Pasta is one of my favorite foods. For years it has been an easy, convenient meal for me and my family. Recently, I was boiling some pasta and I was wondering, what was exactly the history of this tremendously tasty food. I did some research and discovered the long, complicated past of noodles.
Pasta is traditionally made from wheat, water, eggs, and salt. The first pasta dish was made in Sicily and dates back to 1154. Historians have noted that this first recipe was closer to a lasagna than to what we know today as our traditional noodles because it had a meat stuffing. Another difference of this dish from modern day pasta is that it is not cooked like either fresh or dry pasta. With that said, there is no concrete evidence of pasta up until the 13th or 14th century.
The first pastas were made by boiling a big sheet of dough, but as time progressed people decided that was not efficient enough. According to Greek mythology, the first mention of a pasta maker was when the god Hephaestus make long strands of dough and compressed them through two rotating tubes. In the 14th and 15th centuries, pasta became extremely popular for its easy storage. This allowed people to easily transport pasta with them on their journey to the New World. Once voyagers made landfall, pasta was spread across the world.
Pasta manufacturing machines have been made since the 1600s on the coast of Italy in a city named Sanremo. This over time made the Sanremo area one of the world’s most famous food destinations for tourists and locals alike. If pasta was good before, things were just getting started with the introduction of sauces. You could have pasta with tomato sauce, or with three-cheese sauce. You could have it with alfredo sauce or barbecue sauce if you are into that. A fun fact about pasta is that an average Italian person consumes about three times more pasta than an average American a year. Another fun fact is that pasta is so beloved in Italy that individual consumption exceeds the average production of wheat in the country; thus Italy frequently imports more wheat from other countries to make pasta.
Pasta was originally only part of Italian and European cuisine, but immigration caused the food to spread to the U.S., Canada, and many more countries. The food was also taken so far away that it was an essential part of South African cooking. Thank you for reading this article and I hope after reading it you can know and remember the history of pasta every time you have it for dinner.