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Pasta Fit for a Founding Father (Video)

Find out which U.S. president (and famous foodie) introduced pasta to America as host Ian Knauer prepares a classic noodle dish with butter and cheese.
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    Pasta Fit for a Founding Father (Video)

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      History.com Staff

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      Pasta Fit for a Founding Father (Video)

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      May 20, 2018

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      A+E Networks

In this exclusive Hungry History video, host Ian Knauer explains how founding father Thomas Jefferson discovered pasta in Europe and introduced it to the United States. He also churns out some homemade pasta and a simple dish similar to the one Jefferson used to serve his guests at the White House. Check out the recipe below to try it yourself.


4 cups flour
4 eggs
Pinch of salt

Put the flour on a bread board. Make a hollow in the middle and break in the eggs. Knead it thoroughly, adding more flour if necessary, until you have a dough you can roll out. Roll it as thin as an eighth of an inch. Cut into desired shape, such as fettuccine or tagliatelle.

1 pound fresh pasta of choice
1 stick of butter
1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Salt and pepper

While 1 pound of pasta cooks, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water and heat through.

Toss al dente pasta into the pan with the butter and add cheese to heat through. Season with salt and pepper.

About the Host: After spending close to a decade in the test kitchens of Gourmet Magazine, where he developed recipes and co-hosted “Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie” and “Adventures with Ruth,” Ian poured his love of food back into his family’s Pennsylvania farm. There, he grows his own vegetables and cooks everything from scratch. He recently released his first cookbook, “The Farm: Rustic Recipes for a Year of Incredible Food.” He also writes for several publications and contributes to Cooking Channel’s “Unique Eats.”

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