authentic pasta dishes
authentic pasta dishes
authentic pasta dishes

History of Italian Pasta

June 13, 2023

Pasta is an exceptionally popular type of cuisine that most of us have come to know and love. Its various shapes, sizes, and textures make this versatile food an edible staple. Over the decades, there has been much discussion and disagreement regarding its verifiable ancestral background. Russo’s New York Pizzeria offers interesting tidbits concerning the history of Italian pasta.

Russo's Spaghetti and Meatballs

The chronicle of pasta in Italy has undoubtedly been a long-debated topic among people. The infamous myth that Marco Polo brought pasta to the Mediterranean on his travels from China in the 13th century was squashed since it was proven that pasta had roots in Italy long before Marco Polo and his journeys. However, the exact birthplace of pasta is still being studied. 

Some stories claim that a pre-Roman civilization from central Italy called the Etruscans invented pasta. This theory (and it is purely speculation) is due to a tool located in an Etruscan tomb that was thought to be used for making pasta. Other hypotheses believe that true Italian pasta history started approximately in the 8th and 9th centuries, brought by the Arab traders to Sicily. The warm climate inherent to Sicily was perfect for durum wheat, and Italy is still one of the largest manufacturers of durum in the world. This kind of wheat is utilized in the production of semolina flour and thus, pasta.

The history of Italian pasta is surrounded by an aura of mystery but we are positive that pasta existed in Italy during and after the Medieval times. Pasta quickly caught on and became high in demand throughout Italy by people of all economic classes. The pasta was eaten as an efficient source of energy for the less wealthy and the more financially fortunate dressed it up with ingredients like pork belly, cow udders, cinnamon, and raisins. Many of these variations are seen in Sicilian recipes as we know them today. 

While the appeal of pasta grew in leaps and bounds all over Italy, the Neapolitans became its number one fan. And by the 17th century, people from this region were referred to as “mangiamaccheroni,” which means “macaroni eaters” when translated into the English language.

Russo’s New York Pizzeria treats patrons to mouth-watering pasta dishes and additional Italian specialties prepared by Chef Anthony Russo. Appetizers, soups, salads, pizza, calzones, and desserts are some of the dishes found on our expansive menu. We offer a children’s menu so that the whole family can enjoy their meals together. Healthy yet inviting dining options are available to accommodate special dietary needs. Russo’s New York Pizzeria has a multitude of locations for customers to easily frequent. 

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authentic pasta dishes
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