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Storia della pasta in dieci piatti. Dai tortellini alla carbonara

Can you even imagine Italy without pasta? It’s a hallmark of the country’s cuisine, and you might imagine that Italian pasta recipes date back to the dawn of time. But food history shows that these dishes actually caught on pretty slowly, with a sudden uptick in popularity only after the middle of the 19th century. Theories about the invention of pasta are still murky, but most agree that it first appeared in the early Middle Ages along the shores of the mediterranean, between the Near East and southern Italy. So it was neither an import from China nor a Greek or Roman invention.

Luca Cesari is a food historian who writes for newspapers including Il Sole 24 Ore.