In honour of our upcoming World Pasta Day, and subsequent week of gastronomic getaways, we’ve taken the opportunity to dive into the culinary pasts of each of our chosen cuisines to bring you a cultural banquet of these rich histories.
The richness and diversity found in Argentine cuisine is partially due to its experiencing extensive immigration over a long period of time, primarily from European countries. The Spanish and Italians were among the first to settle in Argentina and brought with them their techniques and iconic Mediterranean flavours. For example, empanadas, coming from the Spanish verb empanar meaning ‘to bread’, are a delicious pastry typically filled with leftover meat, cheese, and vegetables which have now become one of Argentina’s staple dishes. The Italian settlers also introduced their heavenly carb-centred recipes of pizza and a range of pastas such as lasagne, spaghetti & gnocchi.
Later, influences from other European countries emerged, for example the British who migrated (unsurprisingly) introduced the concept of tea in Argentina which eventually evolved into its own tradition of ‘afternoon tea’ or merienda. As dinner does not typically occur until around 9-10pm, merienda is extremely as it bridges the long gap between meals, as well as allocate time to sit and chat amongst family whilst snacking on toast with manteca y dulce de leche [butter and the classic Argentine caramel].‘Root’ed in history
Yet before these settlers arrived, those living across Argentina’s vast lands had already established their own roots in gastronomy. Quite literally, it was the Andean Indians in around 8,000 to 5000 BC who first cultivated root vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, and squash. Over the course of history, the gastronomies from the 35 indigenous groups established in Argentina coupled with the influences from abroad hails a delicious array of culinary delights.
Argentina also holds an incredible spectrum of temperatures ranging from subtropical along the north-eastern boarder with Brazil, to freezing sub-polar temperatures in the southern region of Tierra del Fuego, ironically translating as ‘Land of fire’. Here we discover unique cooking methods such as the making of Ch’arki by the Quechan tribe, what would be the equivalent to ‘jerky’ and which is essentially where meat is sun & freeze-dried (traditionally llama) in the hot Andean sun and frozen during the bitter cold nights.
Asado & our Argentinian-inspired dish
Ever since cattle were brought to Argentina by the Spanish in the 16th century, beef has been an integral part of Argentine gastronomy. Particularly significant in Argentine culinary heritage is the ‘asado’ style of cooking, a method of barbequing historically used by cattle herders called ‘gauchos’, who would cook their food on makeshift open-air grills.
The key feature of the asado- style of cooking is the ‘low and slow’ ethos behind it, where meat is charred unhurriedly over a fire that has burned right down to the embers, allowing the steak to cook evenly, never coming into direct contact with a flame. In doing so, the meat also takes on a wonderful smokey flavour.
Nowadays, the word ‘asado’ has come to symbolise the social gathering which accompanies these mouth-watering barbecues; it serves as the perfect excuse to gather those closest to you, any time of year. So, for our Argentina-inspired dish, in the hopes it will inspire you to gather your nearest and dearest to share a meal, we’ve incorporated classic Argentinian asado flavours the Italian way:
🇦🇷 | Barbequed Asado-Style Beef Ravioli with Chimichurri
Honouring a second Argentine tradition, we pair our limited edition asado steak pasta with chimichurri, bringing fiery freshness and fantastic colour. Choose this dish for World Pasta Day and be transported to a Southern American asado cook-out in the open grasslands of La Pampa!
At Pasta Evangelists, we bring a taste of Italy to your kitchen. Prepared using the freshest ingredients, our gourmet pasta dishes are perfect for those looking to enjoy restaurant-quality meals, delivered to your door, and ready in under five minutes. Order from our weekly menu today, and we’ll offer you 25% off your first delivery - simply enter the code BLOG25 at checkout.