The Origins of Pasta
The origin of pasta dates back to ancient times. The Etruscans produced a sort of lasagna made with spelt and water, whereas the Romans baked flat bread made with water and flour, without yeast, called làgana ('lasagna' in Italian).
Pasta, as we know it today, has Sicilian origins: a special type of pasta was made there, known in Arab as itryah. In fact, vermicelli di Tria can still be found in modern day Palermo. At the end of the 700's pasta was generically called maccheroni, which included lasagna, extruded pasta, stuffed pasta and other forms.
Therefore, it was not Marco Polo returning from his journey to China who brought pasta to the Western world, nor was it invented by the people of Naples. The people of Naples are credited with making long extruded pasta famous in Naples, Italy and the entire world, and with being the first to serve it with tomato sauce.
In the 1800's Naples and Genoa were the pasta production and export capitals, procuring durum wheat from Puglia and Sicily.
Today Italy is the world leader in pasta production and consumption, and exports approximately 50% of its production.
The global demand for pasta is constantly rising; the healthy content of this staple dish of the Mediterranean diet and its high nutritional value are acquiring more and more markets all over the world.
Today pasta is not only the most loved dish in Italy and the world; it is also considered an unparalleled symbol of Made in Italy.