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With over 400 varieties, it’s hard not to find a pasta to celebrate.

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National Pasta Day

Is Pasta Practically Perfect?

There are few things more delicious and satisfying than a heaping plate of perfectly presented pasta. From spaghetti to pizza pasta — keep reading for that recipe — pasta has been fusilli-ing its way into our hearts since the 9th century! In celebration of October being National Pasta Month, check out some pasta history, pasta hacks, which pasta goes best with which sauce and a few of our favorite easy pasta recipes.

Pasta’s Past
As with many origin stories, there is some debate as to when pasta was first created and enjoyed. Some claim that pasta was invented in China and brought to Italy in the 13th century by Marco Polo during his travels. However, evidence found in Etruscan tombs points to pasta’s discovery significantly earlier, all the way back in 800 A.D. — possibly even before that! No matter where or when pasta was born, we’re glad it was, because we plan on enjoying it for the next 2000+ years.

Pasta Preparation Tips
In general, pasta is pretty simple to make. Make it even simpler with these easy tips and tricks.

  • Save time and water by boiling pasta in a shallow frying pan instead of a big pot.
  • Boil your pasta in a rice cooker or Instant Pot for faster, hands-off cooking.
  • If you’re making baked pasta, soak it in salted water instead of pre-boiling it so you don’t have to wait for the water to boil.
  • Freeze cooked pasta in individual portions for a quick and easy microwavable meal.
  • Check to see if your pasta is fully cooked by throwing it at a wall and seeing if it sticks. The jury is out as to whether this is truly an indicator of doneness, but it can’t hurt, and it’s fun!

Lots’a Pasta
There are over 400 different pasta types. They can be sorted by size — long, short, stuffed, cooked in broth, stretched or dumpling — and shape. While most pasta varieties are made from a similar flour and water combination and taste alike on their own, the different sizes and shapes hold onto sauces in unique ways and can alter the way a dish is enjoyed. In general, short, thicker kinds of pasta go best with heavier, chunky sauces, and thin pasta goes well with thinner sauces. We’ve listed some of our recommendations below, but no matter what pasta/sauce combination you try, it’s hard to go wrong!

•   Spaghetti: Probably the most recognizable pasta on this list, spaghetti is long, thin and solid. It can be enjoyed with pretty much any type of sauce but really shines with a classic, fresh tomato and basil sauce.

•   Linguine: Slightly wider than spaghetti, linguine is a “meatier” pasta that can handle a rich, heavier sauce which makes it a perfect match for creamy seafood dishes or pestos.

•   Tagliatelle & Fettuccine: Grouped together because of their similar shape and thickness, both tagliatelle and fettuccine pasta tastes best with a sauce that can match their weight like a creamy Alfredo sauce or thick tomato.

•   Farfalle: Also known as butterfly or bow tie pasta, farfalle is commonly seen in cold pasta dishes like pasta salads, but is also delicious with other cream-based sauces and pesto.

•   Lasagna: Mostly used in the Italian dish of the same name, lasagna is a flat, wide pasta that tastes best when layered with meats, cheese and sauce to balance out its thick texture.

•   Macaroni: Macaroni is a short, tube-shaped pasta that can be served with any sauce, but is best with pretty much any type of cheese.

•   Rigatoni: Tube-shaped like macaroni but much larger and ribbed, rigatoni pairs best with heavy, meaty sauces like Bolognese that can soak into its ridges for a solid, delicious bite.

•   Orecchiette: Italian for “little ears” orecchiette pasta looks like little dome-shaped shells, perfect for bright, light tomato sauces and dishes with small veggies and other ingredients that can tuck themselves inside the pasta while you eat.

Our Pasta Picks

Craving pasta yet? Us too. Check out some of our favorite pasta recipes you can make at home today!

“Antipasti” Pasta Salad

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Pasta a la Pizza

Veiw Recipe

Creamy Pasta Salad

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Chicken Club Pasta Salad

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Shrimp Alfredo Pasta

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Weeknight Pasta Salad

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