The origin of pasta as we know it today, most think is Italian. However, history suggests a couple different ways that it came to be in Italy, most notably when the Arabs conquered Sicily in the 9th century.
As a very cheap and quick source of carbohydrate, dishes made with pasta can easily be manipulated to fit really any dietary need, and produce a well balanced meal. Every region in Italy has their ‘own’ pasta. A type of noodle that they invented that is best suited to ‘carry’ the ingredients or style of sauce from their region. Longer, thinner noodles like linguine or tagliatelle are better meant for thinner, lighter and/ or more ‘oily’ sauces whereas the shorter, heartier noodles like gargati, or rigatoni are meant usually for heartier, chunky sauces.
Pasta has got a bad rap because it apparently makes you fat. It’s unhealthy because it’s processed. It contains gluten which is the downfall of humanity! However, the nutritional breakdown of one ounce (about 1/2 cup, cooked) of pasta is;
20.5 grams of carbohydrate
3.5 grams of protein
1 gram of fat
*relatively good source of iron and B-vitamins
I’m not really sure how that appears to be bad for you. If you don’t have a diagnosed gluten allergy, what’s the issue? Pasta is a source of low-glycemic carbohydrate. And, this “processed food” appears to be rather healthy based on the list above. If you’re an active individual who eats pasta in moderation (just as everything else in your diet) there really is no reason to suggest that it is ‘bad’ for you. If all you eat is pasta, and pounds of it at a time, then yes it would be bad for you. If all you eat is kale (the latest super-food craze, and one of the “healthiest” foods on the planet) you will likely become malnourished and die of starvation. Funny how that works…
Eating healthy is about practicing moderation and knowing what foods provide you with the appropriate nutrition for your needs. Over-consuming anything, whether it is considered healthy or not, will turn out to be unhealthy.