Despite what many people might think, buckwheat is not a cereal, rather a herbaceous annual plant, belonging to the family of Polygonaceae. In Italian it is called "Grano Saraceno" (Saracen wheat): it is called like this because, according to the two current hypotheses, it was brought to Italy by the Saracens or because it reminds of the dark colour of the Saracens’ skin. The high biological value of its proteins, which contain proportionately the eight essential amino acids, allows it to stand apart from the common cereals. Furthermore, it has remineralising and energising properties. This pasta represents also a tasty alternative to a gourmet first course.