Pasta is one of those kitchen staples that has so many applications, it is impossible to list the myriad of dishes in this short column.

The word ‘pasta’ literally translates into ‘paste’. While the concept of a malleable dough, shaped and cooked is widely accepted as originating in Italy, it truly is a global phenomenon these days—and universally enjoyed. According to the Encyclopedia of Pasta, there are 310 specific forms of pasta with over 1,300 documented names. One particular ‘shape’ (cavetelli) has 28 different names depending on the town or region in which it is made!

With all that said, making pasta is pretty easy. Freshly made pasta right out of the pot with a little butter or olive oil and some fresh herbs is a dish fit for the finest of tables.