There is always something about a creamy bowl of pasta that whet one’s appetising. Warm al-dente pasta coated with rich creamy sauce, drizzled with cheese and just the right amount of black pepper, what could go wrong? As Malaysians, we are so fortunate that we live in a country that a variety of food and is used to experimenting with food so when it comes to creamy pasta, we are spoiled with choices.
Who invented the first creamy pasta?
There are a number of theories surrounding the history of the first-ever pasta with creamy sauce. Despite the popularity of bolognese sauce, the white sauce (or creamy sauce) was invented first. A tomato was considered as luxury food and common folk had better access to butter, cheese and eggs than they do tomato.
The famous creamy sauce or white sauce is almost as old as pasta itself. Back in the 1800s, it is common to have pasta with a sprinkle of cheese, butter and pasta broth. Alfredo Di Lelio can be said as the first person who championed white pasta sauce with the creation of his pasta – Alfredo Fettucine.
Alfredo started serving Fettucinne with butter, pasta broth and Parmesan cheese to his wife who at the time was pregnant with his first child and during pregnancy, his wife started to lose appetite. His wife liked it so much that Alfredo started selling his recipe to the customers at his mother’s restaurant and when it closed down, Alfredo started selling his famous Fettucinne at his own restaurant.
The Carbonara, another famous creamy pasta sauce was not seen in Italy until 1944, when it was invented by a notable Italian chef, Renato Gualandi. Gualandi was working in Riccione when it was given its independence and the Allied group decided to celebrate by organising a banquet which Gualandi was in-charge for the menu. Gualandi was tasked to create delicious dishes using the local produce.
Carbonara was created by Gualandi using bacon, cream, cheese, egg yolk and a sprinkle of black pepper tossed in spaghetti. Over time, the recipe of Carbonara sauce was refined but back when Riccione gained it independence, fresh supplies was hard to get and Gualandi used ingredients that he had available at hand. For those wondering about the origin of the name, Carbonara, it is said that the dish was made as a tribute to the Carbonari which literally translates to charcoal men – a secret society that was well-known in the early 19th century.
What kind of Creamy Pasta can you get today?
Besides the classic Carbonara and Alfredo pasta, you can also get Pasta in Mushroom Sauce, Pasta with Bechamel Sauce and Creamy Chicken Pasta. What usually differentiates the different kinds of creamy sauce are these three elements – the base, which is either milk, heavy cream or egg, the types of cheese used like Parmesan, Blue Cheese, Mozzarella and the extra seasonings that can range from black pepper, Dijon mustard, a squeeze of lemon juice and in most cases fresh herbs such as basil or thyme.
Most restaurants have a specialty or signature sauce but they usually serve pasta with the classic Carbonara and Alfredo sauce as well.
Where to get a Bowl of Creamy Pasta around KL?
Almost every western and Italian restaurant in KL serves at least one type of creamy pasta. The Manhattan Fish Market offers two different choices of creamy pasta – the Creamy Salmon Trout Carbonara or the Creamy Mushroom Carbonara for those who prefer something lighter. Dome also offers a hearty Creamy Seafood Pasta for delivery.
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