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Default Italian food before pasta and tomatoes

In article >,
> wrote:
>On Wednesday, September 11, 1996 at 12:00:00 AM UTC-7, David Tallan wrote:
>> Ian Menzies ) wrote:
>> : I have also heard that the tomatoe was native to the Americas and was
>> : introduced to Europe after 1492. What was served on pasta before
>> : tomatoes arrived? Lots of pesto? Cream sauces?

For Italy in particular, there are some 14th and 15th century MS with some
pasta recipes. Libro per Cuoco has an herb,cheese, and egg filled ravioli,
for example, served topped with more cheese.

Barbara Santich, in 'The Original Mediterranean Cuisine' points out that
the term 'pasta' is late, but the food stuff was known since the fifth
century by the Greek term ittria, and may have been an orzo type. It was
commercially availble by the 14th century in Italy. She notes
that the standard way of cooking was in stock, or in water with salt
and some sort of lipid. Usually served with grated cheese, and sometimes

In Medieval English cuisine, there are also some pasta-type dishes.
There is a lasagne precursor called (with various spellings) 'losyns' which is
thin flour dough, layered with broth and cheese. There's a recipe in the
14th c. English recipe collection family usually called 'Forme of Cury' for
this. There's another recipe in the same collection called 'Makerouns' which
is for another fresh pasta dish, with cheese and butter.

Jeff Berry - - food, musings, etc.
"I don't need TV when I got T-Rex" - Mott the Hoople