There are a number of pastas available, from fresh pasta or dried pasta to vegetable pastas and rice pastas. All can be made into delicious and heart-friendly meals in minutes. Simply cook the pasta in a pot.

Shred your favorite vegetables or cut them into very small pieces. Combine the vegetables with some low-sodium and low-fat chicken or vegetable broth and cook until vegetables are softer but still crisp.

Add the pasta and toss until the vegetables are the desired consistency. Add your favorite fresh herbs (basil is a good choice) and combine. This can be a very tasty combination and is still quite healthy for you.

You can make similar meals with rice or even low-fat tofu. Many prepared pasta dishes use plenty of salt or cream-based sauces, but some combination of this recipe can give you a tasty meal with less fat.

Pasta was developed independently in a number of peoples around the globe (though some anthropologists dispute this). In each of these places, locally available grain was the primary starch source in the diet. Grains had, before the invention of pasta, been consumed as a gruel or grain paste, or rendered into flour and eaten as bread.

Pasta noodles were likely developed as an alternative to gruel or bread. Pasta noodles can be created even where there is no oven, or not enough fuel to support an oven. In contrast, bread requires a great investment in time and effort to accomplish.

The earliest known records of noodles in Europe are found on Etruscan tomb decorations in central Italy from around 400 BC. Noodles dating back to about 2000 BC have been found near Lajia at the Huang He in Western China.

Though the site was devastated by an earthquake followed by a flood, the yellow noodles survived in an upside-down clay pot underneath a thick layer of loess. Archeologist Houyuan Lu discovered the noodles and was able to take photos. Analysis showed that the noodles, with a length of approximately half a meter and a diameter of three millimeters, were produced from millet.

Chinese noodles before the age of industrialized food production were always used fresh, and they are comprised of one giant noodle mass through the cooking process because it is considered bad luck in China to cut noodles before serving them to eat.

Thomas Jefferson is credited with bringing the first macaroni machine to America in 1789 when he returned home after serving as ambassador to France. The first commercial pasta manufacturer in America was Antoine Zerega, a Frenchman of Italian descent who began making pasta in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, in 1848.