A History of Noodles
March is National Noodle Month and Romano’s Macaroni Grill Hawaii is celebrating with a special menu of our favorite pasta dishes! But with so much noodley-goodness, have you ever wondered where your favorite noodles come from?
Noodles are a staple in many cultures around the world. Often made from unleavened dough, the dough is stretched, rolled or extruded into one of any number of shapes. Noodles are most commonly cooked in boiling water, but can also be pan- or deep-fried. After being cooked, noodles are often tossed in an accompanying sauce with other ingredients such as fresh vegetables and proteins.
At Romano’s Macaroni Grill Hawaii, we import bronze-cut Ferrara pasta directly from Italy. This pasta, made from only the best durum wheat, provides the base for many of your favorite pastas. From spaghetti to lasagna, learn about your favorite noodles below.
Spaghetti is a long, thin, solid pasta that is cylindrical in shape. Made from milled wheat and water, spaghetti is a staple of traditional Italian cuisine. It is believed that spaghetti made its first appearance in Sicily around the 12th century. Spaghetti factories began popping up in the 19th century, helping spread the popularity of the noodle across the world. You can enjoy spaghetti in Mom’s Ricotta Meatballs + Spaghetti, one of the most popular dishes at Romano’s Macaroni Grill Hawaii.
Rigatoni are a tube-shaped pasta, with the ends cut perpendicular to the tube walls. Rigatoni are larger than other tube-shaped pastas like penne or ziti and have a unique characteristic of ridges that run down the length of the noodle. The word rigatoni comes from the Italian word rigato, which means “ridged” or “lined.” These ridges are extremely useful as they help hold onto the delicious marsala cream sauce that can be found in Carmela’s Chicken.
Penne is another tube-shaped pasta. It is different from rigatoni in that the ends are cut diagonally and the tube walls are typically smooth. You will typically find penne tossed in traditional pasta sauces like pesto, marinara or arrabbiata. We enjoy using penne in our signature Penne Rustica, served with roasted chicken, shrimp, prosciutto, and savory rosemary cream sauce.
Literally translated as “little ribbons,” fettuccine is a very popular noodle in Roman and Tuscan cuisine. This flat, thick pasta is made from egg and flour, making for a richer, more flavorful noodle. Fettuccine is the perfect complement for richer sauces, such as the imported pomodorina sauce we use in our Pasta di Mare. Our chefs expertly prepare scallops, shrimps and mussels, then toss them with garlic, red chile, pomodorina and bronze-cut fettuccine for an exquisite seafood dish.
These wide, flat noodles are considered one of oldest types of pasta. It is believed that lasagne originated during the Middle Ages in Naples, Italy. The first recorded recipe dates back to the 14th century in Liber de Coquina (The Book of Cookery). “Lasagne” typically refers to the dish made of several layers of lasagne pasta alternated with sauces, meats and cheeses. You will find our very own Lasagna Bolognese in Mama’s Trio, where it is also served with Fettuccine Alfredo and Chicken Parmesan for a true Italian feast.
So whatever your favorite noodle is, make sure to stop into Romano’s Macaroni Grill Hawaii during March to celebrate National Noodle Month. When you order two or more signature dishes from our special National Noodle Month Menu, you’ll get a $10 Grazie Card for your next visit!
Ala Moana Center
1450 Ala Moana Blvd.
Honolulu, HI 96814