The two basic ingredients for pasta are flour and water. Quality pasta is made from semolina which is produced from 100% durum wheat. This wheat is especially bred and grown for this product worldwide.
The protein of durum wheat is mainly responsible for the cooking quality of pasta products. A high protein content and a 'strong' gluten are required to process semolina into a suitable final pasta product.
The industry also makes wide use of flours obtained by milling different varieties or semidurum, hard and soft wheats, maize and various cereals, striving to produce new flavours and top quality pasta.
Today supermarkets offer a wide range of pasta products and many delicatessens import an enormous variety of pasta shapes. New shapes are frequently introduced or revived. A very popular food, pasta is eaten either as the basis of a main meal, or as a welcome addition to the wide variety of nutritious sauces made.
However it is still the Italians who love pasta most. They say that pasta is like poetry. For nearly 400 years they kept the secret of pasta while making it into over 300 shapes and countless recipes. They love it so much there is a museum just for pasta, the Museo Storico Degli Spaghetti in Pontedassio, Italy.