The oldest evidence for the existence of dough in Europe dates back to 3700 BC.
It was in the form of cake-like lumps of damp corn mixed with flour. They were found in the settlement of Twann in Switzerland. (Minutka, 02/98)
The exact origins of pasta remain unknown. Various experts attribute the invention of the first form of pasta to the Greeks or Romans, while others credit the Egyptians or the Chinese.
China is in fact the source of the oldest recipe, which is 4000 years old. Marco Polo reputedly brought pasta back to Europe from the Far East. This hypothesis has, however, been cast into doubt by the discovery of a document from the city of Genoa which predates the time of
Marco Polo, in which there is a single entry in the will of a certain local resident: “bariscella plena de macaronis“, which translates to “a basket full of macaroni“.
Pasta dishes had earned a secure place in European cookbooks by the 18th century. The term noodles, in the 19th century, not only referred to the products of noodle dough. It was also used to describe proofing dough cut into long strips and cooked in butter. They were served warm. (Minutka, 02/98) By the end of the 17th century, the first machines for producing pasta came onto the scene. It was not until 1933 that the first production line for full-scale pasta production was introduced.