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Pasta is one of the earliest culinary inventions and dates back as far as the second century BC. Italy and pasta may seem synonymous, however pasta-making traditions have been traced in countries other than Italy, such as China, Mongolia, Greece, Spain, Israel, and Russia. It was commonly thought that Marco Polo brought the art of Pasta making to the Italy after his travels in China. However, it is now recognised that he was already familiar with pasta before travelling to China as it was first made by the Etruscans in central Italy in 500 BC.
Regardless of its origin, pasta is now as worldwide favourite. Not only is it nutritious, it is cheap and extremely versatile too. For those with a busy lifestyle, pasta made from durum wheat which contains protein and carbohydrates, is a great energy provider and takes just a few minutes to cook.

It is a good idea to always have s supply of dried pasta, such as rigatoni, spaghetti or perhaps fusilli in your cupboard, as it can be cooked quickly and added to pasta sauce for a tasty meal. Alternatively you can buy fresh pasta from your local market, because it is available everywhere. However be careful when you are going to buy fresh pasta. It could be more expensive then the dried alternatively and is usually not any better. In fact fresh pasta contains lower levels of protein than dried pasta and can be less absorbent and starchier.

There are many as 200 different types of pasta to choose from, in various shapes and sizes, and all can be combines with fish, meat poultry, vegetables, herbs or even fruit to create delicious appetising meals.