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pasta,

generic name for thin pieces of hardened, unleavened dough that are molded into various shapes and boiled, not baked. Pasta is commonly associated with Italian cuisine, though similar wheat flour and rice flour pastas, usually called noodles, have been known in Asia for a long time (remains of millet flour noodles dating to c.2000 B.C. have been found in China). Pasta is believed to have been introduced into Europe during the Mongol invasions in the 13th cent. The basic ingredient of Italian-style pasta is semolina, a durum wheat flour, which is moistened with water, kneaded to a smooth dough, and rolled out and cut or formed into various shapes, such as ribbons, tubes, or disks; they may be twisted or ribbed. Thin strands are known as spaghetti (Italian for "little strings") and very thin as vermicelli ("little worms"). Pasta may contain eggs as well as such flavoring and coloring agents as tomatoes, spinach, and squid ink. In Asia, noodles are a common staple, as in Japan's soba (buckwheat noodles served with a soy dipping sauce), Korea's chilled beef and noodle soup, and China's lo mein (stir-fried wheat noodles paired with a variety of other ingredients) and chow fun (rice noodles). Many other countries have created their own pasta dishes, such as sweet noodle kugel (a Middle-European Jewish dish). Fresh pasta is also served as stuffed dumplings in many countries; the Polish pierogi, kin to Russian piroshki, are filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables. The Chinese serve potstickers, wontons, and many other types of dumplings, and the Italians serve cheese- or meat-stuffed ravioli, tortellini, and other types.

Bibliography

See M. L. and J. D. Scott: The Complete Pasta Book (1988); S. Serventi and F. Sabban, Pasta: The Story of a Universal Food (tr. 2003).

References in periodicals archive ?
Don't use the fresh pastas that are sold in refrigerated cases.
In Thirty Minute Pasta Guiliano Hazan opens with one of cookbook-dom's finest noodle primers offering historical context regional variances a calm debate on the merits of dried and fresh pasta and why certain sauces deserve specific pasta shapes.
The range of pastas is offered in handy individual portions, with sauces available in 3 portion packs.
The brand has recently launched 16 new pasta products (speciality egg pasta range, extended standard pasta range, new quick cook range and larger packs of selected pastas).
For making salads, short pastas are recommended, as longer pastas have a tendency to adhere to themselves when cooling.
Industry leaders like Kraft, Lipton, and Pasta Roni sell pastas with more than 1,000 mg of sodium in each cup.
Given many athletes eat pasta at least five nights of the week, you might think it's a superfood.
Ronzoni[R] Bistro[TM] is the newest offering from the Ronzoni brand, which is leading innovation in the pasta category with such items as Ronzoni Healthy Harvest[R] and Ronzoni Smart Taste[TM] pastas.
00 a pound, alternative pastas can range from about $3.
It may be a venerable supermarket staple, but pasta, in old and new forms alike, still has growth potential.
Many retailers already offer gluten-free and organic pastas on a smaller scale, but they are becoming a mainstay in the store brand lineup," DeMichino says.
Barilla, has launched a range of frozen pastas and sauces into the UK foodservice sector.