October is National Pasta Month

October may mean different things to different people – football, fall leaves and pumpkins, but October also means “It’s Pasta Time!” National Pasta Month is celebrated each October.

North Dakota remains the largest producer of durum in the country, accounting for about 60 percent of annual production. This year, producers planted an estimated one million acres of durum in the state, with production estimated at nearly 40 million bushels, enough durum to make 13 billion servings of pasta! Our neighboring state of Montana is the next largest producer of durum in the United States.

A good share of our production is processed in-state at one of these facilities: Minot Milling, a division of Philadelphia Macaroni located in Minot, N.D.; Dakota Growers Pasta Company, a subsidiary of Post Holdings located in Carrington, N.D.; and the North Dakota Mill in Grand Forks. North Dakota durum is also sent out of state to a variety of mills throughout the United States and to customers around the world. Italy, Algeria and Nigeria are the largest international buyers, but North Dakota durum also finds its way to smaller markets in Central America and Europe. Pasta is the primary product produced in these countries, but durum is also used to produce bread and couscous.

During National Pasta Month, durum growers encourage you to make your favorite pasta dish for family or friends, or try out a new pasta recipe.

Pasta is a nutritious food choice, especially when paired with nutrient rich food partners like vegetables, beans, lean meats, cheese and healthy oils and sauces. For great recipes and cooking tips, visit eatwheat.org/recipes or pastafits.org/pasta-recipes. For more information on National Pasta Month and North Dakota durum, visit www.ndwheat.com.

Photo: Types of pasta.

Pasta Shapes

There is a pasta shape to complement every pasta dish out there. Pairing the correct pasta shape can make a big difference in your overall satisfaction when cooking. Check out the Pasta Shapes Dictionary from pastafits.org.

Need some inspiration?

Try one of these delicious pasta recipes!