Pasta is what defines Italian cuisine and Italians do get very upset when people claim their culinary pride as of Chinese origin. But when you do go back into history, it is also said that there were flat noodles being made in China, which go far as back of 3,000 years ago. Which they believe that’s what contributed into the creation of pasta, which leads to the idea that Marco Polo was the one who has brought pasta to Italy from his 13th century travels through China. But at the same time, people say that Italians have been eating something that was a stringy, floury paste long before even Marco Polo brought pasta back to Italy. And how did pasta eventually travel to the United States? Thomas Jefferson introduced pasta to the U.S. after returning from his late 18th century stay in Europe as a minister to France. Photo from thenibble.com
So there are different stories and perspectives of how pasta was created and by whom, as well as people having their own stories and thoughts as to where it was first introduced. Then there are different ways that it was being used in dishes, whether it may be sweet or savory.
Little do people know, pasta was once used to make sweet dishes, which some people actually still re-create to this day. Italian, Indian and Jewish cuisines actually have traditional dessert pastas, which were a dessert with vermicelli, mixed fruits, nuts and sweetened condensed milk. During the Renaissance, a lot of Italian pasta sauces were mainly created with sugar and honey, which is called pasticcio! Now a day, people make noodles layered with chocolate and fruits that has been sweetened with sugar.
Photo from judithgreenwood.com
Which brings us to savory pastas, which we are all more familiar with and probably have tried once before. It is created with different pastas, sauces, vegetables and meat. Which brings me to the dish I am going to re-create: baked ziti. Baked ziti is basically pasta tossed in sauce and cheese and thrown into a baking dish to put in the oven to bake, which makes the top so crunchy and yummy.
Baked ziti is supposedly an Americanized version of lasagna, it is definitely an easier way of making lasagna, which can be tedious since you have to put the noodle, sauce, cheese and keep layering. But all in all, the origin of pasta is still up in the air because history is so easily arguable and people want to think what ever they want to believe.
photo from redbookmag.com
photo from canyoustayfordinner.com