Pasta and dumplings

Pasta and dumplings

By
Paola Gavin
Contains
15 recipes
Published by
Quadrille Publishing
ISBN
9781787130425
Photographer
Mowie Kay

‘If there is food for three, there is food for four ’ JUDEO-SPANISH PROVERB

The origins of pasta are unclear. Itria or lagani (strips of dough made with flour and water) were made by the ancient Greeks and Romans, but it is not known whether they were boiled in water like pasta. Arabic texts of the tenth century mention itriyeh (ribbons of dried dough), and later medieval manuscripts referred to ribbons of fresh pasta called rishteh, meaning ‘strings’. Certainly Jews have been preparing pasta in the Rhineland since the fourteenth century, when it was probably introduced by Jewish merchants from Italy. Early names of pasta were frimzeli, grimseli and vermesel, all of which derive from the Italian vermicelli, whereas the Yiddish name lokschen derives from the Persian lakhshah. Lokschen is usually cut into long thin ribbons, but on occasion it can sometimes be grated into small pellets – in which case it is called farfel.

It is thought that dumplings most likely evolved in di„fferent peasant cuisines around the world, born out of the same need to extend the calorifi…c value of a dish as economically as possible. Dumplings have long been a staple across Central and Eastern Europe. They can be plain or stu„ffed, sweet or savoury, and are usually made of bread, potatoes or grains. Ukrainian pampushki, a relative of Polish kartoffel klischkes, are usually made of a mixture of grated and mashed potatoes, stu„ffed with curd cheese and shallow fried. Italian Jews, of course, make a wide variety of gnocchi from potatoes, semolina or from a mixture of spinach and ricotta.

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