National Pasta Day, October 17
Pasta is one of the world’s most favorite foods! Spaghetti, lasagna, rotini, tortellini – there are over 600 known pasta shapes.
It’s delicious, it’s nutritious, it’s versatile. It can be enjoyed as a main course, or as a side dish. Top it with your favorite sauce and
Mangiamo – let’s eat!
Myth vs Fact
Pasta’s origins are ancient. Contrary to popular belief however, Marco Polo did not discover pasta in Asia and bring it to Italy. In fact, in 1279 a.d., a will drafted by Ponzio Bastone was found bequething a storage bin of macceroni when Marco Polo was still in the Far East.
Early Romans used a very simple flour and water dough. Pasta is the Italian word for dough.
Thomas Jefferson introduced pasta to the Americas after first tasting it in Naples, Italy. He was the American Ambassador to France at the time. In 1789, he brought the first pasta machine, along with crates of macaroni, back to the United States.
Pasta became a common North American food in the late 19th century with the surge in Italian immigration.
Fresh vs Dry
Fresh pasta (pasta fresca) is not necessarily better than dried pasta (pasta secce). It just that it’s made differently and it tastes different. Dry pastas are made with just wheat and water. Fresh pastas add egg to the dough
It is the shape of the noodle that gives pasta its name.
Spaghetti – cord Linguini – little tongues
Vermicelli – little worms Conchiglie – shells
Rotini – spirals Fettucine – small ribbons
Ravioli – little turnips Capellini – fine hairs
Fusilli – little spindles Cannelloni – tubes
Tortellini – little cakes Penne – quills
Rigatoni – short, wide fluted tubes
Lasagna – broad, sometimes ruffled, ribbons of pasta
What’s In the Pantry?
What’s in your pantry? Homemade pasta sauce tastes great with pasta and is limited only by the ingredients you have on hand. Follow a recipe or use your imagination. It’s that simple!
Some basics include olive oil, garlic, tomato and hot pepper flakes. Combine for a quick and easy sauce.
Keep fresh herbs (basil, parsley) on hand to add flavor.
Pair sauce with vegetables or beans.
Add meat and simmer for a thicker, richer flavor.
Share the Table
There’s something special about a shared family meal. Whether it’s simple spaghetti and meatballs, or pasta risotto with shrimp and scallops, it’s a time to relax, re-energize, refuel and reconnect after a busy day on the go.
Celebrate National Pasta Day – October 17th & 25th with your favorite bowl of pasta!