How Was Pasta Made in Ancient Times?

Pasta is a staple food in many cultures today, but have you ever wondered how pasta was made in ancient times? Let’s take a journey back in time to explore the origins of this beloved dish.

The Origins of Pasta

The exact origins of pasta are not known, but it is believed to have been first made in China over 4,000 years ago. The Chinese would make a dough from grain flour and water, which they would then shape into noodles and dry in the sun. These noodles were easy to store and transport, making them a popular food among travelers and traders.

Ancient Roman Pasta

Pasta made its way to ancient Rome through trade routes, and the Romans quickly adopted it as their own. They called it “laganum” and made it from a mixture of barley flour and water. Laganum was typically boiled and served with sauces or toppings such as honey or cheese.

The Tools for Making Pasta

While the ingredients for making pasta may have been simple, the tools used to make it were more complex. Ancient pasta makers used a device called a “maccaronara” to shape the dough into various forms. This device consisted of several bronze or iron rods that were arranged in a circular pattern with wooden handles on either end.

The Evolution of Pasta Making Techniques

Over time, different cultures developed their own unique ways of making pasta. In Italy, for example, durum wheat became the preferred flour for making pasta due to its high gluten content which made it easier to shape into different forms. Italian pasta makers also began using machines powered by steam or electricity to speed up the production process.


In conclusion, while the exact origins of pasta may be unknown, we do know that it has been enjoyed by people for thousands of years. From the simple noodle dishes of ancient China to the complex pasta shapes of modern-day Italy, pasta has evolved and adapted with each passing generation. Whether you prefer your pasta with a classic tomato sauce or a more exotic flavor, one thing is certain – this beloved dish will continue to be a staple in kitchens around the world for years to come.