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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.


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 ?
Mix and match regular pasta with whole-wheat pasta and vegetable pasta.
Ingredients (Serves 4) Pasta for four Two chicken breasts (sliced) 100g spinach two egg yolks 100ml single cream 50g grated Parmesan 2tsp olive oil seasoning Method 1.
This suggests that consumers shop the pasta category by shapes.
Consumers want to know where this pasta is coming from.
A cold pasta or pasta which is to be served later can be rinsed with water.
Always cook pasta in a very large pan of salted, boiling water.
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The whole-wheat pasta contained whole-wheat flour and whole eggs.
Leftover lasagna can be chopped and tossed with extra sauce and chopped tomatoes to make a lasagna pasta salad.
We'll provide consumers with knowledge and tools to enjoy pasta meals knowing that the nutritional value is as great as the taste.
Italian pasta is traditionally made from durum wheat semolina, the hardest of all wheat varieties, and a bit higher in protein and gluten content.
PASTAS SAINT: Thomas The Tank Engine Pasta Shapes in tomato sauce, Heinz, 53 cals per 100g.