Cooler days are here and it's the time for richer, more substantial foods to help us keep the chill at bay. Here's a selection of Winter Pasta recipes, some easy and some more intricate - that I especially like.
Although it's been around for thousands of years, the origins of Pasta are about as tangled as a bunch of linguine tossed on a plate. The oldest known pasta or noodle-like food originated in China and was made out of foxtail millet. And then there was the romantic tale that it was Marco Polo who brought back the first pasta to Italy on his return from China. Some think though that pasta was introduced during the Arab conquests of Sicily, as it's been documented in the Jerusalem Talmud that Arabs had been boiling noodles since the 5th century AD. Some historians think the Sicilian word "maccaruni" which translates as "made into a dough by force" is the origin of our word, macaroni. Anyone who has kneaded durum wheat knows that force is definitely necessary! Of course, many cultures have their own variations of pasta such as, Couscous from North Africa and Rice Noodles from China, etc.
Pasta has been the pride and glory of Italian cuisine for centuries and many will give the Italian's credit for the invention of sauces. Thank you to all the Italians and Europeans who emigrated and brought their lovely pasta with them. It's such a comforting food and fits wonderfully into our lifestyles and makes such a perfect dinner on a chilly day.