Pasta Facts

Pasta Facts
Pasta is a type of noodle made from flour, and water, and in some cases eggs, formed into various shapes and either dried or cooked fresh. It is estimated that there are at least 600 different pasta shapes and varieties known by more than 1300 different names. The earliest reference to a pasta maker dates back to Greek mythology when Hephaestus invented a device capable of making dough strings. It is believed that pasta was eaten in China as far back as 5,000 BC and Marco Polo brought it to Italy in the 1100s. Others argue that pasta was being eaten in 500 BC in the pre-Roman Etruscan civilization.
Interesting Pasta Facts:
The word 'pasta' was first used in English in 1874. It is derived from the Latin word pasta, which means 'dough, pastry cake'. In Greek the word 'pasta' means 'barley porridge'.
Pasta machines have been in use since the 1600s, when they began to appear in Sanremo. Prior to this pasta was made by hand. Machines made shapes uniform with a more consistent texture and shape.
The use of tomato sauce on pasta did not happen until after the introduction of tomatoes to Italy in 1519. Meatballs were later added after pasta was introduced in the United States.
The first person to introduce pasta to America was Thomas Jefferson. He brought it back in 1789 after a trip to Naples. He was serving as U.S. Ambassador to France at the time.
The three countries known to consume the most pasta are 1) Italy, 2) Venezuela, and 3) Tunisia.
It is estimated that Italians consume enough pasta each year that if it were all spaghetti shape it would wrap around the world 15,000 times if placed end to end.
The three most popular shapes of pasta in the United States are 1) spaghetti, 2) penne, and 3) rotini.
Pasta contains carbohydrates that contribute to making serotonin in the body - the feel good neurotransmitter. Eating pasta can therefore make a person happier.
When cooking linguine or fettuccine a creamy sauce is the best because it clings better to these shapes.
When cooking rotini or fusilli pasta it is best to use a thick chunky sauce which clings better to these shapes.
An April Fool's Day hoax in 1957 convinced millions of British people that spaghetti grew on trees. The documentary showed footage of women harvesting spaghetti noodles from trees. It was fake.
October is National Pasta Month in Italy.
The first factory in the United States to make pasta opened in 1848 in Brooklyn, NY. It was manufactured in a basement and laid on the roof to dry.
Pasta contains carbohydrates and protein. One cup of cooked pasta contains 40 grams of carbs, 200 calories, and almost no fat and salt.
Pasta cooked al dente is still firm but tender. Many people prefer it this way as opposed to cooked until it is very soft.
1.3 million pounds of pasta was sold in the United States in 2000.
The best pasta is made from durum wheat.

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