It was long believed that Marco Polo brought them back to Venice in 1296, from his expedition on the Silk Road. Emblem of Italian gastronomy, pasta is therefore… Chinese? In reality, it is more complex. As the oldest known recipe book attests (a Mesopotamian culinary treatise from 1700 BC), the inhabitants already lived there on pasta concocted with wheat flour and water, crumbled in a boiling liquid.
Dry pasta is said to have been invented by the Arabs, and introduced to Italy during their conquest of Sicily in the 9th century. They are also the ones who probably brought them to China, by colonizing part of the Middle Kingdom – we find traces of this heritage in laghman, the Uyghur pasta of Muslim Chinese.
In this dossier, Time Out focused on pastas with ritale sauce. And what is certain is that Paris is not to be outdone and has had a good number of Italian restaurants for the past decade, from Passerini (anthological Roman trattoria) to Dilia (Tuscan gastronomic den). Overview of our favorites, to fill up on gluten.