There is a great deal of debate about who invented pasta. Many cultures have at a certain point created some sort of noodle-like food. Some historians believe that the pasta, in the form of rice noodles, was originated in ancient China as early as 1700 B.C. However, many Italians believe this delicious food was invented in ancient Rome around 400 B.C. when they began to make a lasagna-type noodle called “lagane” (a type of lasagna). However, the Romans baked their noodles in an oven, so boiled pasta had yet to be born in Italy. There are experts who believe that the first boiled noodles were prepared in Jerusalem during the 5th century A.C.
Obliviously, there is a lot of polemic regarding the origin of pasta and even its history. Although we don’t know who should be credited for this incredible culinary invention, I know that pasta is mouth-watering, versatile and easy to make. I grew up in São Paulo, Brazil, a city with very strong Italian roots, where exquisite pasta can be found anywhere. I have learned to appreciate pasta from a very early age and I am always excited to try a new pasta dish. Recently, I made a fettucine with anchovy that became one of my new favorite dishes.
Fettucini with Anchovy, Olives & Capers
4 tablespoons of olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3oz of canned anchovy filets
1 cup of olives, pitted and sliced or halved
1 tablespoon of capers, rinsed
10oz of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon of fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh basil, chopped (optional)
10oz of dried fettuccini
2/3 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
Cook pasta according to packaging directions. Drain it and reserve 1 ½ cups of pasta water. Drizzle 1 ½ tablespoon of the olive oil over fettuccini.
Heat remaining olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add garlic and sauté over low heat for about 2 minutes. Add the anchovy and mash them to a pulp with a fork. Stir in olives, tomatoes and capers. Add 1 cup pf pasta water and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes.
Stir in basil and oregano. Add pasta and toss gently. Add remaining pasta water, if desired. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.