A worker hangs pasta to dry in a factory in Italy.
Image: Alfred Eisenstaedt/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Pasta, the most famous staple of Italian cuisine, was first recorded in Sicily in the 12th century, a few centuries after Arab invaders brought a dried, noodle-like dish to the island.
Mainly made with durum wheat and eggs or water, pasta (from the Latin for “dough”) was for many centuries a food reserved for the rich and privileged. It was not until the 18th century that industrialized production made it a cheap staple food for large numbers of Italians.
Soft and pliable pasta dough is shaped into hundreds of different forms, from the simple strands and sheets of spaghetti and lasagne to bowties, seashells, wagon wheels and bicycles. Read more…