovered is an extensive list of phytonutrients; one of the most praised is its polyphenols. The amount of polyphenols found in extra virgin olive oil is truly amazing!