Here: "[Pasta] was originally a failed Italian attempt to copy Chinese noodles..."
Sigh. Noah Smith apparently thinks "history" means whatever rumors he heard about the past when he was a kid. Because "Jeffrey Steingarten asserts that Arabs introduced pasta in the Emirate of Sicily in the ninth century, mentioning also that traces of pasta have been found in ancient Greece and that Jane Grigson believed the Marco Polo story to have originated in the 1920s or 30s in an advertisement for a Canadian spaghetti company."
So, something originating as a Canadian spaghetti ad is now a "fact" of the past... a.