Pasta is one of my favourite foods; it is so versatile, and there are so many types of dishes that can be made from it, that you could have pasta everyday and not get bored.
I might not get bored eating it, but making it is another matter. Without a pasta maker it was a long arduous process. Instead of going for simple lasagne sheets, I decided to make life difficult on myself by making penne. I usually enjoy cooking, but I was there for hours making the shapes and, in the end, got so bored that I stopped three quarters of the way through and ended up making very thick tagliatelle to speed things up. I buy pasta from the shop now.
3. Microwave the rest of the vegetable for 10mins on high (I only have a 650W microwave, so you might not need as long)
5. Cook the pasta in boiling water and simmer for 10 mins
6. Drain the pasta, stir in the vegetables and creme fraiche, and add 200ml of the drained water
7. Sprinkle the basil and parsley on top
Did You Know?
The origins of pasta go as far back as the 2nd century B.C.E. It is not the same as pasta is today, but there is a recipe describing sheets of dough made from wheat flour and lettuce juice. Instead of being boiled, it was deep fried in oil. The dish was called 'lagna', thus the name lasagna. The first recipe was found in a 5th century cookbook and described meat being placed in between sheets of pasta. At first lasagna referred to all pasta, but as pasta started to take on more complex shapes, lasagna became just known for the flat sheeted tomato and cheese based dish that we are all familiar with.
Pasta is traditionally made with durum wheat semolina because of its high gluten levels. Using ordinary flour can result in a mushy or slimy pasta. In Italy, it is actually a law that dried pasta has to be made with durum wheat semolina.
There was once a myth that Marco Polo discovered pasta in China and brought it to Italy, but this was later proven wrong as evidence has shown the Etruscans already had utensils for pasta.
Pasta was popular in the 14th and 15th Century because it could be stored. Back then pasta was eaten plain and dry with your fingers. It was not until 1790 that a recipe for tomato pasta sauce was first made.
Italians do not mix meat with pasta; they have meat separately as a side dish, and meals like spaghetti and meatballs are an American invention.