Pasta Recipes

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Pasta Recipes

Thom's Recipe File



Pasta was developed independently in a number of places around the globe (though some anthropologists dispute this).  In each of these places, the local grain was the primary starch in the diet.  Grains are normally consumed as a gruel or grain paste.  Pasta noodles were developed as an alternative to a gruel or bread.  Pasta noodles can be created in places where there is no oven, nor enough fuel to support an oven.  In contrast, bread requires a great investment in time and effort to create.  Any place you can have something dry, you can have pasta noodles.


The earliest known records of noodles in Europe are found on Etruscan tomb decorations from the 4th century BC.  Utensils that are thought to have been used to make pasta were also found in the ruins of 79 AD Pompeii, where other Chinese objects as mirror was found, the silk road was extended to Rome in 30 BC.  Thus we know the popular legend of Marco Polo bringing back pasta to Italy from China is absolutely false - though he certainly may have brought back an assortment of Chinese noodle recipes with him.  Note, however, that Chinese noodles are always used fresh, never dried before industrialization; and they are comprised of one giant noodle mass through the cooking process because it is considered bad luck in China to cut noodles before serving them to eat.  In Italy and France, cooks still made fresh pasta, because fresh pasta tastes far better than dried.


Thomas Jefferson is credited with bringing the first macaroni machine to America in 1789 when he returned home after serving as ambassador to France


What is Pasta?


The English word pasta generally refers to noodles and other food products made from a flour and water paste, often including also egg and salt.  Less frequently, the term macaroni is used for the same products.


Pasta can also denote dishes in which pasta products are the primary ingredient, served with sauce or seasonings.  The word comes from Italian pasta which means basically "paste", and by extension "dough", "pasta", or "pastry" as in "small cake".  As recently as 1918 the English word "paste" was used instead of or alongside the Italian pasta.  Today the word "pasta" is reserved for Italian-style noodles in English-speaking countries, while the word "noodle" has a more general meaning.


Dried Italian-style pasta is made from durum wheat semolina or flour, which gives it a light yellow color.  Asian-style noodles as well as most fresh noodles are made from regular (non-durum) wheat flour.  Some pasta varieties, such as Pizzoccheri, are made from buckwheat flour.


Gnocchi are often listed among pasta dishes, although they are quite different in ingredients (mainly milled potatoes) and mode of preparation.

Pasta is made either by extrusion, where the ingredients are forced through holes in a plate known as a die, or by lamination, in which dough is kneaded, folded, rolled to thickness, then cut by slitters.  Fresh Pasta cooks quickly and has a delicate taste, but spoils quickly due to its high water content.  Dry Pasta generally contains about 7% moisture, which makes it shelf stable for about a year.



4 Cheese Stuffed Shells
Angel Hair with Olive Oil, Garlic and Chili
Baked Angel Hair Spaghetti
Baked Macaroni with Beef and Cheese
Baked Ziti
Beef and Cheese Manicotti
How To Cook Pasta
Lasagna Italian Style
Linguine & Blushing Gorgonzola Cream Sauce
Linguine Alla Emiliana
Linguine Island Fashion
Linguine with White Clam Sauce
Meat Lasagna with Spinach and Goat Cheese
Pasta Alla Aglia
Penne Alla Arrabbiata
Prosciutto Fungi
Salmon with Penne
Sbarro Baked Ziti
Shells Alla Caprese
Slow Cooker Cheesy Spaghetti with Turkey Sausage
Spaghetti Alla Mediterrania
Spaghetti and Beef Casserole
Spaghetti Casserole - Oven
Spaghetti Sauce
Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs
Spaghetti with Artichokes
Spaghetti with Clams
Spaghetti with Mushrooms
Spaghetti with Shrimp
Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce
Thom's Quick Spaghetti with Meat Sauce


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