Pasta: A Staple of Italian Culinary History
What immediately comes to mind when you think of Italian food? It’s pasta, of course! Americans love it, and they eat an estimated twenty pounds of it per person, per year. Although it is a staple food throughout Italy, noodle variations have long been a popular dish in many ancient cultures across Europe and Asia.
One of the earliest accounts of something like modern Italian pasta dates back to writings from the first century AD. This Roman noodle was made from similar durum wheat used in modern recipes. It was called “lagane”, which might be the origin of the modern word for lasagna. Unlike today’s boiled varieties, “lagane" noodles were baked in an oven.
Many Different Shapes for Many Different Sauces
Have you thought about how many distinctive shapes of pasta exist? There is so much more variety than spaghetti served with tomato sauce. In fact, there are an estimated 300 different shapes and varieties! All those different shapes have a purpose other than just being pretty. Different shapes hold different sauces more effectively. A good “rule” is that thinner, simpler shapes are better with lighter, thinner sauces, and wider, heavier noodles are best for hearty, meatier sauces.
Italian Pasta Malloreddus: A True Sardinian Specialty
Pasta Malloreddus is a distinctively Sardinian pasta. It is a staple of the Sardinian kitchen! Italian pasta malloreddus is a short, tubular, ridged noodle. It is good with hearty meat sauces, or simply tossed with extra virgin olive oil and grated Sardinian bottarga. Because the hollow curve and little ridges grab sauce and seasonings so well, each bite of Italian pasta malloreddus is filled with flavor! When you are using an ingredient with such a unique flavor as Sardinian bottarga, you want to make sure the taste shines through with each bite!
Pasta Malloreddus is a part of romantic Sardinian folklore. On her wedding night, a Sardinian bride would parade through her village, wearing silver jewelry and carrying a tray of home made malloreddus to her new husband’s home. After the crowd of well wishers that accompanied the bride has dispersed, the newlyweds sit down to eat the delicious food together from the same plate. Please try our recipe for “Italian Pasta Malloreddus with Ricotta and Bottarga” for a rich, and perhaps romantic, dinner. We have more recipes in our cookbook, “Sweet Myrtle and Bitter Honey” that use these, and other fine Sardinian ingredients. We hope you will use them to create authentic Sardinian recipes for your family to enjoy.