15 facts about pasta:
- Not only is pasta simple to make and equally delicious, but there are plenty of interesting facts about Italy’s favorite dish right here!
- Pasta is a type of noodle that is used in cooking.
- It is a staple food of most Italian cuisines.
- The first reference to pasta, in a book, was in 1154.
- It is typically made from durum wheat flour.
- Most pasta falls under two categories – it is either dry, or it is fresh.
- There are over 600 types of pasta, and some have over 1300 names.
- The three most popular pastas’ are: penne, spaghetti and macaroni.
- There are many varieties of pasta, such as: long pasta, short pasta, minute pasta, egg pasta, fresh pasta and al forno pasta.
- Fresh egg pasta contains egg, which makes it all the more tender when cooking.
- Pasta can be served in multiple ways. It can be mixed with a sauce or a fresh condiment, it can be stirred into soups or stews, and it can also be baked.
- Fresh pasta is often served with meat, in dishes such as ravioli.
- Dried pasta doubles in size when cooked and is often served with thick hearty sauces.
- The traditional Italian way of cooking pasta is known as ‘al dente’.
- If pasta is cooked properly, it should stick to a wall when it is thrown.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
8 ounces penne pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream, or more, to taste
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
In a gallon size Ziploc bag, add chicken, 1 tablespoon olive oil and cajun seasoning, shaking to coat thoroughly.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a grill pan over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook, flipping once, until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
Gradually whisk in heavy cream and lemon zest. Cook, whisking constantly, until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in Parmesan until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, add more heavy cream as needed; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Stir in pasta and gently toss to combine.
Serve immediately with chicken, garnished with tomatoes and parsley, if desired.