Saturday, June 28, 2003

Pasta History

Pasta is bread. It is just unleavened bread cooked in boiling water. That's it. The bread can be fresh or dried, made from a variety of flours/starches/beans, with a variety of ingredients added to it.

Italy has elevated pasta to an art form, but pasta is native to various cuisines. The Chinese had it by the first century AD--and noodle shops were all the rage by the Sung dynasty (960-1280). Japan was making pasta squares, then switched to ribbon shapes in the 12th century Then, too, people in India and the Middle East were making them by 1200.

In the 18th century, entrepreneurs in Naples, Italy, began mass production by machine--and it virtually killed the fresh/home made pasta inductry.


Arrowroot vermicelli (made from arrowroot starch)--thinly cut ribbons
Cellophane noodles (made from mung bean starch)--ribbons cut in different widths, also known as "bean thread noodles)
Korean sweet potato vermicelli (made from sweet potato and mung bean starch
Rice noodles (made from rice flour)--cut into different sizes and shapes, including rice sticks and fine rice vermicelli (good for soup)--
Vietnamese Pho noodles (made from rice flour).
Japanese soba (made from buckwheat flour)--ribbon pasta, brownish-grey in color
Japanese soma (made from wheat flour)--thin pasta, like angel hair, and cream colored
Japanese udon (made from wheat flour)--cream colored pasta
Chinese wheat noodles--light yellow in color and cut into different thicknesses.


Spatzle--made from wheat flour, homemade soft noodles

3. ITALIAN (almost always made from durum semolina wheat flour)

Acini di peppe (peppercorns)--tiny balls
Agnoletti (priests' caps)--small stuffed crescents
Anellini--tiny pasta rings
Bavettine--narrow linguine
Bucatini--hollow strands
Cannaroni--wide tubes (also, zitoni)
Cannelloni (large reeds or pipes)--round stuffed tubes
Capelli d'Angelo (angel hair)--long, fine strands (also, capellini)
Capelveneri--very thin noodles
Cappelletti (little hats)--stuffed hats
Cavatappi--short, thin, spiral macaroni
Cavatelli--short, narrow, ripple-edge shells
Conchiglie (conch shells)--shells (also, maruzze)
Coralli--tiny tubes, generally used in soup
Ditali (thimbles)--small macaroni
Ditalini--smaller ditali
Elbow macaroni--small to medium tubes
Farfalle (butterflies)--little bows
Farfallini--smaller farfalle
Farfallone--bigger farfalle
Fedelini (little faithful ones)--very fine spaghetti
Fettucce (ribbons)--flat wide egg noodles, about 1/2-inch
Fettuccelle--flat narrow egg noodles, about 1/8-inch
Fettuccini--flat medium egg noodles, about 1/4-inch
Fideo--thin, coiled strands that unwind in cooking into vermicelli
Fusilli (little springs)--spiral-shaped noodles
Gemelli (twins)--short 1 and 1/2-inch twists
Gnocchi--small, ripple-edge shells
Lasagne--long, broad (2-3 inches) noodles, straight or ripple-edge
linguine (little tongues)--narrow, long ribbons
Lumache (snails)--large, stuffed shells
Maccheroni--all types, sizes, and shapes of macaroni
Mafalde--broad, fat, ripple-edge noodles
Magliette (links)--short, curved tubes
Manicotti (little muffs)--very large stuffed tubes
Margherite (daisies)--narrow flat noodles with one rippled side
Maruzze (seashells)--any size of shells, from tiny to jumbo
Mezzani--very short curved tubes
Mostacciioli (little moustaches)--2-inch tubes
Occhi di lapo (wolves' eyes)
Orecchiette (little ears)--tiny disk shapes
Orzo--rice-shaped grains
Pappardelle--wide noodles with rippled sides
Pastina (tiny dough)--little bits used in soups
Penne (pens or quills)--diagonally cut tubes, smooth or ridged sides
Perciatelli--thin, hollow pasta strands (like bucatini)
Pezzoccheri--thick, buckwheat noodles
Quadrettini--small flat squares
Radiatore (little radiators)--thick rippled boxes
Ravioli--stuffed squares
Rigatoni--big, ridged macaroni
Riso--rice-shaped grains (like orzo)
Rotelle (little wheels)--small, spoked wheels
Rotini--short spirals
Ruote de carro (cartwheels)--spoked wheels
Semi di melone (melon seeds)--tiny, flat seed shapes
Spaghetti--long, thin, round strands
Spaghettini--thin spaghetti
Stiraletti (little boots)
Stricchelli (bows or butterflies)
Tagliarini--long paperthin ribbons (also tagliolini)
Tagliatelle--long, thin, flat egg noodles, about 1/4-inch wide
Tortellini (little twists)--small stuffed bows
Tortelloni--big tortellini
Trenette--narrow, thick tagliatelle
Tripolini--small bow ties with round edges
Tubetti (little tubes)--tiny, hollow tubes
Vermicelli (little worms)--extra thin spaghetti
Ziti (bridegrooms)--slightly curved tubes, from 2-12 inches long


Post a Comment

<< Home