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Pasta is often synonymous with traditional Italian cuisine, and brings with it generations of history. Flavoured with unrivalled quality and a sprinkling of passion, there’s a distinctly Italian difference when cooking with authentic products, always resulting in a delicious experience. Discover how pasta became firmly rooted in Italy’s culinary identity.
The history of Italian pasta dates back to the ancient Etrusco-Romans, who made a noodle called lagane. It was rediscovered when Asian noodles made their way to the Mediterranean but Italians refined the production process by replacing rice with a key ingredient: durum wheat semolina.
Over the course of the eighteenth century, the pasta industry flourished in Naples, primarily due to the fact that the surrounding region of Campania had the ideal soil and weather conditions to cultivate durum wheat.
Durum wheat pasta is celebrated for its long shelf life, affordability and versatility. Although Italians had been enjoying pasta for centuries, it wasn’t until the early 1500s that tomato-based sauces emerged. The Mediterranean climate and diet allowed for culinary experimentation with fresh herbs and vegetables, which in turn led to the vast array of pasta dishes that have resulted in international popularity.
However, it is important to note that to stay true to authentic, Italian culinary tradition, one must pair ingredients with pasta shapes carefully: A general rule of thumb is to combine hearty ingredients (meat, cream or hearty cheeses) with thicker pasta like penne, fettuccine, tagliatelle or rigatoni, and reserve more refined pasta (spaghetti, vermicelli and fusilli) for subtle ingredients like pesto and simple herbs.
Regardless of one’s ingredients of choice, Italian pasta-lovers often transform their favourite dishes with a healthy drizzle of Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil just before serving.