Utensils that are thought to have been used to make pasta have been discovered in the ruins of Pompeii, where other Chinese objects were found. We know that the silk road had extended to Rome as early as 30 BC. With this in mind, we know the popular legend of Marco Polo bringing back pasta to Italy from China is false. Current theories are that pasta was developed independently in a number of locations around the world in places where locally available grain was the primary starch source in the diet. Before the invention of pasta, grains were consumed as a gruel or grain paste, or processed 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 to bake bread and requires less preparation time and pasta can be kept dry ready for use when needed.
The earliest known records of noodles in Europe are found on Etruscan tomb decorations from the 4th century BC. Recently noodles dating back to about 2000 BC has been found near Lajia at the Huang He in Western China.
Thomas Jefferson is credited with bringing the first macaroni machine to America in 1789 when he returned home after serving as ambassador to France.