The earliest written record of noodles made from wheat is from a book dated to the Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD).
In 2002, archaeologists found an earthenware bowl containing world's oldest known noodles made from millet flour, about 4000 years old, at the Lajia archaeological site along the Yellow River in China.
There is archaeological evidence suggesting the Etruscans made pasta as early as 400 B.C.
Proof that Marco Polo didn't discover pasta in China is found in a will penned in the year 1279 by Ponzio Baestone, a Genoan soldier who referenced "bariscella peina de macarone" (a small basket of macaroni). This will was written 16 years before Marco Polo returned from China.
Pasta came first... tomatoes were introduced in Italy in the 16th century but were not paired with pasta until the 18th century.
Thomas Jefferson was credited for bringing the first macaroni machine to America in 1789 after falling in love with macaroni in Naples.
The average person in Italy eats more than 51 pounds of pasta every year, while the average person in North America eats only 15 pounds of pasta every year.
Top-quality pasta in Italy is made from durum wheatflour, which is grown in North Dakota.
The United States with a population of over 320 million people produces 1.9 million tons of pasta annually; Italy has about 60 million people and produces 2.75 million tons of pasta annually.
In Singapore, noodles are called "meat".
There are approximately 1500 different pasta shapes worldwide, with perhaps 5 times the number of names for each pasta shape, depending on region.
The most popular shapes of pasta in the U.S. are spaghetti, penne and rotini.
There are two types of pasta: Fresh and dried. The fresh type is typically made with eggs, but can also be made with just water or olive oil and is used immediately or can be frozen for later use.
Dry pasta is made using water, and since it contains no eggs can be stored for very long periods of time--often years. Historically, before refrigeration, dry pasta was considered a long storage food.
A little known fact is that even pasta made with eggs, if dried completely, and kept in low humidity environment, can be stored for long periods of time.
100% whole wheat pasta contains more fiber which causes it to be digested slower than regular pasta, causing a measurably higher calorie intake.
In the 1300s, Pope Benedict XII set strict quality standards for pasta.
The word pasta means "paste" in Italian, referring to the paste of water and flour created when making pasta.
The longest single strand of pasta measured 12,388 ft, 5 in and was achieved by Lawson Inc. in Tokyo , Japan, on 20 October 2010.
The worlds record for the most pasta consumed was broken by Matt Stonie, of hot-dog eating fame. He consumed 10 pounds in 8 minutes.
The first American pasta factory was opened in Brooklyn, New York, in 1848, by Antoine Zerega. He used a horse to power his machinery and dried the pasta on the roof.
One cup of cooked spaghetti contains 200 calories, 40 grams of carbs, and less than one gram of total fat. There is no cholesterol in pasta.
To cook 1 pound of pasta, you should boil 1 gallon of water. Most Americans don't use enough water when cooking pasta.
To cook one billion pounds of pasta, you would need over two billion gallons of water--enough to fill 75,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.
In Italy, meat is not served in pasta recipes but is served as a separate course of the meal.
Pasta isn't always cream colored: spinach makes it green, red pasta uses tomato, gray pasta uses squid ink, orange pasta can contain carrots or pumkin, and so on.