October is National Pasta Month
October means 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, so put it on your calendar!
North Dakota remains the largest producer of durum in the country. Other states also grow a lot of wheat, but North Dakota accounts for about 60 percent of yearly durum production. Each year farmers plant around one million acres of durum in the state and which produces nearly 40 million bushels. That’s enough durum to make 13 billion servings of pasta! The neighboring state of Montana is the next largest grower of durum in the United States.
A good share of North Dakota production is processed in-state, but 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. Durum is also used to produce bread and couscous, but pasta is the primary product created in these countries.
During National Pasta Month, durum growers encourage you to make your favorite pasta dish! Or maybe even try out a new pasta recipe!
Pasta is a nutritious food, especially when paired with nutrient-rich food partners like vegetables, beans, lean meats, cheese and healthy oils. For great recipes and cooking tips, visit eatwheat.org/recipes and pastafits.org/pasta-recipes. For more information on National Pasta Month and North Dakota durum, visit www.ndwheat.com.
There is a pasta shape for every pasta dish out there. Pairing the correct pasta shape can make a big difference when cooking. Check out the Pasta Shapes Dictionary from pastafits.org.
Need some inspiration?
Try one of these delicious pasta recipes!
Get more Pasta Recipes.
Wheat Facts: A Primer for Pasta
- Thomas Jefferson is credited with bringing the first “maccoroni’ machine to America in 1789 when he returned home after serving as ambassador to France.
- A bushel of wheat makes about 42 pounds of pasta.
- Durum wheat is used to make pasta because of its hard nature, which produces a firm cooked product.
- Semolina is coarsely ground durum with a texture somewhat like sugar. It is the best product for pasta.
- There are more than 600 pasta shapes produced worldwide.