National Pasta Day celebrates the Italian food made from a dough of ground durum wheat and water. “Pasta” is Italian for dough.
The dough is hand stretched, rolled flat or extruded into a variety of shapes and cooked. It can be dried and then rehydrated by boiling in water. Dried pastas are just wheat and water. Fresh pastas have eggs in them. Common wheat is used for bread. Durum wheat is used for pasta.
Little Italy in Downtown Manhattan has several old shops that sell fresh pasta. Some New York City kitchens, including many Argentine restaurants, make the pasta fresh right before they serve it.
National Pasta Day
In the U.S., National Pasta Day is October 17. World Pasta Day is October 25.
Types of Pasta
There are so many different kinds of pasta. The names are based on shape. The most common are spaghetti strings. But there are also linguini ribbons, ravioli pillows, flat or ruffled lasagna sheets, tortellini belly buttons, conchiglie shells, and rigatoni or cannelloni tubes.
Each variation offers different relationships with sauce and accompaniments.
Did Marco Polo bring noodles from China?
The legend that Marco Polo brought pasta from China is just a good story. China has many styles of noodles. Some are also made from wheat dough, especially in northern China.
Pasta in the Latin World
Pasta is an inexpensive food that fills your belly. Some families in the Latin world eat pasta for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.