If you’ve visited an Italian restaurant in Glen Rock lately, you’ve probably noticed some pretty standard offerings on the menu. After all, most Italian restaurants have plenty of pasta, cheese, and breads—but what makes these classic dishes so classic, and where did they come from, anyway? Here are a few popular dishes from Iachetti’s Brick Oven with an interesting history.
The First Pastas Didn’t Have Tomato Sauce! Meet Pasta al Pomodoro
If you asked most people in the United States to describe “Italian food,” many would reply with something along the lines of “pasta,” “spaghetti,” “noodles and red sauce.” But did you know that tomatoes were considered ornamental plants in Italy until the 1800s? Before that, sauces were cheese-based, or pasta was topped with oil. Pasta al pomodoro first burst onto the scene in 1837, quickly spreading in popularity throughout Italy. When immigrants moved to the Americas, they brought this tasty dish with them!
The Unclear History of Meatballs in NJ’s Italian Restaurants
Meatballs are the quintessential Italian food… except they didn’t start in Italy! In fact, meatballs are an ancient food, dating back to ancient Greece and Persia. Much like today’s meatballs, the meatballs of old combined meat with some sort of grain—most often, rice or lentils. How did they become such a staple of Italian food? We don’t know, but we’re glad they did. Otherwise, our parmesan-crusted meatballs would never exist!
Historic Restaurants Put Romesco Sauce on Fish
If you’re a regular diner at fine Italian restaurants, you will often see romesco steak on the menu—at Iachetti’s Brick Oven in Glen Rock, our guests love our Romesco Sliced Steak! But back when this sauce was first invented, it was to go on fish—and it came from Catalonia, a region in Spain. Fortunately for those who love this tomato and pepper-based sauce, it’s delicious on everything from fish and meat to breads of all sorts.
Next time you’re craving Italian food in New Jersey, stop by Iachetti’s Kitchen in Glen Rock for traditional Italian favorites and new twists on the best food.