October 25 is also known as World Pasta Day and to celebrate this amazing occasion we are going to give you a little guide to pasta and its history.
Everybody loves a good pasta dish, including ourselves here at Lifeline24, and today is best excuse you could possibly have to indulge in all those carbs! But where does pasta come from? Who helped to make it as popular as it is today? How many different types are there?
These are the questions that we hope to answer today in our little guide to celebrate World Pasta Day.
What is Pasta?
Pasta is a dish which consists of dough made from durum wheat and water which can be extruded or stamped into various different shapes before being cooked in boiling water. Pasta can also be made with flour from other cereals or grains and can be divided into dried or fresh pasta.
Dried pasta is made with flour and water whilst fresh pasta is made from flour and eggs - and can be found in the refrigerated areas of supermarkets due to its shorter shelf life.
Origins of Pasta
There are many stories and claims to the origins of pasta. Although it is commonly thought of as an Italian cuisine, there is a theory that the origins of pasta actually came from Asia and was brought back to Italy by a man called Marco Polo in the 13th Century.
In his book, called The Travels of Marco Polo, it is said that he was introduced to a plant which produced flour. The Chinese were using this plant to create a meal similar to barely flour. The barley-like meal Polo mentioned was used to make several pasta-like dishes, including one described as “lagana”
However this is just one theory about the origins of pasta. Pasta had been popular in other areas of Italy during the 13th century without Polo's introduction.
The invention of the first tomato sauces dates from the late 18th century, whilst the first written record of pasta with tomato sauce can be found in the 1790 cookbook L'Apicio Moderno. Before this point people would eat pasta dry with their fingers.
Types of Pasta
There are now all kinds of different pastas available to eat and they come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. They can be divided up into long and short pastas but that's when the simpleness ends.
The most common types include spaghetti, tortellini, linguini and penne. These can be short spiralled designs or ribbon-cut such as lasagne and bavette. Other, more exciting, types of pasta include the ravioli and tortelloni designs.
These are commonly used for 'filled pasta' dishes. Filled pasta sees the pasta being stuffed with meaty or vegetable ingredients - or a mixture of the two.
Along with all shapes and sizes, there are also plenty of different dishes. Most dishes are accompanied with a sauce, with some recipes including added meat or vegetables. Commonly pasta is served with a tomato-based sauce or the egg-based white carbonara sauce.
Popular meats that you can add to your pasta dishes include sausage, meatballs and mince. There are now so many different dishes that can be created with a pasta base. Some of the examples given on the BBC Food website include Beer Mac 'n' Cheese, Samphire & Lemony Salmon Linguine and Roasted squash, shallot, spinach and ricotta pasta.
Visit the BBC Food website to see more pasta dishes.
Enjoy World Pasta Day in peace
We hope that you will be celebrating World Pasta Day at home by cooking a delicious pasta-based meal. To ensure that you can eat your meals with the peace of mind that help will be available should anything bad happen please take a look at our personal alarm systems today.
For more information feel free to give our friendly team a call on 0800 999 0400. A member of the team will be more than happy to help with any questions that you may have about our life-saving service.