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Encyclopedia of Pasta

Encyclopedia of Pasta

ORETTA ZANINI DE VITA
TRANSLATED BY MAUREEN B. FANT
WITH A FOREWORD BY CAROL FIELD
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: 1
Pages: 400
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt7zw5c8
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  • Book Info
    Encyclopedia of Pasta
    Book Description:

    Spaghetti, gnocchi, tagliatellea, ravioli, vincisgrassi, strascinati-pasta in its myriad forms has been a staple of the Mediterranean diet longer than bread. This beautiful volume is the first book to provide a complete history of pasta in Italy, telling its long story via the extravagant variety of shapes it takes and the even greater abundance of names by which it is known. Food scholar Oretta Zanini De Vita traveled to every corner of her native Italy, recording oral histories, delving into long-forgotten family cookbooks, and searching obscure archives to produce this rich and uniquely personal compendium of historical and geographical information. For each entry she includes the primary ingredients, preparation techniques, variant names, and the locality where it is made and eaten. Along the way, Zanini De Vita debunks such culinary myths as Marco Polo's supposed role in pasta's story even as she serves up a feast of new information.Encyclopedia of Pasta,illustrated throughout with original drawings by Luciana Marini, will be the standard reference on one of the world's favorite foods for many years to come, engaging and delighting both general readers and food professionals.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94471-8
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. FOREWORD
    (pp. ix-xii)
    CAROL FIELD

    How long have Italians been eating pasta? Some report the depiction of pasta-making tools in Etruscan tombs. Others argue that the Roman poet Horace was the first to write about pasta with his mention oflaganum, a possible ancestor of today’slasagna. Scholars long ago exploded the myth that Marco Polo brought pasta to Italy from China, observing that Sicilians were eating homemade pasta long before he was born. They were most likely referring tobusiata, an early form ofspaghettimade by rolling dough around a reed or blade of grass that was then swiftly pulled out, leaving a...

  4. PREFACE TO THE ENGLISH-LANGUAGE EDITION
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
    ORETTA ZANINI DE VITA
  5. TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE
    (pp. xvii-xxii)
    MAUREEN B. FANT
  6. VOYAGE IN THE PASTA UNIVERSE: The Reasons for This Research
    (pp. 1-12)
    ORETTA ZANINI DE VITA

    Pasta may be the unchallenged symbol of Italian food, yet no in-depth research has ever been done on its many shapes. Recent cookery texts are stuck mainly on the nobler stuffed pastas, with little attention to their form, and recipes nowadays almost always call for factory-made pasta. One small exception is Luigi Sada and his 1982Spaghetti e compagni,¹ where he talks about the shapes of homemade pasta in Puglia, his home region. A century earlier, the work of the Sicilian ethnologist Giuseppe Pitré² repeats the names given in Perez’s 1870Vocabolario siciliano-italiano.³ These, however, refer in particular to the...

  7. INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST ITALIAN EDITION
    (pp. 13-24)
    CORRADO BARBERIS

    In the beginning was thegnocco. Our ancestors learned that by adding water to flour and subjecting the mixture to intense pressure, the resulting mass could yield both what we call pasta and what we call bread. The difference was only in the addition of a little yeast or salt. The mother of all the pastas is thus represented by an enormousgnocco. If allowed to ferment, it begins to become bread dough. If not, it can be worked into fresh noodles and dried. Or it can be formed into the truegnocchiof our gastronomic treatises. German best expresses...

  8. TRADITIONAL ITALIAN PASTA SHAPES A TO Z
    (pp. 25-318)

    Ingredients: Durum-wheat flour, water, and salt.

    How made: The flour is sifted onto a wooden board and kneaded for a long time with water and a pinch of salt. When the dough is firm and smooth, it is rubbed with oil and left to rest. It is then rolled into a sheet about ⅟16 inch (2 mm) thick, which is wrapped around a rolling pin and cut lengthwise into two strips, each about 1½ inches (4 cm) wide, depending on the diameter of the rolling pin. One strip is placed on top of the other, and together they are cut...

  9. GLOSSARY
    (pp. 319-324)
  10. NOTES
    (pp. 325-336)
  11. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 337-344)
  12. INDEX OF PASTA NAMES
    (pp. 345-358)
  13. GENERAL INDEX
    (pp. 359-374)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 375-376)