***For the Love of PASTA***

We all love pasta, it's become an American staple, but where did it originate?

"Pasta's origin continues to evoke speculation. While many different cultures ate some sort of noodle-like food, composed mostly of grain, the key characteristics of pasta are durum wheat semolina, with a high gluten content.

In North Africa, a food similar to pasta, known as couscous, has been eaten for centuries. However, it lacks the distinguishing malleable nature of what is now referred to as pasta, couscous being more akin to droplets of dough. In China, noodles of millet or rice have been eaten for centuries, but lack the durum wheat semolina paste that denotes pasta.

Historians have noted several lexical milestones relevant to pasta, none which change these basic characteristics. For example, the works of the 2nd century AD Greek physician Galen mention itrion, homogeneous compounds made up of flour and water.  The Jerusalem Talmud records that itrium, a kind of boiled dough, was common in Palestine from the 3rd to 5th centuries AD,  A dictionary compiled by the 9th century Syrian physician and lexicographer Isho bar Ali defines itriyya, the Arabic cognate, as string-like shapes made of semolina and dried before cooking. The geographical text of Muhammad al-Idrisi, compiled for the Norman King of Sicily Roger II in 1154 mentions itriyya manufactured and exported from Norman Sicily:

Itriyya gives rise to trie in Italian, signifying long strips such as tagliatelle and trenette. One form of itriyya with a long history is laganum (plural lagana), which in Latin refers to a thin sheet of dough, and gives rise to Italian "lasagna".

In the 1st century BC writings of Horace, lagana were fine sheets of dough which were fried and were an everyday food. Writing in the 2nd century Athenaeus of Naucratis provides a recipe for lagana which he attributes to the 1st century Chrysippus of Tyana: sheets of dough made of wheat flour and the juice of crushed lettuce, then flavored with spices and deep-fried in oil. An early 5th century cookbook describes a dish called lagana that consisted of layers of dough with meat stuffing, a possible ancestor of modern-day Lasagna. But the method of cooking these sheets of dough does not correspond to our modern definition of either a fresh or dry pasta product. The first concrete information concerning pasta products in Italy dates from the thirteenth or fourteenth century.  The name (λαγάνα, lagána) survives in modern-day Greece to denote an unleavened, flat bread eaten during the Great Lent. The term "lagana" is also used in the Southern region of Calabria, where it indicates a flat noodle."

Read More Here:

Let's Share Our Pasta Recipes in This Discussion
I'm sure that we'll have a bunch of interesting & delicious recipes to pick and choose from here....

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1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1 onion (chopped)
2 cloves (chopped)
1 tablespoon capers (rinsed and chopped)
1 handful black olives (pitted and chopped)
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound spaghetti
1 handful parsley (chopped)
1 handful pecorino romano (grated, optional)

1. Heat the oil in a pan.
2. Add the chili pepper flakes and saute for 1 minute.
3. Add the onion and sauted until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and anchovies and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
5. Add the capers, olives, tomatoes, salt and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes.
6. Cook the spaghetti.
7. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the parsley.
7. Plate the spaghetti and top with puttanesca sauce and garnish with pecorino romano.
Posted by T/A member Nick Noe on May 10, 2010

Yugoslavian Spaghetti

from Sonja Fitz - Berkeley, CA, USA

Bonacich family recipe!

* 1 large can crushed tomatoes
* 1 8 oz. can tomato paste
* 1 med. can tomato sauce
* 1 med. onion, chopped
* 5 cloves garlic, crushed
* 1 heaping tsp. each: allspice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg
* salt & pepper to taste
* 3 whole prunes

Put everything together in large pot and simmer at least 2 hours.

Remove prunes (what's left of them, anyway) and pour over favorite pasta.
My wife and I like to make a vegan Afredo sauce. In a blender we assemble
1 can of White Navy beans
1/2 cup of Lecithin granuales from soy
8 cloves of garlic minced and roasted
2 T of organic cooking oil.
1 T Italian herbs
salt to taste.

