that even though pasta had been around for thousands of years it took that long before anyone ever thought to use tomatoes to make sauce? In 1519, the Spanish explorer Cortez, actually brought tomatoes from Mexico to Europe. However, it still took almost 200 years before the Italians used tomato sauce on top of spaghetti. The reason was because tomatoes are a part of the nightshade family of which many plants are considered poisonous. This made Europeans afraid to eat them. Surprisingly enough, they used tomatoes as houseplants!