The sublimely gorgeous Sophia Loren once said “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti” and if it’s good enough for Sophia then it’s good enough for us mere mortals.
Pasta is delicious, comforting and nourishing. It is also incredibly versatile and comes in over 350 different shapes and sizes to use in soups, stews, salads and of course pasta dishes. From the thinnest angel hair pasta to a meat-filled ravioli drenched in a tasty sauce and smothered in parmesan cheese. Yum.
Marketing Manager for The Travel Corporation, Lieria Boshoff, details some of the interesting facts about pasta and where in Italy you can travel with Insight Vacations to make some of your own.
“Before we had machines to do the hard work all pasta was essentially kneaded by foot,” says Lieria, “and factory workers would walk over batches of dough to knead it.” Sometimes it took a full day’s walking to make a single batch.
Different pastas have different purposes. Compact or short-cut pasta shapes like penne, cavatappi, farfalle and fusilli hold much more sauce than spaghetti because they are hollow. “These types of pasta are very versatile and work well in salads, soups and pasta dishes,” adds Lieria, “and they play nicely with any type of sauce.”
Long thin pasta such as angel hair and spaghetti are perfect when paired with light sauces that coat the strands while the flat noodles – think fettuccine, linguine and tagliatelle – are best paired with rich, creamy sauces. The rule of thumb is the heartier the sauce the wider the noodle.
“Let’s not forget the raviolis, tortellinis and cannelloni’s of the world. These beauty’s come ready-stuffed with a filling of vegetables or meat, or you can stuff them with whatever your pasta-loving heart desires.”
The origins of pasta may or may not be in Italy but one thing is for sure – they are the world leaders when it comes to making this delightful flour and water concoction. In 2019 Italy was responsible for nearly 30% of the world’s pasta exports, and each Italian eats 26 kilograms of the stuff every year. That’s a lot of pasta.
World Pasta Day is coming up on 25 October and what better way to celebrate than to take a trip to the spiritual home of pasta with Insight Vacations?
The 9-day Country Roads of Umbria and Tuscany is a magical journey through two of Italy’s most famous regions and on this trip you will meet Etruscan Chef Lorenzo Polegri in Orvieto. Lorenzo shares his virtuoso cooking skills and love of Italian food with you, making you a delicious pasta fresca, combined with the local staples of olive oil, cheese, prosciutto and focaccia,. Wash it all down with a chilled glass of Orvieto Classico wine.
If you would like to see how real Italian pasta is made by a real-life Italian nonna then the 14-day Country Roads of Southern Italy and Sicily is for you. On day six of your journey when in Alberobello you’ll meet Alessandro, the founder of Trattoria Terra Madre who will share his philosophy of using organic, seasonal produce which he grows himself. Then Nonna will make you orecchiette pasta before serving you a sensational four-course Farm-To-Table dinner.