It is National Linguine Day!
This fun holiday, which is observed every year on September 15th, is the perfect time to discover why everyone loves linguine—not to mention ALL pasta.
Pasta—linguine included—ranks as one of the world’s most favorite foods.
Nourishing and easy to prepare, pasta is a magical dish that fills the stomach and the soul.
Let’s learn about linguine and the world of pasta together.
More About Linguine
The word linguine means ‘little tongues’ in Italian.
One of the world’s oldest and simplest kinds of pasta, linguine hails from the Liguria region of Italy, which is situated on the coast.
Linguine is also sometimes called ‘trenette’ or ‘bavette.’
Made from durum semolina flour, it resembles fettuccine in that it is a thin, flat noodle.
Normally measuring between 1/4- to 3/8-inches, linguine is wider than spaghetti but narrower than fettuccine. Because of this, linguine cooks quicker than fettuccine, is more delicate, and is best paired with a lighter sauce.
Traditionally, linguine has been combined with vegetable or seafood sauces. The most popular plant-based linguine dishes are linguine ‘al limone’ (with lemon) and linguine served with pesto (which is a typical Genovese condiment).
The History of Pasta
One of the most enduring myths is that the 13th–century explorer Marco Polo brought pasta to Italy from China.
In his writings, a famous passage mentions a ‘Pasta Tree,’ which was probably the sago palm, a tree that produces a starchy food that resembles pasta.
However, it is doubtful that Marco Polo introduced pasta to Italy.
Most likely, the tree reminded him of his home country where pasta was already being eaten. For example, literature from the 1270s references a Genoan soldier who owned a basket of ‘macaronis.’
According to historians, the popularity of pasta probably took hold in Italy during the Middle Ages. Starting in the 13th century, references to a variety of pasta dishes (e.g., vermicelli, gnocchi, macaroni, and ravioli) frequently appeared across Italy.
By the late 17th century in Naples, pasta was the main staple of the Neapolitan diet.
The primary reason for pasta’s dramatic spread in the 17th and 18th centuries was the invention of industrial pasta-making machines.
Over time, the sauces and flavorings used with pasta changed considerably. Sweet was replaced by savory, and vegetables were more frequently added, which meant that pasta evolved into a more nutritionally-complete meal.
When a massive influx of Italians came to the United States in the early 20th century, their beloved pasta came with them and captured the hearts of the nation.
As the 20th century progressed, Americans fell even more in love with pasta. An increasingly common sight on kitchen tables and restaurant menus, pasta even played a leading role in classic films like the Marx Brothers’ Night at the Opera (1935), Disney’s Lady and the Tramp (1955), and Goodfellas (1990).
The best way to celebrate National Linguine Day is to prepare a delicious linguine dish for friends and family.
To help you out, here is our plant-based recipe for Linguine With Vodka Cream Sauce.