I don’t know about you but I love both pasta and noodles. Wait? Noodles vs pasta, aren’t they the same thing? They’re both great sources of carbohydrates but they’re not the same.
Noodles can be combined with casseroles and soups. You can find it in many Asian dishes, like Vietnamese cuisine. Pasta, on the other hand, can be made a complete meal with the addition of veggies that mostly appear in European delicacies. It’s lighter and can only be created with durum wheat.
Today, I will talk about these two delicious foods, their differences, and compare their nutritional values. That being said, let’s learn more about the two most popular foods worldwide.
Noodles: Delicious, Filling And Inexpensive
If you’re looking for the greatest source of carbohydrates for a boost of energy, then a bowl of noodles is what you need. However, what makes noodles so special?
According to the National Pasta Association, noodles contain at least 5.5% egg solids in their cosmetics. They’re thick and can be combined with casseroles and soups.
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Their name comes from the word “nudel”, a German word, and the word “nodus”, a Latin word. They’re made with unleavened dough. And they’re cooked in boiling water.
Noodles can come in various shapes. However, they’re usually seen in long and thin strips and rods. It’s hard to determine where they came from with certainty. It’s believed to have appeared in China during the Eastern Han Dynasty. Meaning, they’re dating back a very long time.
In 2005, archeologists found a bowl of noodles dating back 4,000 years. We don’t know if that’s the very first time they showed up. However, we do know they moved westward.
Today, they’re a staple food, available all around the world, especially in Chinese culinary recipes. They can be made of different food sources, including potato, mung beans, wheat, buckwheat, rice, acorn, and more.
The flour utilized in noodle production is often a finer flour than that utilized to produce pasta varieties. The milled flour utilized to produce noodles delivers a smooth textured and light-colored product. When cooked, they tend to be softer than pasta, so you don’t have to bite them.
Noodles, like pasta, start as dough. Once mixing the ingredients and kneading the mixture on a top-notch pastry board, then roll it thin.
This can be finished in many manners including traditional methods by hand, or by utilizing a rolling pin. Once the dough has been rolled thin, the next step is slicing.
The noodles are cut into their final form. And when they have been sliced, you can cook them right away or keep them for later use. I usually cook them right away (I can’t resist).
I put them in boiling water, then use an advanced kitchen timer to set the timing precisely. In just a few minutes, I get a homemade, fresh, and tasty meal.
Since noodles represent a key part of different types of dishes worldwide, they can be served in cold and hot dishes. They can also be served in soups, boiled, or fried as a main dish to be combined with various veggies or meats. As you can notice, noodles aren’t just boring staple food.
They’re super versatile and differ a lot in taste, depending on the amount of salt that has been utilized in the making process and what their primary origin was.
The salt helps loosen the gluten proteins and gives that malleable noodle. Last but not least, noodles are filling, affordable, and super delicious.
Pasta: Tasty, Filling But Relatively Expensive
Most people believe (including myself until I did my research) that pasta originated from Italy because there are numerous Italian dinner ideas with pasta. That’s not true. It first came from Arabia. However, the name is Italian.
The word pasta comes from the Italian word “paste” which represents the process of making the dough. It occurs before the pasta transforms into the forms we know and eat all the time.
Those popular forms include ziti, farfalle, rigatoni, etc. Some might look quite similar but they are different. For instance, many people confuse the distinction between ziti and penne as they are both kinds of pasta.
Pasta, like noodles, is created with an unleavened mixture. Raw pasta can be produced with eggs and stored in the fridge for further use.
Most people, however, prefer dried pasta. It’s created without eggs and can be kept on a shelf for up to 2 years. Traditionally, in Italy, pasta is created with durum wheat under Italian law.
It can have veggie extracts. Some pasta dishes include stuffing the pasta, like ravioli and gnocchi. Unlike noodles, most pasta forms are utilized for distinct types of dishes and have distinct names.
When making pasta with a pasta maker, the goal is to produce a first, or al dente, end product. The pasta shouldn’t be loose and mushy. They need to have a firm shape and crispiness.
And one of some aspects that decide how successful in making pasta is cleaning your pasta maker with proper methods. So keep in mind to do it after each use.
Undercooked, crunchy pasta isn’t what you’re looking for. Instead, the perfectly cooked pasta offers the feeling of a crunchy bite being taken. Like noodles, pasta can be created with salt added.
The salt is usually utilized during different steps in the making process. Utilizing salt during various steps of cooking affects how it will perform in the recipe. Salt is utilized with noodles during the preparation of the dough to alter the structure of the completed product. In pasta, salt boosts the flavor.
Just like noodles, pasta is widely accessible. In Europe and North America, people associate pasta dishes with Italy. However, different versions of pasta can be found all around the world.
There’s a wide array of pasta (200 types) available in different shapes (300 shapes). Meaning, pasta is a versatile product that can be served warm and cold in different dishes.
