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The Origins of PastaThe Origins & Types of Pasta
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Pasta's origins are very ancient. It's said that they go back actually to the Etruscans. Maybe they used to prepare the first lasagna made of spelt ( a kind of cereal like wheat, but far more resistant against bad weather and diseases). Later on, the romans used to make a very simple dough with water and flour from which they made a kind of lasagna, called lagane. This word is used also today in the center and the south of Italy to call some kind of Pasta.

Anyway, we must explode the myth that it was Marco Polo who brought Pasta in Italy when he came back from China. In fact, in 1279 a.d., when the great Venetian explorer was still in the East, in Genoa a will was draft with which a cerain Ponzio Bastone bequeathed a crate full of maccheroni! Certainly, we know that the Arabs, already in the XI century, brought Pasta around the Mediterranean basin, but it spread in an extraordinary way only in Italy, due to the very favorable climate.

Then in XVII century in Naples, Pasat met Tomato, arrived in Europe after America was discovered. This was a real gastronomic revolution, because this new joining quickly (and perhaps happily) caused the forgetfulness of those matching bittersweet and salted so popular until then. But pasta didn't go at once onto the princes' tables, because since then it was eaten using hands. It was near the year 1700 that a chamberlain of King Ferdinand II, a certain Gennaro Spadaccini, had the brilliant idea of using a fork with 4 short prongs, that became a common practice. Since then pasta was served also during the Courts' banquets all over Italy and from there its world tour began.

Today modern technology allows the standardization of pasta production and the reproduction of the ideal climatic conditions. So pasta production spread out in a lot of Nations. This overall propagation makes pasta the most known Italian food all around the world.

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Pasta Names & Types

Pasta Sauce Recipes  

Acomo Pepe


Acomo PepeAcomo Pepe

Italian for "peppercorns", they look like tiny bead-shaped pasta.




Meat-filled or Cheese-filled tubes of pasta cooked in oven.

Capelli d'angelo


Capelli d'angeloCapelli d'angelo

Angel Hair pasta - very thin pasta




From the Latin "capelli" for "hair", (diameter 0.90mm) capellini is very thin round pasta strands. It is only slightly thicker than angel hair, our thinnest long shape.




Shells, called "conchiglie" in Italian, there are many sizes of these seashell-shaped pastas.




Tubular corkscrew or spiral shaped pasta about 1-inch long, native to southern Italy.




"Butterflies" in Italian; medium-sized pasta with a crimped center and pinked edges to form the shape of a bow tie. Bow Ties made in the Italian style are egg-free, while some versions contain egg.




"Little ribbons" in Italian, this shape originated in Rome. These flat wide pasta strands (width 4.70mm).are made in egg and egg-free versions. Fettuccine is classically paired with Alfredo Sauce, a rich cream sauce with Parmesan cheese.




Hollow corkscrew or spiral shaped pasta about 8-inches long.




"Twins" in Italian, this medium-sized shape resembles two short pieces of tubular spaghetti twisted together.




Small dumplings made from potato and flour or from semolina.




Short curved tubular pasta in a semi-circle shape.




Our favorite baking shape Lasagne is a ripple-edged strip about 2-1/4-inches wide and 10-inches long. The dish, lasagne is layers of pasta, meat sauce and béchamel sauce.




"Little tongues" in Italian, this narrow, flat pasta is a specialty of southern Italy (width 2.65mm). It is frequently paired with white or red clam sauce.




Italians describe mostaccioli as "little mustaches". They are diagonally cut tubular shapes similar to penne, but larger. Mostaccioli has a smooth surface; Mostaccioli Rigati has a ridged surface.

Penne Rigate 


PerciatoPenne Rigate 

From the Latin for "feathers" (reminiscent of old-fashioned quill pens) they are diagonally cut tubular shapes with ridged surfaces.




From southern Italian dialect "perciato" meaning "pierced through", perciatelli are fat hollow strands.




"Radiators" in Italian, these are short chunky ruffled shapes that add great eye appeal to any dish




Corkscrew or spiral shaped pasta, about 1-1/2-inches long.




Pasta cushions filled with meat or spinach - spinaci




Large ribbed tubes about 1-1/2-inches long.




Corkscrew or spiral shaped pasta, about 1-1/2-inches long.




From the Italian word for "strings"; (diameter 1.78mm) these round thin strands are our most beloved pasta shape.




Thin strips of ribbon pasta.




Little pasta 'hats' with meat filling.




long narrow strips of pasta




From the Latin "verme" for "worms", vermicelli is round thin pasta strands that are thinner than spaghetti.

Ziti Riigati


Ziti RiigatiZiti Rigati

Medium-sized tubular pasta about 2-inches long and slightly curved. This classic Southern Italian pasta means "bridegrooms"; it is often served at Sicilian weddings. Ziti Rigati has a ridged surface, while regular ziti is smooth.

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