The History of Pasta! There is no documentation of it coming from or being invented by any one person. We can safely say that Marco Polo was not responsible for pasta being brought from China to Italy. In fact pasta was well on it’s way to becoming a big part of Italian food history when Marco Polo returned from his journey in 1296. Pasta had already become a huge trading commodity in Sicily, Cagliari and Sardinia. In fact there is historical documentation and recipes dating back to 800 A.D. that included dried pasta made with durum wheat.
It’s also my regret that pasta was not invented by a peasant woman in Lombardi by the name of Libista. Many a wife’s tale claim she invented ravioli and lasagna. Stuffed pasta very closely resembling the shape of ravioli can be traced all the way back to the 11th century Arab world. As Italy adopted these delicacies, stuffed pastas were as little as bite-sized cakes (Tortellini means little cakes) and typically fried.
So what is the history of pasta and how did it get to Italy? Ultimately it is a combined effort of both human intelligence, creativity and evolution. Marco Polo and the peasant woman had nothing to do with the invention pasta. Cute stories though.
Historians also say that spaghetti was not native to the Mediterranean but originated in Arabic countries and even Africa which is known for Kamut crops used to make kamut pasta and a pasta shape that originated in Africa that was renamed Fregola. Greeks had their share in the history of pasta and if you’ve ever gone to Greece, Italy’s brother of the Mediterranean (una faccia, una razza) you’ll find pasta is a main source of food in recipes such as pastitsio and orzo dishes. China with their asian style noodles also made with rice flour and the Middle Eastern countries serving pasta with pine nuts and a yogurt style sauce typically served with meat. All of them sounding, looking and tasting delicious in their own right, they served a combined effort of the many countries and cultures bringing pasta to all of us around the globe.