~ Here are some fun facts about pasta in honor of National Pasta Day! ~
- Americans consume 6 billion pounds of pasta each year and produces 4.4. billion pounds annually
- It is an ancient food, dating back to 1154 in Sicily
- Dried and Fresh pasta come in a variety of shapes, with 310 specific forms known by over 1300 names. In Italy, the names of specific shapes or types varies depending on which area you are in.
-By 2011 Italy was the largest pasta producer, followed by the United States and Brazil.
- Italy is also the world’s largest exporter of pasta, having exported 1.7 million tons of pasta in 2007.
- Thomas Jefferson introduced pasta to the Americas after he ate it in Naples, Italy when he was the American Ambassador to France. In 1789, he brought home a pasta machine and crates of macaroni.
- In 2013, an Italian restaurant in Manhattan celebrated 25 years of business by creating a $2,000 plate of pasta.
Some Classic Pastas:
~ Spaghetti Carbonara - This dish is based on eggs, cheese, bacon, and black pepper. Spaghetti is usually used as the pasta, however, fettuccine, rigatoni, linguine orbucatini can also be used. The dish was created in the middle of the 20th century.
~ Ciceri e Tria – Dish originating from Arabs who once ruled in Apulia, this dish is prepared with pasta and chickpeas as primary ingredients, and includes fried pasta.
~ Fettuccine Alfredo – The term is a synonym for pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese (Italian: pasta al burro e parmigiano), one of the oldest and simplest ways to prepare pasta.
~ Rigatoni con la Pajata – A classic dish of the Roman Cuisine. Pajata is the term for the intestines of an “un-weaned” calf, i.e., only fed on its mother’s milk. The intestines are cleaned and skinned, but the chyme is left inside. Then the intestine is cut in pieces 20 – 25 cm long, which are bound together with white thread, forming rings. When cooked, the combination of heat and the enzyme rennet in the intestines coagulates the chyme and creates a sort of thick, creamy, cheese-like sauce. These rings can be served simply seasoned and grilled or in the traditional Roman dish in which pajata is stewed in a typical tomato sauce and served with rigatoni.
~ Lasagne – wide, flat pasta shape, and possibly one of the oldest types of pasta. The word also refers to a dish made with several layers of lasagne sheets alternated with sauces and various other ingredients.
~ Bucatini – Also known as perciatelli, is a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center. The name comes from Italian: buco, meaning “hole”, while bucato means “pierced”.
~ Ravioli - Traditional type of Italian cuisine, composed of a filling sealed between two layers of thin egg pasta dough and are served either in broth or with a pasta sauce.