The history of PASTA, from the Etruscans to Dez AMORE 

April 27, 2023
written by: Veronica Eredi

PASTA, a universally known word, it’s the heart of Italian cuisine and of Dez AMORE’s menu. The word pasta is an abbreviation of the Italian word ‘pastasciutta’ which stands for the first course, king of the gastronomic tradition of the Bel Paese. Any alimentary pasta cooked in boiling, salted water. And then seasoned with various kinds of sauces or simply with butter and oil, as Italian home cooking suggests.  

What the word PASTA means 

The word pasta comes from Latin, which derives from an ancient Greek word. And it means ‘flour mixed with water and salt’. 

photo 2023 04 24 11 41 58 - Dez Amore

When was pasta invented?

Pasta has been around since ancient times in both China and Italy. However, in different ways, using different raw materials and different processing techniques. So, who invented it? China or Italy, who invented pasta? Pasta, made of wheat flour and water and sometimes eggs, like the one we produce and cook at Dez AMORE, was already widespread in Southern Italy at the time of Magna Graecia and in Central and Western Italy at the time of the Etruscan civilisation. In the tomb of Grotta Bella, in Cerveteri, dating back to the 4th century B.C., a number of reliefs were found depicting tools for making fresh handmade pasta: a pastry board, rolling pin and cutting wheel. The same ones that are still used in Dez Amore’s handmade pasta laboratory. Among classical authors, Cicero, Aristophanes and Horace mention pasta. 

Where pasta originated?

The origins of pasta are, therefore, very ancient. It was widespread during the Magna Graecia and the Etruscan civilisation, as mentioned above. But its origins go back even further: to the Neolithic age. At that time, man began to cultivate cereals and soon learnt how to grind them, knead them with water and cook them. In ancient times, pasta was widespread in many areas of the Mediterranean basin. But Italy is the country that has elected it as its favourite and leading food since the early Middle Ages. Italy produced it in large quantities and exported it. During the Middle Ages, the first perforated pastas were born, especially in the centre-south of the Italian peninsula. Thus, in addition to spaghetti, various types of pasta spread: such as rigatoni, maccheroni, penne and bucatini. In the North, the first filled pastas were born. Like Dez AMORE’s ravioli. And in the Centre of Italy, fresh egg pasta began to be produced. Do you know our tagliatelle? At the time, the first botteghe for the production of fresh and dry pasta were born.

Fresh and handmade pasta, an extravagant but popular food 

The spread of Italian pasta to European courts during the 16th century astonished nobles and rulers. The Spanish, French and Austrians considered pasta ‘an original delicacy, an Italian extravaganza, a delicacy for the rich, a niche food for the elite’. Instead, pasta was and is a thoroughly democratic food. Popular. Pasta was popular among the people and the lower classes of the population. It was a food that was eaten every day and was not eaten in Italian courts. Except in Modern Times.

Pasta Fresca - Dez Amore