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National Pasta Day

October 17, 2023

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Cooks originally made fresh pasta by hand.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 come 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.


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.


National Day Calendar® continues researching the origins of this delicious food holiday.

Pasta FAQ

Q. How do I prevent sticky pasta?
A. Sticky noodles ruin a dish. Use these tips to make perfect pasta every time:

  • Season the water with salt before adding the pasta. While it won’t keep the pasta from sticking, it is the best time to add flavor to your pasta.
  • Always bring the water to a boil before adding the pasta. Also, make sure you have plenty of water in the pot – too little and you’ll need to add more.
  • Stir the pasta a few times while it’s cooking.
  • Reserve some of the liquid before draining the pasta. Then run water over the pasta to help prevent sticking. You can even do this if you’re eating it right away, especially if you’re adding a sauce. If your sauce seems a little thick, add the reserved pasta liquid to thin the sauce and add more flavor.

Q. Can I freeze cooked pasta?
A. Yes. But don’t overcook it. Al dente pasta will become mushy so you want to cook it until it is not quite al dente. You can also mix in most sauces before freezing. Avoid freezing cream sauces, like Alfredo, because they will separate and become grainy.

Q. What other pasta days are on the calendar?
A. Pasta is one of those foods that nearly everyone loves to celebrate. Check out this shortlist of pasta days we celebrate:

Source: National Calendar Day


October 17, 2023
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