The very first commercial pasta plant within the U.S. was founded in 1948 in Brooklyn, New York. Many more plants were build over the next few years that the manufacturers and retailers decided create the National Pasta Association. This way they could pool their resources and help each other with issues in marketing and manufacturing. The NPA was founded in 1981.
But noodles got their start much, much earlier than that. In the 4th century B.C., pasta was eaten by the Chinese and was even mentioned in Greek Mythology. There are two notable figures who have been credited with the introduction of pasta. Marco Polo, who brought noodles from Asia to the Western world, and Thomas Jefferson, who brought the first “maccaroni” maker to America n 1789 and later invented a pasta machine of his own.
There are literally more than fifty different kinds of noodles — that’s more than enough to try a different noodle each week of the year! My favorites include Farfalle (also known as bow-tie) and Fettucini. What are yours? Here are some to choose from:
So, let the pasta fun begin. Pasta and noodles (which is the German word for pasta) are quite versatile — you can serve them almost anyway you wish. I once used small noodles as a substitute for hash browns when I made chorizo and eggs! Another favorite noodle dish is one I learned from The Spaghetti Factory — spaghetti tossed with burned butter and mizithra cheese. Mmmm, yummy.
In honor of Noodle Month, all this month’s posts will be about pasta. So come back next week when I talk about Italy and Pasta.