Here at Garden of Esther, we are making an effort to share your favorite pasta recipes as well as provide some of our own, so that you are never at a loss regarding what to do with your pasta.
But sometimes when you do research on the internet, you stumble upon some weird and fascinating information. Today we are sharing with you some recipes for pasta that we are actively recommending you NOT try.
Back in the 1500s, the chef for the Pope outdid himself when he created a ravioli dish filled with a paste made of boiled pork belly, cow udders, roast pork, Parmesan cheese, fresh cheese, sugar, herbs, spices, and raisins. Alas, nowadays you might be hard-pressed to procure any cow udder, even from your local butcher.
Did you know that once upon a time pasta was sometimes a member of the dessert family? That same chef for the Pope also served macaroni that had been boiled for half an hour (?!!), then strained and covered with grated cheese, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and mozzarella cheese. (Thank you for bringing these two recipes to light, National Geographic!)
According to an article from The Atlantic, in ye olden days in Italy, like today, pasta dough required kneading. But in the 1400s, a common method of kneading the dough was to have men do it - with their feet. Garden of Esther is thrilled to proclaim that we do NOT use men's feet - or anyone's feet - to knead our fresh pasta.
Speaking of body parts, apparently it used to be common to eat spaghetti with your hands. There are many works of art depicting Italian street scenes with people scooping up handfuls of noodles and tilting their heads backwards to consume them. Thank goodness this was before meatballs were the popular companion of spaghetti.
Now before you start thinking, "Well, Esther, that was hundreds of years ago. Times were different," you should know that the next recipe comes from a cookbook published in 1968. Even if you weren't alive yet, your parents almost certainly were.
We give you - Asparagus Macaroni Loaf! Why be content with a basic macaroni and cheese recipe when you can add asparagus and pimentos and bake it into a slice-able brick in a loaf pan . . . and then top it with a sauce made with cream of celery soup? (Giving someone credit for republishing this is a dubious honor, but our thanks for this go to Robin Wheeler at the now defunct Puppy Mom blog).
There is no limit to the number of ways you can prepare fresh pasta, but a glimpse into history makes us wonder if there should be. We hope you are now inspired to try a new pasta recipe tonight . . . just not any of these. Buon appetito!