October 17 – National Pasta Day

Posted October 17, 2018

There's nothing better than spaghetti with a nice marinara sauce.

Unless it's a thick, cheesy serving of lasagna.

Or maybe linguine carbonara?

Or macaroni and cheese?

Or - or - or - 

Let's face it, pasta is super delicious but also oh-so-varied!

Pasta is dough made of durum wheat and water; it can be extruded or stamped into a lot of different sizes and shapes. We commonly buy boxes or bags of dried pasta and then cook it in boiling water...And then we serve it with olive oil or butter or meat or cheese or tomato-based sauce or cream-based sauce or veggies or or or or...

Pasta can be served hot or cold. It can be the main dish (or entrée) of the meal, or it can appear in a salad, soup, or side dish. 

Cold pasta?

Mmm, I LOVE many different sorts
of cold pasta salads.
Mmm, ramen!
Generally, we call similar foods that are not part of Italian cuisine "noodles" - and noodles can be made from everything from common wheat (rather than durum semolina) to rice, and from kelp to zucchini!

Even mmmmmmier: spaetzle!

Pasta is usually savory - but not always. Some desserts are made with pasta!

Last point: We often think of pasta as Italian. Many different cultures serve dumplings, which are small, savory balls or pockets of dough that may be stuffed with yummy stuff and then boiled or fried or baked, or it may be balls cooked in a stew. Polish pierogies, Chinese wontons, and Jewish matzo balls are just a few examples of dumplings, but both ravioli and tortellini are considered pasta even though they are stuffed like dumplings.

Celebrate pasta in the best way possible: by eating it!

Other uses for pasta:

Little kids can have fun sorting it by shape and color, or practice hand-eye coordination by threading pasta tubes onto straws or chopsticks.

How about ye olde macaroni necklace?

Large-sized pasta such as manicotti can make great craft materials.

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