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Spaghetti, gnocchi, tagliatellea, ravioli, vincisgrassi, strascinati - pasta in its myriad forms has been a staple of the Mediterranean diet longer than bread. This volume provides a history of pasta in Italy, telling its long story via the variety of shapes it takes and the abundance of names by which it is known. Food scholar Oretta Zanini De Vita traveled to every corner of her native Italy, recording oral histories, delving into family cookbooks, and searching obscure archives to produce this compendium of historical and geographical information. For each entry she includes the primary ingredients, preparation techniques, variant names, and the locality where it is made and eaten. Along the way, Zanini De Vita debunks such culinary myths as Marco Polo's supposed role in pasta's story even as she serves up a feast of new information.