Blend till light and smooth. You can add a little water if mixture is too thick. Gently heat in a sauce pan while stirring. Pour over your favorite pasta or vegies.
Asparagus and Herb Lasagna

Published: June 25, 2010

This is a great do-ahead meal for a dinner party. The lasagna takes a little time, but it’s actually very simple and keeps very well for a day or two in the refrigerator before you bake it.

2 large garlic cloves, peeled


2 pounds asparagus

1 recipe olive oil béchamel

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, chervil, parsley, chives, basil, arugula

1/2 pound no-boil lasagna noodles

1. Fill a pasta pot with water, and add the garlic cloves. Bring to a boil while you trim the asparagus by breaking off the woody ends. When the water comes to a boil, add salt to taste and the asparagus ends. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover partially and simmer the asparagus ends for 30 minutes. Remove the asparagus ends and the garlic cloves from the water and discard. Bring the water back to a boil, and add the asparagus stalks. Boil thick asparagus stalks for five minutes, medium and thin stalks for three minutes. Transfer them, using a spider or tongs, to a bowl of ice water. Do not drain the cooking water. Allow the asparagus to cool for a few minutes, then drain and dry on a clean kitchen towel. If the asparagus stalks are thick, cut in half lengthwise first, then cut the asparagus (thick or thin) into 1-inch lengths. Set aside.

2. Whisk 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the cooking water from the asparagus into the béchamel, along with 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and the herbs. Add freshly ground pepper to taste and adjust salt.

3. Oil or butter a 3-quart baking dish or lasagna dish. Bring the water back to a rolling boil, and drop in enough lasagna noodles to cover the surface of the baking dish (for my rectangular dish, that’s three lasagna noodles). Boil just until the pasta is flexible (about three minutes for no-boil lasagna). Using tongs, transfer the pasta to a bowl of cold water, then drain on a clean dish towel.

4. Spread a very thin layer of béchamel over the bottom of the dish. Cover with a layer of pasta. Stir the asparagus into the remaining béchamel, and spread a layer over the noodles. Sprinkle on 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Parboil another layer’s worth of pasta, and top with the asparagus béchamel, then with another 2 tablespoons of Parmesan. Repeat with one more layer. End with a layer of pasta, and if you have any béchamel left, spread it over the top and sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan. Cover tightly with plastic if storing in the refrigerator.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the lasagna, and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbling. Uncover, and continue to bake until the top just begins to color, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to sit five to 10 minutes, and serve.

: Serves six.

Advance preparation:
You can make this up to a day or two before you bake it. Don’t drizzle on the last tablespoon of olive oil until you’re ready to bake. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate. Remove the plastic, and replace with foil before baking.

Nutritional information
per serving: 305 calories; 9 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 15 milligrams cholesterol; 40 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 212 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during cooking); 16 grams protein

Whatever, Moses. This is a REAL miracle!

I use it just like real cheese to make mac n' cheese with broccoli. 


Amounts are approximate- I don't cook with recipes...


2-3 cups unsweetened soy milk

1 package Diaya cheese- comes in 3 flavors, so it's up to you

to taste:

  garlic salt

  regular salt


1-2 tbl cornstarch

How ever much broccoli you want...


Steam your broccoli


-In a sauce pan, heat up the soymilk for a couple minutes on medium heat

-add the cheese and stir pretty frequently -it shouldn't burn, but stirring helps to mix it evenly

-add your spices

-when it gets hot, like bubbly in the middle, mix the cornstarch and some soy milk separately and pour the mix into the sauce.  Keep it on medium heat until it thickens up- this time you do need to stir frequently or it will glob onto the bottom of the pan.  When the thickness is to your liking, take it off the heat and add your pasta.  ...Did you forget pasta?  ... *sigh* no, whatever... we can have pasta-less pasta...  mix in your broccoli and ouila! just like mom never made! (unless mom was vegan)


enjoy :)


i tried this recently for the 1st time and it is yummy! (not the recipe, this brand) :D
The recipe is good too :)  We have also used it a few times to make pizza and it's awesome.


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