FOOD HISTORIAN FRANCINE SEGAN asserts that pasta emerged more than 5,000 years ago when an enterprising chef happened upon the now seemingly obvious idea of mushing flour and water together to create something that looked surprisingly like lasagna. “It breaks my heart to tell you this,” says Segan, invoking her own Italian heritage, “but the first to make those noodles might have been the ancient Greeks. Lots of references in ancient Greek writing—even in 3,000 B.C.—talk about layers that sound a lot like lasagna.”