Pasta - The Food Of Princes And Paupers

  • Added:
    Nov 13, 2012
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Pasta is one of the most popular food staples in the world. Although we think of it as quintessentially Italian there is some evidence that in fact Marco Polo brought the idea of noodles from China to Italy. Pasta is now part and parcel of many people's everyday cooking and eating in countries throughout the world.

Pasta is made from flour and water, sometimes with the addition of egg. Commercially it's usually dried, and then re-hydrated by boiling in hot salted water. Fresh pasta is also made in many homes, and can be bought commercially in larger towns and cities. There is a certain snob value in fresh pasta, but most expert cooks actually prefer to use dried pasta.
Pasta comes in a bewildering variety of shapes, from delicate angels' hair to chunky cannelloni. It can be flavored with vegetables such as spinach and tomato, and black pasta flavored with squid ink is both unusual to look at and very tasty.

Of course, pasta must come with its sauces, and purists will match the variety of pasta to certain kinds of sauce. Hearty, meaty sauces tend to be matched with spaghetti, creamy sauces with linguine, and chunky sauces with shell or bow shaped pasta.

The most successful pasta dishes are often the simplest. Spaghetti Putanesca (whore's spaghetti) is made from chopped parsley, garlic, anchovies, tomato, olive oil and olives, and was said to be favored by working girls as it was cheap and quick to make. If you just have some good vegetables, steam them lightly and serve over pasta with a dribble of good olive oil and a few generous shavings of fresh Parmesan for a quick, nourishing, and relatively low calorie dinner. If you're really hard up, a bowl of pasta served just with chopped lightly sauteed garlic, parsley and olive oil is delicious comfort food.
The silken texture of cooked pasta, its mild and homely flavor, it's ease and speed of cooking, its affordability, and its capability of being be dressed up in prince or pauper style, make it one of the most versatile and useful items in our kitchen store cupboard.

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Virginia Montgomery is a stay at home mom who enjoys writing articles for Interesting Articles.

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