Doña Elena Al Dente and the benefits of pasta

Who would’ve thought that I’d learn a few more amazing things about pasta and its importance.

Since October is National Pasta Month (Yes, it’s true!), allow me to share with you a few things I’ve delightfully learned during my recent visit to Lucia Ristorante inside Hotel Celeste during the launch of Doña Elena Al Dente pasta a couple of days ago.

Let’s start with the common facts that you may probably already know about…

The Italian term, “Al Dente”, means “to the tooth” in English. But what it actually refers to is how pasta is perfectly cooked… not too soft and soggy, not too hard. Just right. Al Dente!

I learned that pasta is now commonly prepared using a “Teflon Die Cut”. Die cuts are devices used to shape and trim pasta noodles to the different variants we normally see in groceries and specialty food shops. Variants such as spaghetti, fusilli, fettuccine, and more.

The problem with pasta prepared using a Teflon Die Cut is that the surface of the noodles are smoother. “Isn’t smoother better?”, you might ask. The plain and simple answer to that is “NOPE.” A smoother surface prevents sauce from clinging to the pasta when eating it.

The traditional (and better) way of preparing pasta is through the use of a BRONZE Die Cut. What makes it oh so special? Well, pasta that has gone through the Bronze Die Cut process retains a coarser surface texture. It is this very texture that allows all kinds of sauces to stick to the noodles instead of sliding off. The result? A more flavorful and richer pasta dining experience.

For a better understanding of the difference of Bronze and Teflon Die Cut pasta, watch the short video below.

Aha! Learned something new, eh?

Doña Elena Al Dente - Chew Chew Junction - Greenhills
Chew Chew Junction, Greenhills

I’ve been a lover of pasta ever since I was a kid. Even back in the days when my dad would take me to the old “Chew Chew Junction” spaghetti house (train) in Greenhills during the early ’80s. Hahaha… how’s that for a throwback?

I’ve fallen in love with pasta also because it greatly helped me drop my weight during my rigorous 6-month fitness and diet regimen wherein I lost 50lbs (185-135lbs). Pasta was my main source of carbohydrates.

Why? Because unlike rice, pasta is a complex carb. Your body doesn’t break it down just as easily as white rice or white bread. It provides a way for the body to absorb glucose slowly. As you very well know, if glucose (commonly know as “sugar”) is absorbed faster, your body has more fuel that it actually needs to burn. What happens to the excess starch? It becomes stored energy in the form of (you guessed it!)… FAT.

Apart from that, pasta keeps me feeling full longer which is great especially for weight watchers!

I have tons to be thankful for because of pasta.

That’s why when they held their launch event in time with National Pasta Day (October 25) and National Pasta Month (October), I immediately attended with my wife. I fully supported Doña Elena Al Dente’s activities because I truly believed in the product.

Doña Elena Al Dente pasta launch

Doña Elena Al Dente

During the event, I witnessed Chef Davide Lombardi prepare different kinds of pasta dishes using Doña Elena Al Dente which my wife and I were intently watching.

Doña Elena Al Dente - Chef Davide Lombardi
Chef Davide Lombardi

Chef Lombardi whipped up 2 pasta creations during the program, one of which was the Fettuccine alla Siciliana using Doña Elena Al Dente Fettucine.

Doña Elena Al Dente
Fettuccine alla Siciliana

Then, during a brief presentation, I eventually learned that not all pasta are created equal… Teflon and Bronze Die Cut, remember?

Oh! And there was a Doña Elena Al Dente cooking contest, too! Thank God my wife was with me during the event. It was a quick 10-minute contest wherein 3 pairs were to face-off in a friendly cooking competition.

Doña Elena Al Dente
Ready to start our friendly cooking competition.

Each pair had a dish to cook depending on what we were to randomly pick from a fishbowl. My wife and I got the cream-based recipe.

Doña Elena Al Dente
Ready, set, GO!

It was all about my wife from here on out. I offered my whole-hearted moral support and simply watched on. Hahaha!

Doña Elena Al Dente
Go, misis!

Here was our finished product… tada!

Doña Elena Al Dente
Our cream-based finished product – Carbonara with Bacon and Mushrooms

To make the long story short, we all came up with our own dishes and my wife and I were able to bag 2nd place! Not bad given the circumstances. Yeah!

Guests were treated to a wondeful meal at Lucia Ristorante after the brief program.

Doña Elena Al Dente
Always great food at Lucia Ristorante in Hotel Celeste.

This particular dining experience showcased Chef Lombardi’s amazing pasta dishes using Doña Elena Al Dente. Absolutely delizioso, if I may say so myself!

Some of the spectacular and healthy dishes prepared by Chef Lombardi were…

During our meal, Ms. Nina Daza-Puyat, who hails from a family of renowned chefs and restaurateurs, shared a few of her fond memories of family, cooking experiences and life abroad.

Doña Elena Al Dente - Nina Daza-Puyat
Ms. Nina Daza-Puyat

During her short talk, she mentioned the significance and benefits of pasta as well.

All in all, it was an afternoon well spent.

Doña Elena Al Dente
Fly Ace Corporation Product Manager Karen Saguiped, Inna Viloria, Cheryl True, me and my wife (Yen), Chef Davide Lombardi, Troy Barrios, Mikka Wee, and Fly Ace Corporation Product Assistant Rachelle Chang

Thank you Doña Elena Al Dente for inviting us to an amazing (and very entertaining) launch.

I owe a lot of my weight loss success to pasta and being part of National Pasta Day and celebrating National Pasta Month with you guys was the least I could do.

I cannot say it enough… not all pasta are created equal. Make sure that you are getting your hard-earned money’s worth and that your body is truly benefiting from it.

Doña Elena Al Dente Pasta is the only artisan quality Italian Pasta in the country, using high quality 100% Durum Wheat semolina or hard wheat. It is 100% certified all-natural and GMO-free… just the way I like my pasta.

So, during your next meal, why not try going for pasta instead of the usual staples of rice and white bread. Your body will thank you for it.

Remember, dieting isn’t just about cutting down on food intake. It’s more about knowing WHAT to eat.

Doña Elena Al Dente
The healthier (and better) choice

To know more about Doña Elena and their other amazing and healthy products, check out their official website.

Here’s to healthier choices! Here’s to Doña Elena Al Dente!

Happy National Pasta Month, everyone!

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