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Kitchen Geekery :: Food :: Fifteen facts about pasta

Kitchen Geekery :: Food :: Fifteen facts about pasta.

  1. The word ‘Pasta’ came from the word paste which means a combination of wheat and flour.
  2. The Chinese are on record as having eaten pasta as early as 5,000 B.C.
  3. Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing macaroni to the United States; he fell in love with a dish he sampled in Naples.
  4. Cooked al dente (al-DEN-tay) literally means “to the tooth,” which is how to test pasta to see if it is properly cooked. The pasta should be a bit firm, offering some resistance to the tooth, but tender.
  5. There are over 600 varieties of Pasta in Italy; each designed for a specific kind of sauce.
  6. Sophia Loren once said “Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti”.
  7. A 230g serving of spaghetti is 345 calories, adding 2 tablespoons of olive oil adds another 200 calories to it.
  8. The Spanish explorer Cortez brought tomatoes back to Europe from Mexico in 1519. Almost 200 years passed before spaghetti with tomato sauce made its way into Italian kitchens.
  9. In Italian vermicelli and linguine translates to “Little worms” and “little tongues” respectively.
  10. Pasta contains six of major eight amino acids required by our body to make a healthy diet.
  11. Colored pasta: (Pastas are coloured using tomatoes and red beet for red; spinach and basil for green; brown mushrooms for brown; saffron for yellow; squid ink for black.
  12. Flat pastas are for cream sauces, whereas tomato based sauces cling better to round pastas.
  13. The first documented recipe for pasta is from around the year 1000, in the book “De arte Coquinaria per vermicelli e macaroni siciliani”, (The Art of Cooking Sicilian Macaroni and Vermicelli) written by Martino Corno, chef to the powerful Patriarch of Aquileia.
  14. It is believed that the Sicilian word “maccaruni” which translates as “made into a dough by force” is the origin of the word macaroni. In the ancient methods of making pasta, force meant kneading the dough with the feet – a process which could take up to a day.
  15. In 1740, the city of Venice issued Paolo Adami a license to open the first pasta factory. The machinery was simple enough. It consisted of an iron press, powered by several young boys.
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