October is National Pasta Month, and October 17th recognizes National Pasta Day. Pasta lovers celebrate!
While we find noodles all over the world, pasta is a type of noodle of traditional Italian cuisine. The first reference dates to 1154 in Sicily and was first attested to in English in 1874. Typically, it is made from an unleavened dough of durum wheat flour. The flour is mixed with water or eggs and formed into sheets or various shapes. It can then be served fresh or dried to be stored for later use.
Types of Pasta
Look for pasta in pasta in both savory and dessert dishes. Since it’s so versatile, pasta lends itself to sweet and every other dish on the table. Cooks feature pasta as a main dish, but they also serve up delicious hot and cold side dishes as well. And then, of course, those special desserts we can’t resist making our mouths water.
Cooks originally made fresh pasta by hand. However, today, many varieties of fresh pasta are made commercially. Large-scale machines bring choices to our grocers daily. Smaller pasta machines on the market make having the freshest pasta at home even easier.
Dried and fresh pasta comes in several shapes and varieties.
There are so many kinds of pasta! According to the Encyclopedia of Pasta by Oretta Zanini De Vita, 310 specific kinds of pasta identified by over 1300 names have been documented.
In Italy, names of specific pasta shapes or types vary with locale.
Example: Cavatelli is known by 28 different names depending on the region and town.
The size and shape of pasta may determine the best sauce to pair with it, too. For example, serve linguine with lighter, thinner sauces to avoid breaking the noodles. A similarly shaped noodle, fettuccine, is less delicate. That’s why it carries heavier sauces like Alfredo.
Learn more about pasta from the National Pasta Association.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL PASTA DAY
Explore the world of pasta. Whether you’re cooking up a salad, main dish, or dessert, recipes abound. We offer several on our recipe page, too! If you don’t feel like cooking, take the family out to an Italian restaurant. No matter what you are planning, invite friends to join you. It’s the best way to Celebrate Every Day®! #NationalPastaDay to post on social media.