Friday, April 8, 2011

History of Pasta

While searching for my Paula Deen Recipe Diary, I found my Culinary notebook from my freshman year. I was reading through everything and came across some History of Pasta notes. I decided to share because I thought everyone could use a little food history lesson.

400 B.C.- Pasta dates back to the Etruscans
Pasta making was a day long, labor intensive process.
Royalty ate pasta stuffed with meat and cheese (sounds like ravioli!).
Thomas Jefferson was a HUGE fan of pasta and made it known.
In 1848, the National Pasta Association (NPA) was established in
America by the Zeregas family.
In 1890, Franco American made canned spaghetti.
In 1930, spaghetti and meatballs was considered a main course.

There's some interesting facts to let you chew on. I was deciding whether or not to give the recipe to my yummy fantastic spaghetti that everyone drools over, or a homemade noodle, and alfredo recipe. I opted with the second. The alfredo sauce that I will be sharing is one I learned in my culinary class, but with a few minor changes of my own (*). The astrix let's you know that I added that ingredient so if you choose, you can make it the original, or my way.

Fantastic Alfredo Sauce

4 tbsp butter

1 C. heavy cream

1/4 C. Parmesan cheese

1 egg yolk

Pinch of nutmeg

2 cloves. garlic (peeled and diced)*

1/4 tsp. oregano*

1/2 tsp. salt*


1. Melt the butter in a sauce pan.

2. Add heavy cream and stir until light and fluffy and the sauce starts to thicken slightly.
3. Add the Parmesan cheese one tablespoon at a time.

4. Take sauce pan off the stove. In a small bowl, rapidly whisk together egg yolk, nutmeg, garlic, salt, oregano, and about 2 tablespoons of the hot white sauce.

5. Then whisk the Parmesan mixture into the sauce mixture and cook until yolk is cooked.

6. Top your homemade noodles.

Now for the homemade noodles. This is a basic noodle recipe I learned as a child. I remember dad making chicken noodle and dumpling soup... Not the best thing I've ever eaten, but I always loved the noodles.


2 C. Flour

1 large egg

2 tbsp. Oil (whichever you have access to)

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4-1/2 C. water approx.


(You'll need a CLEAN counter top for this recipe!)

1. Measure flour, and place on the counter in a heap.

2. Make a "well" in the center.
3. In a bowl, crack the egg, and whisk together with the salt, oil, and water (only use 1/4C. water at a time)
4. Add the egg mixture to the well in the flour. Mix with hands (add more water if needs to be softened).

5. Knead dough for 10 minutes, if dough gets sticky, add a little four while kneading. It should be shiny and elasticky.
6. Roll the dough out until it is thin. Cut noodles very thin (with a knife or a pizza cutter) and drop into a pot of boiling water. Pasta will float when it is cooked. Around 7 minutes.

7. Strain noodles and pour alfredo over pasta!

8. Enjoy!!!

So there you have it, homemade Alfredo and Pasta! Now I shall be off to find my Paula Deen Recipe Diary... There's only so many recipes of my own I can share off the top of my head. And while I am thinking about it, I hate dry cake. I know, "What does that have anything to do with pasta or Paula Deen?" Well, nothing actually. It was just a thought that popped into my head. NEVER make a dry cake again!

Here's how; So when using a cake mix from a box, add 1 package of Jell-O pudding mix (whatever flavor you want), and add half of the milk called for. If it calls for 1 cup of milk per box, add 1/2 cup of milk. Still add the water, oil, and eggs the mix calls for. It will make it dense, and super moist :) There is no additional baking time needed. So there you have it, a dinner recipe and a dessert tip!

Feel free to send me recipes to try or perfect. I will add them to my blog so be careful if you don't want me to unleash the secrets of your great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandmother's chunky corn bread. Check back often to see what else I'm cookin' up!

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