Precursor to Spaghetti - The First Pasta Meals

Spaghetti at the Table

Ever since Sicilian cooks managed to invent Spaghetti, they inadvertently changed fashion of the modern diet. Quickly becoming one of the most famous Italian meals (rivaled only by the mighty Pizza), it exited the borders of the Mediterranean and became one of the most popular light meals in the world, with hundreds of variations that are daily eaten by hundreds of millions of people.

Journey of spaghetti started long time ago with the arrival of the first pasta meals in Sicily. There are several possible ways pasta managed to arrive there, with most probable way being via military conquest of Sicily by Arabs in 7th century AD (others two being ancient Roman recipes for the visually similar food, but with drastically different recipe ingredients, some Ancient Greek recipes that were used in 1st-4th century AD, and even possibly brought to the Italy by the Marco Polo from Asia). Arab’s precursor to pasta however was called itriyya, and is the most probable origin of the modern pasta. After several centuries, newly created Sicilian meal called spaghetti started circulating beyond the borders of that little island, and many other pasta meals started becoming popular on the Italian mainland. Arrival of the Age of Sail and nautical exploration of the world additionally popularized pasta meals, because of its ability to be easily dried and stored for long periods of time.

In 16th and 17th century, spaghetti was a commonplace meal in Sicily and Italy, supported by a organized manufacturing industry that soon started expanding its reach beyond the Mediterranean. Worldwide adoption of spaghetti however managed to be achieved only in 20th century, after two world wars introduced many international soldiers to the European cuisine and the advancement of refrigeration enabled prolonged shelf life of pastries. These factors finally enabled that today spaghetti can be found in every country in the world, and the extremely easy recipe for preparing pre-made spaghetti means that everyone can prepare great meal for themselves with only 15 minutes of cooking pasta in boiling water. Just add ketchup, and your meal is done!

Thin Spaghetti
Classic Spaghetti Bolognese