Noodles Vs. Pasta: 7 Key Differences You Didn’t Know About
Pasta and noodles seem interchangeable. However, they’re quite different. If you want to learn all about these two of the most popular and delicious foods, here’s a list of 7 of their key differences.
Pasta is created with coarser and harder types of flour, while noodles are created using finer varieties of flour. Fine and soft flour provides a light color in noodles, soft texture, and smoother feel.
Noodles are often categorized based on the key ingredients that are utilized to produce them. There’s a wide array of noodles such as potato noodles, rice noodles, etc.
Pasta, on the other hand, can be fresh and dried. Dried pasta doesn’t have eggs. It can last up to 2 years. Fresh pasta has eggs and should be refrigerated for further use.
Salt plays a key role in noodle making. It’s added to loosen the gluten protein and helps the dough to come together well. Standard pasta, on the other hand, is salt-free. However, you can add a teaspoon of salt when cooking your pasta to enhance the flavor of your dish.
Pasta comes in many forms. Noodles, on the other hand, are available in fewer forms. The thin rod form is the most popular one. Pasta is available in over 300 forms. They have different names and are utilized to prepare specific dishes wherеas noodles have a few limitations.
Noodles are traditionally served in broths that can be either cold or hot with various veggies and meats. Pasta, on the other hand, is often served with many types of sauces such as cream-based and tomato-based pasta sauces as the most popular ones among pasta lovers.
Moreover, there is a specific shelf life of pasta sauce in the fridge that you need to note in order to use them safely. When you find some weird signs, don’t try to consume your food. It might be spoiled.
Noodles can be cooked in different manners. They can be cooked in broth or water, and then drained, or served in soups. Or fried, whereas pasta is usually prepared by boiling.
Noodles are cheap, filling, and tasty. I eat them almost every day (not a healthy choice, I’m aware). Pasta is just as delicious and filling. However, it’s relatively expensive.
Watch this video to know more….
Noodles Vs. Pasta: Comparison Of Nutritional Values
Pasta and noodles have various nutrients in different amounts. Individuals eat both foods depending on their preferences and needs.
For instance, gluten-intolerant people prefer noodles over pasta since they don’t have any gluten. Pasta, on the other hand, contains more nutrients than noodles.
Let’s learn more about the nutritional values of both. Here’s a comparison of 100g of plain cooked pasta and 100g of plain cooked noodles.
Carbohydrates, Proteins And Fiber
Pasta has a higher protein amount than standard noodles. It has 4g of protein per half a cup. Noodles, on the other hand, have 0.8g of protein per half a cup.
They’re both rich carbohydrate sources and release energy over time instead of a sudden enhancement. This is why professional athletes eat both the night before their competitions.
As for fiber content, pasta contains 1.3g of fiber and 21.6g of carbohydrates, while the same amount of noodles has 0.9g of fiber and 21.91g of carbohydrates.
Calories And Fat
The fat and calorie content in noodles and pasta are similar. Noodles contain 90 calories per half a cup while pasta has 111 calories. They both have little fat most of which is healthy. Half a cup of noodles has 0.5g of fat while the same amount of pasta has 0.65g of fat.
Pasta contains more vitamins than noodles. The added vitamins include niacin, riboflavin, folic acid, and thiamin. The biggest difference is the amount of folic acid.
For instance, pasta contains 83mg of folic acid per half a cup while noodles only have 3mg. Folic acid is a very important vitamin for pregnant women. It helps in the growth of the fetus.
Pasta has more riboflavin and thiamin in tenfold in noodles. And double the niacin. But they’re both very delicious, versatile, and equally popular around the world.
Pasta also has 8 times higher amounts of iron than noodles. That’s 4% of the appropriate value per day. It also has more magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium.
These minerals play a main role in maintaining stable blood pressure, keeping healthy teeth and bones, controlling muscle contractions, and supporting an individual’s immunity.
Who’s Up For Some Pasta? Or Butter Noodles? Or Both?
Pasta and noodles contain high complex carbohydrates. Meaning, they release energy over time instead of a sudden enhancement.
This is why athletes consume a bowl of pasta or noodles the night before their competitions.
Noodles vs pasta, aren’t they the same thing? The short answer is no. The long one is that despite their differences, both noodles and pasta undeniably share a long history.
At first sight, they look similar. They’re also cooked in similar ways. However, there’s a difference in the making process, the nutritional values, consistency, shapes, and cost.
Pasta and noodles also have different origins and different purposes in the culinary world.
Dishes meant to be prepared with pasta but combined with noodles instead would be disappointing and the other way around. Unfortunately, both pasta and noodles have gained a bad reputation for having a lot of calories and little nutritional value. But that’s not always the case.
They’re both for providing energy. And they’re a staple in professional athletes’ diets. And I like to think that a balanced diet with reasonable portion sizes is the key.
What’s your opinion on the topic? Have you ever followed a diet that “forbids” pasta and noodles? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.
Also, don’t forget to share this article with your social media friends. And once you’re done reading this article, treat yourself to a bowl of pasta or noodles.