© Denzil Green
Whole Wheat Penne Rigate is a shaped pasta. It is tubes of pasta, about 7.5 cm (3 inches) long, hollow inside, with diagonally cut ends like French cut beans.
The surface is ridged lengthwise. The ridges help sauce to cling to the surface of the pasta better.
The pasta is made from a whole wheat dough, which lends a toothsome, nutty, satisfying taste to the pasta. The flour used may or may not be 100% durum whole wheat semolina, depending on the brand. Some egg may be added to some brands.
Traditionally, penne rigate was always made from a white flour. Early versions of this pasta made from whole wheat in the 1990s did not cook up well. Most came out a slimey moosh. Manufacturers seem to have perfected the formulation, however, so that now the whole wheat versions cook up as perfectly as the white flour versions, with the added benefit of the taste.
Serve with a thick, chunky sauce. Serve a cup or so as a starter in a small bowl, or, serve as a side on a plate, along with a piece of meat or fish, a veg and a salad.
Cook in a generous amount of boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes, starting to test at 10 minutes. Start timing from when the water returns to the boil. Drain well afterward. If not using all of it in a sauce right away, then stir in a small amount of sauce or very small amount of oil to prevent the pasta from sticking to each other.
When preparing a dish with this pasta that includes any vegetables or chopped meat, ideally you are supposed to cut or slice those other ingredients into pieces that match the size of the penne.
Regular plain penne rigate
Besides the health benefit of the higher fibre, all things being equal, the same amount of whole wheat penne rigate versus white flour penne rigate makes you feel fuller, which can be a weight loss benefit.
“Rigata” means lined, ridged in Italian.