Pasta is an Italian food made from a dough of ground durum wheat and water. Pasta is Italian for dough.
The dough is hand stretched, rolled flat or extruded into a variety of shapes and cooked.
It can be dried and then rehydrated by boiling in water. Dried pastas are just wheat and water. Fresh pastas have eggs in them.
Common wheat is used for bread. Durum wheat is used for pasta.
Little Italy in Downtown Manhattan has several old shops that sell fresh pasta. Some New York City kitchens make the pasta fresh right before they serve it.
Types of Pasta
There are so many different kinds of pasta. The names are based on shape. The most common are spaghetti strings. But there are also linguini ribbons, ravioli pillows, flat or ruffled lasagna sheets, tortellini belly buttons, conchiglie shells, and rigatoni or cannelloni tubes.
Each variation offers different relationships with sauce and accompaniments.
Did Marco Polo bring noodles from China?
The legend that Marco Polo brought pasta from China is just a good story. China has many styles of noodles. Some are also made from wheat dough, especially in northern China.
National Pasta Day
The U.S. celebration is October 17.
World Pasta Day
The global celebration is October 25.