types of pasta:
The Leaning Tower of Pisa, a fashion show in Milan, the mouth-watering wood fire pizza, the amazing wines; they all remind us of just one place, that is, Italy. One of the important things missing from this list is pasta. Pasta, originally an Italian dish, is now on the global cuisine menu.
The origin of pasta has been a topic of debate for a long period. There is a mention of bringing pasta from China to Italy in Marco Polo’s book. It is also said that the Arabs brought pasta, which was in the shape of noodles, to Sicily. In the 13th and 14th Century, historians have written about both dry and fresh pasta. Pasta was made from durum wheat only. However, the first pasta recipe that was written by Francesco Leonardo, a Roman chef, exists in the book L’Apicio Moderno.
Boccaccio, in his famous book The Decameron, has fantasized about a mountain of cheese rolling down and the chefs prepare macaroni are waiting down the mountain. According to some findings, pasta was a dish that belonged to the wealthy classes in the early 16th century. However, it became a staple dish in Naples by the late 17th century. Pasta extrusion machines started operating around 1600 which produced pasta that was uniform in shape and size. Dry pasta became popular and production of pasta from machines started expanding.
With time, the flavors and style of preparing pasta kept changing.
Types of Pasta
Pasta is majorly classified into two categories; fresh and dry. Based on the shape, size, and texture there are different types of pasta available in the market. There are more than 300 distinct varieties of pasta in the world. From cylindrical shape to long sheets, from bows to strips, different shapes of pasta have different names.
Spaghetti, vermicelli, fedelini, capellini, bucatini, ziti, linguini are all varieties of pasta that are long in length or medium in size. The flat pasta variety includes fettuccine, lasagne, bavette, tagliatelle, pappardelle, Penne, fusilli, sedani, rigatoni are among the popular categories of pasta and are different in shape.
Calamarata, cannelloni, canneroni, cannolocchi, and rigatoni are cylindrical-shaped pasta. Gnocchi is round in shape and boiled potato is added to the flour to make the pasta. Ravioli and tortellini are stuffed variety of pasta that is always made fresh.
Traditional Dishes Associated with Spaghetti
In the early days, pasta was cooked for a longer time and had no similarity to modern day pasta dishes. The seasonings and flavors used in pasta have gone through a number of changes with time. There have been additions of vegetables in the making of pasta. Moreover, earlier pasta was a little sweet in taste, but now it is a savory dish. Tomatoes were one of the main ingredients that came as an addition in the recipes of pasta at the beginning of the 19th century. Till today, many pasta dishes are cooked in a tomato sauce. However, there are some traditional dishes made with spaghetti that are classic and all-time favorite of pasta lovers.
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio is a dish originated in Naples that is prepared in olive oil. Spaghetti al Pomodoro is made with fresh tomatoes and is a light to eat. Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca was made in the 20th century in Naples with small anchovies. Another dish called Cacio e Pepe is a Roman pasta dish that is pasta made with cheese and pepper. Pasta Carbonara is believed to be originated in the year 1944 in Rome. The main ingredients of the dish are pasta, egg yolks, and parmesan cheese. Spaghetti con le Vongole is very popular in Campania in Italy. The main ingredients of this dish are spaghetti and clams. This classic dish is prepared in two ways; one with tomatoes and another without tomatoes.
Apart from spaghetti, other varieties of pasta were also used in the traditional dishes. Pasta e Ceci and Ziti all Genovese are classic pasta dishes in Italy and are eaten every week.
Pasta Museum in Italy
The Museum of Pasta, located in the province of Parma, takes the visitor on a journey of pasta. The National Museum of Pasta Foods was built in 1992 and is run by the Agnesi family. It is one of its kind in the whole world and thus attracts a large number of food enthusiasts every year. Every section of the museum displays every element of the food industry in the region. The first section of the museum exhibits about wheat and its cultivation techniques. The third section of the museum has a display of mills, bread, and ovens. The rest of the sections are dedicated to pasta. Both homemade and industrial methods of making pasta are displayed in the museum. The modern technologies used in the making of pasta has been explained. One who visits the museum understands how pasta is deeply connected with the culture of Italy.
Other countries that use pasta widely
Besides Italy, United States, Sweden, Switzerland, Greece, Venezuela, Tunisia are among the top-most countries that consume pasta. Germany, Argentina, Chile, France, Russia also consume pasta on a large scale. Pasta prepared in the traditional Bolognese sauce is one of the most popular dishes served in countries like America and New Zealand.
Pasta, the staple diet of Italians, is a delicacy which is now relished in many countries. Italian pasta has always tingled the taste buds of food lovers around the world and has now become everyone’s favorite.
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