This must surely be one of the most versatile foodstuffs ever devised. It is usually made from a simple mixture of flour, eggs and water, but the flour may be white, wholewheat or buckwheat. Pasta is made in an enormous variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from large lasagne sheets, to tiny stars. It may be boiled, baked or added to soups. A few packets of dried pasta are essential to any well-stocked store cupboard.