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Pasta-Hndout-art - 6/28/15


"Pasta Handout" by Lady Dawn Schadue.


NOTE: See also the files: pasta-msg, pasta-gnocchi-msg, pasta-stufed-msg, fd-Italy-msg, dumplings-msg, frittours-msg, grains-msg, rissoles-msg.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org



Pasta Handout

by Lady Dawn Schadue

(from a Class in Shire of Nahrun Kabirun, Outlands, February 12, 2015)


Portion of a banquet scene from a tomb in Tarquinia, 4th century, scholars say the unusual-shaped food depicted is pasta.


Basic Recipe


1 1/2 cups semolina flour + more for dusting

3/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp water

2 tbsp oil


What is Semolina?


Semolina is usually made from durham wheat, the high gluten, low moisture content makes it great for pasta dough. Semolina is made from middlings which is the middle process between meal (course) and flour (very fine). Boiled semolina turns into a porrage.


History of use


Although we have written history of pasta from a Roman collection of recipes called Apicius (1), a surviving manuscript dates to the 9th century (may have been compiled in the late 4th century), there has been evidence to date pasta to Greek 1st century. There are also wall frescos in graves from the Etruscan civilization (ancient Italy encompassing the areas of Tuscany- it's namesake, western Umbria, and northern Lazio) from the 4th century that depict tools and kitchen utensils used to form pasta .


Vermicelli has been referenced to in 3rd Century Palestine (itrium) and pasta and noodles (usually made of rice flour) were known in Chinese(Shang dynasty-1700-1100 BC), Indian, Mongol, Persian, and Arabic cuisine by the 9th century as well. An arabic term for dried pasta was itriyah, in the 10th century, Al Idrisi noted in 1150 that Arabic peoples travelled with dried pasta. There is reference to pasta in Sicily in 1153.


Jewish people and Catherine de Medici are credited with introducing pasta to Germany and Northern France in the 12th century. In the 13th century we know that Spain had been introduced thanks to the Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century (2). The 14th century produced a book called the Forme of Cury which includes makrounds and losyns (mac and cheese and lasagna-minus red sauce)(3).


Making pasta, an illustration from the 15th century edition of Tacuinum Sanitatis, a Latin translation of the Arabic work Taqwim al-sihha by Ibn Butlan.


How it came to be


As a relative of bread, it came to be baked in an oven, fried, boiled, and finally dried for exportation. Medieval times had the pasta boiled in a broth rather than water, and served with cheese melting on top, butter, and sweet spice mixtures such as poudre douce (keep in mind honey was more prominent than sugar), seasoning was usually sweet rather than herbal.


Pasta filled with meat, vegetable, herbs, or cheese was also very common (and many times still sweetened with honey and douce). Pasta was cooked, additions made or layered, and served, not reheated, cheese and butter were allowed to melt on the hot pasta instead. One exception of  a reheating instruction was from the 14th Century - Ravieles, from Two Anglo-Norman Culinary Collections, after more cheese was added (5).


Shapes of things


Lagana, lagani, laganon, or laganum is a Greek and Roman precursor to lasagna. Sheets of flat pasta with herbs mixed into the dough were fried, in other accounts the sheets of pasta were layered with herbs and baked (4). German bakers assisted in shaping pasta in the 13th century (noodles, swords, stars), along with the Etruscan's and their descendants. In 1279 Ponzio Baestone left a small basket of macaroni to a special recipient. There are about 500 shapes and sizes. Made in different regions, each is best for different types of sauces and ingredients as carriers (6).


Woodblock of pasta-making, Bartolomeo Scappi, 1570




1- http://www.gutenberg.org/files/29728/29728-h/29728-h.htm


Apicius: A Critical Edition with an Introduction and an English Translaton. Ed. and trans. Christopher Grocock and Sally Grainger, Prospect Books, 2006. ISBN 1-903018-13-7 [Latin and English]


2- http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Andalusian/andalusian10.htm


A Miscellany by David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012. ISBN 978-1463789329


3- http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/foc/


The Forme of Cury: A Roll of Ancient English Cookery Compiled by Samuel Pegge, Forgotten Books, 2008.  ISBN 978-1606209608


4- https://sites.google.com/site/newwritersinkpublishing/sicilian-food---part-1


Athenaeus in Banquet of the learned, 2nd century text which summarizes a recipe from The art of the baker, from the Greek Chrysippus of Tyana from the 1st century.


5- http://www.medievalcookery.com/notes/royal12cxii.txt


Two Anglo-Norman Culinary Collections Edited from British Library Manuscripts Additional 32085 and Royal 12.C.xii. by Constance B. Hieatt and Robin F. Jones, Speculum vol. 61, issue 4 , 1986


6- http://pastafits.org/pasta-dictionary/?gclid=CKOriuPKlMMCFYRFaQodNaMAVA


Encyclopedia of Pasta by California Studies in Food and Culture, University of California Press,  2009. ISBN 978-0520255227


7- Help with timelines:



8- Other neat information noted here:




Copyright 2015 by Dawn Fulmer. 13450 Solana Road SE, Deming, NM 88030.  <desertdawn at gmail.com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited.  Addresses change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author is notified of the publication and if possible receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, please place a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org