There are few things that say Italy like its food, and pasta is probably one of the best-known dishes from the Italian cuisine. Pasta has become a trademark for Italians; thousands of them have emigrated out of Italy over the years and the have brought pasta with them to every country they have landed on.
The history of pasta is not that clear for historians. Some claim it was brought by Marco Polo from China as early as the 8th century. However some text mention “lagane” an early version of “lasagna” as the origin of pasta. The differences are clear from the current one to the old version which was served raw and without tomatoes sauce, but this early dish became a staple in Sicily and spread through the continent where wheat plantation thrived.
Tomatoes were introduced into Europe shortly after the Europeans colonizers arrived in the Americas and were enthralled by the variety of new flavors. The Italian cookers at the time did not adopt the newly found ingredient into their cuisine just tight away. Rumors of tomatoes being poisonous kept most people away from it. When this unstained fear vanished around 1800 the Italian cuisine adopted tomatoes giving birth to the modern pasta, the first pasta recipe to include tomatoes was documented in 1839.
Today there are more than 300 types of dried pasta. The variety of shapes is overwhelming without counting regional differences. Following the Italian law, pasta should content 100% Triticum durum semolina flour and water. This practice is now utilized by all the best manufacturers in the world.
When buying and eating pasta always go for a reputable source that uses 100% semolina. If it looks heavy with a nice color and texture from the outside, it is probably a good purchase.