AN ITALIAN LOVE AFFAIR
Pasta is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine, said to be first mentioned in 1154 in Sicily. Typically, pasta is made from an unleavened dough of a durum wheat flour mixed with water or eggs and formed into sheets or various shapes, then cooked by boiling or baking. It can also be made with flour from other cereals or grains.
Pastas may be divided into two broad categories, dried (pasta secca) and fresh (pasta fresca). Most dried pasta is commercially produced via an extrusion process. Fresh pasta was traditionally produced by hand, sometimes with the aid of simple machines, but today many varieties of fresh pasta are also commercially produced by large-scale machines, and the products are widely available in supermarkets. A staple food of the Western World, there are numerous ways to cook with the diverse range of pasta varieties.