Many of us enjoy pasta meals as part of our evening dinner routines, but how much do you know about it? It’s incredibly simple to cook, can be paired up with almost any other ingredients and is absolutely delicious. Here are some fascinating facts about Italy’s favourite dish:
Pasta is a variety of noodle used in cooking and is the staple food of the majority of Italian cuisine. The first mention of pasta in history was a reference to the dish in a book dated 1154.
Pasta is normally made out of durum wheat flour and can be either fresh or dry. Amazingly, there are over 600 different varieties of pasta with more than 1,000 names.
The top favourite types of pasta include spaghetti, macaroni and penne. Other varieties include short pasta, long pasta, egg pasta, fresh pasta, minute pasta and al forno pasta. For a softer, more tender pasta, egg pasta that contains egg is the ideal choice.
The beauty of pasta is that it can be served in a huge variety of ways. Whether you mix it with sauce or herbs, stirred into a stew or soup and baked into a delicious pasta bake. It is often served with meat and with meat enveloped inside it, such as ravioli. When pasta is cooked it doubles in size.
To cook pasta in the traditional Italian way, it should be ‘al dente’, which means it remains strong enough to stick to a wall if you threw it!
Pasta also has some roots in Greek mythology. Legend tells of the god Vulcan making a device that produced strings of dough and is believed to be the world’s first reference to a pasta-making machine. These modern-day pasta-makers can now be found in many restaurants and homes around the world.
Pasta was also consumed by the Ancient Romans who used to fry it. The most popular Italian dishes today are spaghetti bolognaise, lasagne and macaroni cheese. If this makes you hungry, why not consider dinner at an Italian Restaurant Dublin like www.toscanarestaurant.ie/ ?
Pasta is a great cupboard staple as it can be kept up to one year when it’s dry. If you cook pasta, you can freeze it, reheat and eat it within 3 months. Uncooked dry pasta can be kept for up to a year.
Did you know that Italians eat more than 60 pounds of pasta each, every year? The nation produces almost 1.5 million tons of pasta every year.
Pasta can be eaten as part of a healthy diet and has many benefits. It is low in calories and contains useful minerals and vitamins. It can be even be given to dogs and cats to aid growth and to help maintain a glossy coat.
There is a National Pasta Association which has members from across the world who enjoy discussing the history of pasta, sharing recipes and generally spreading their love of pasta. They would have had much to celebrate last month, as October is National Pasta Month.