World Pasta Day

Celebrated on October 25th, World Pasta Day celebrates the versatility of pasta and gives us another opportunity to enjoy tasting the huge assortment of dishes it can create.

When we think of pasta, we instantly associate it with Italy, but pasta can be traced back as far as 1700-1100 BC in China, during the Shang Dynasty. Historians state that they appear to have made a form of pasta from rice flour.

Pasta can also be found in many other cultures and continents including Africa, the Middle East and right back to Ancient Greece in the first millennium BC.

Then you have Marco Polo, who is said to have brought pasta to Europe from his adventures in the Far East, but archaeologists claim that to be untrue, with digs in Italy finding evidence of pasta-making tools, very similar to those still used today, from the Etruscan civilisation.

The Italians only took ownership of pasta in the 14th century when they started to use it as a staple in their diet, with the inhabitants of Rome and Florence leading the way. By the 19th century pasta was available in its dried form and this made its popularity soar.

With this surge in demand, the Italians start to play with pasta, creating new and exciting shapes. Today there are more than 600 varieties of pasta and you’d be hard to find one without an Italian name – hence the easy assumption that pasta originated in Italy.

Now you’ve got the facts, let's enjoy the food. 

To celebrate World Pasta Day, we have chosen the recipe for a classic Greek dish that feels like a cross between Lasagne and Macaroni.

Pasticcio

The dish is made up of three sections

  • Partly boiled pasta in cheese sauce
  • Meat in a tomato-based sauce
  • Creamy béchamel sauce

Recipe

Layer 1

Cook your Macaroni pasta so that it is slightly al dente – this is done so that when the dish is oven baked your pasta doesn’t overcook and turn mushy. Toss the semi-cooked pasta in some Béchamel sauce for an extra cheesy delight

Layer 2

Brown off your ground meat – this can be beef, lamb, pork, or a vegetarian alternative – whichever you prefer.

Add a base of garlic, chopped onions, and cook until golden. Then add some tomato puree and ripe tomatoes, crush them and simmer until the tomatoes turn into a thick sauce.

Layer 3

A Béchamel is simply a white sauce made with butter, flour, and milk. Mix equal parts of butter and flour over a medium heat until it turns thick and pale blonde in colour. Now, slowly whisk in the milk until the mixture becomes evenly blended and no lumps can be found. Once this is achieved, increase the temperature slightly and continue to stir until the sauce becomes a thick and creamy texture. Now you can add in your preferred cheese and some salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Now simply add the three layers to a Pyrex dish and bake in the oven on 200°C for around 30 minutes and then enjoy!

Shopping List

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Ground meat or substitute
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato puree
  • Macaroni pasta
  • Cheese
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nutmeg

Travel for the pasta

  1. Coastal Town Ravello on the Amalfi Coast

    Italy's Cilento Coast

    Explore the historic sites and rolling countryside of the undiscovered Cilento Coast then take time out to unwind in your hotel.

    • 7 nights in a 4-star hotel and 16 meals
    • Many amazing experiences

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  2. THE BAY OF NAPLES

    Pompeii, Sorrento & the Bay of Naples

    Discover the ruins of Pompeii and marvel at Mount Vesuvius from the comfort of your 4-star hotel in the beautiful Bay of Naples.

    • 7 nights in a 4-star hotel and 12 meals
    • Many amazing experiences

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  3. Piazza della Cisterna in San Gimignano, Tuscany
    Best-seller in 2023

    Highlights of Tuscany

    Explore Tuscany's rolling countryside, dotted with olive groves, vineyards and medieval hilltop towns. You'll also visit Pisa, home of the Leaning Tower, and Florence, Italy's 'Art City'.

    • 7 nights in 4-star hotels and 12 meals
    • Many amazing experiences

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  4. church on travel

    Walking in Tuscany

    Rolling countryside and terraced vineyards, mountain scenery and incredible architecture – you'll discover it all on idyllic walks through the landscapes of Tuscany, and learn about the famous Medici dynasty.

    • 7 nights in a 4-star hotel and 15 meals
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  5. Monastiraki in Athens

    Athens, Olympia and the Corinth Coast

    This tour begins in Greece’s capital, Athens, and moves on to Olympia and ancient Delphi for a fascinating glimpse into the past.

    • 7 nights in 3 & 4-star hotels and 11 meals
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