Wheat noodles are by far the most common noodles in Asia (c.f., Japanese udon and somen) and Europe (c.f., spaghetti), while rice noodles tend to be rare outside of Asia. In English-speaking countries, Italian noodles are the kind most often referred to as "pasta". In Italy, spaghetti with tomato sauce (sugo) and Parmigiano are usually referred to as "pastasciutta" ("asciutto" means "dry" or "dried").
While it has been thought in some places that Marco Polo brought the concept back with him from China (from where should come spaghetti), the first pastas that we know about in Europe were on Etruscan tombs from the 4th century BC.
Common pasta sauces include pesto, spaghetti sauce, and alfredo.
See the Wikipedia Cookbook for specific recipes and the Cooking topic for a more general overview of food.
see also How to cook pasta, Wikipedia Cookbook
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Ribbon Pasta Noodles: