Pasta is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine, with the first reference dating to 1154 in Sicily It is also commonly used to refer to the variety of pasta dishes Typically, pasta is a noodle made from an unleavened dough of a durum wheat flour mixed with water and formed into sheets or various shapes, then cooked and served in any number of dishes It can be made with flour from other cereals or grains, and eggs may be used instead of water.

Pastas may be divided into two broad categories, dried (pasta secca) and fresh (pasta fresca) Chicken eggs frequently dominate as the source of the liquid component in fresh pasta.