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Mar 7, 2011 07:16 AM

How long has dried pasta been around?

My wife just read a recipe (not sure in which cookbook), that was dated to have originated, or been based on a recipe from 1840 which called for dry ziti to be covered with olive oil for 20 minutes, then tomatos and several other ingredients then baked.

Maybe the recipe has just been updated for modern usage, but it led me to wonder how long dried pasta has been around.

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  1. Since at least 1279 according to a quick internet search which notes a Genoese soldier recording a basket of dried pasta.

    1 Reply
      1. Just throwing this out there...

        Many people think dried pasta is a modern way of mass producing fresh pasta. It's not. The two things are very different and one is not meant to be a substitute for the other. Dried pasta has been around for centuries.

        1. I suspect some form of pasta has been around about as long as bread, if not before, since it requires no leavening, but in terms of historical evidence, the concept of "noodles" has been around for millenia.

          I suspect dried pasta became the (relatively) cheap staple food of modern Italy in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, so the approximate date of the recipe you mention would be about right as an early example or precursor of modern recipes.