Which stuffed pasta's name is derived from the old Italian word for "to wrap"?

And the answer: ravioli.  
Photo credit: fugzu

The fillings for ravioli vary by region and season, but they all have a delicious result. Derived from the word riavvolgere—to wrap—mentions of ravioli date back to the 14th century. However, it was not served with a tomato-based sauce until the 16th century when tomatoes were brought to Italy from the newly colonized Americas.

Today, there are over 600 pasta shapes and countless ways to prepare delicious dishes—it’s hard to imagine a world without pasta! Early versions of pasta existed throughout history in nearly every country in the world, yet much of what we know about this carb-heavy guilty pleasure can be attributed to its innovation in Italy. Some say that Marco Polo brought pasta from the east to Italy, but more realistically, the food had been created (in one form or another) far before that, since the simple ingredients of egg, water, and flour made creation easy. The word “pasta” itself is the Italian word for “paste,” referring to the dough used to make it.

By the 13th century, pasta had found a home in Italy. The food was discovered to be extremely shelf-stable, cheap, and versatile in many dishes. And, as an added bonus, the warm Italian climate was perfect for growing vegetables and herbs that could easily be mixed in. From there on, Spanish settlers brought pasta across the ocean to America, where President Thomas Jefferson helped popularize the dish (he just loved it that much!). By the 19th century, the dish was a mainstay in the United States.

Did you know?

Yesterday, October 25, was World Pasta Day! This delightful holiday was established in 1995, when 40 pasta producers from around the world gathered to hold the globe’s first World Pasta Congress (how can I get an invitation to that?). Since then, diners around the world have joined forces each October to pay tribute to one of the most delicious and versatile foods ever created.

Learn more about the history of pasta here.


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