A short history of pasta

Unlike other Italian foods like Pizza and tomato sauce - staples of every Italian restaurant which have a fairly recent history - pasta has a much older history, going back hundreds if not thousands of years.

The myth as it that the Venetian merchant Marco Polo brought pasta back pasta China. Although Marco Polo have done many amazing things on his journey, bringing pasta to Italy was not one of them, as it was already there in Marco Polo's time.

There is evidence of an Etrusco-Roman noodle made from the same durum wheat as modern pasta, called "lagane". However this was different than pasta as it was not boiled, but oven cooked instead.
The next leap in the history of pasta would take place a few centuries later, when the Arab invasions of the 8th century introduced a dried noodle-like product to Sicily.

This early pasta was an ideal staple for Sicily and it easily spread to the mainland since durum wheat thrives in Italy's climate. By the 1300's dried pasta was very popular for its nutrition and long shelf life, making it ideal for long ship voyages.

However the next big advancement in the history of pasta would not come until the 19th century when pasta met tomatoes. And now this wonderful dish is found in every Italian Restaurant in Edinburgh!

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