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It may have been the Arabs who introduced pasta to Italian cooking. The first record of pasta was found in a 5th century AD document. It is believed to have traveled to Italy during the Sicilian conquests by the Arabs and was carried as dry pasta.
Although many of us have heard that Marco Polo had brought pasta to Italian cooking from his travels to China, this is not actually true. Before Marco Polo had returned from China, a document of a man's estate listed a basket of dried pasta. However, the Chinese were known to have a form of noodles that were not made from durum wheat.
Today, we think of pasta in Italian cooking as noodle dish topped with tomato sauce. Though this idea has come to be a standard idea of Italian cooking, tomatoes were not available in Italy when pasta first appeared.
For many years and until the trip to the new world, tomatoes were not even in existence as far as Italian cooking. Pasta was eaten dry as a sort of snack. In fact, after the inclusion of tomato sauce, pasta eaters were now forced to use a fork. This may have been responsible for refining the manners of commoners.
In the end, it doesn't matter where the idea of past came from. Pasta is now a natural part of Italian cooking. Just as pasta was meant to be paired with tomatoes, it was meant for Italy. The climate was just right for growing the wheat and pasta rapidly found a place in Italian cooking.
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