Pick Your Pasta and Celebrate National Pasta Month


October is National Pasta Month, the perfect time to prepare your favorite pasta dish and enjoy the tasty and diverse options that pasta has to offer.  Whether it is experimenting with one of the more than 600 pasta shapes produced around the world or trying out a simple or complex sauce to pair with your pasta, there are thousands of ways to enjoy pasta.  Many of us are familiar with popular pasta dishes including spaghetti and meatballs, pasta hot dishes or fettuccine alfredo, but pasta is prepared in a variety of different ways around the world, including diverse ingredients and different preparation methods.

Pasta is traditionally made from durum wheat, of which North Dakota is the largest producer, and that durum finds its way to consumers’ plates around the country and around the world.  Our state produces about 50 million bushels of durum each year which equates to 60 percent of the national total and enough durum to make nearly 15 billion servings of spaghetti.

Some of North Dakota’s durum is processed right here in the state.  Minot Milling, based in Minot, ND is a division of Philadelphia Macaroni and mills durum for internal use and for sale on the open market.  Philadelphia Macaroni was started in 1914 and is headquartered in Philadelphia, PA.  Dakota Growers Pasta Company, a subsidiary of Viterra is based in Carrington, ND and mills durum and manufactures pasta. The North Dakota Mill also mills a small percentage of durum.

Because of the importance of the durum and pasta industries to our state, the North Dakota Wheat Commission will once again be celebrating National Pasta Month in October and Pasta Lovers’ Week October 20-26.  Throughout the month, the NDWC will partner with newspapers and radio stations around the state in recognizing our state’s durum producers and their contribution to the pasta industry by offering pasta prize packages to lucky winners.

The Commission will provide newspapers and radio stations with trivia and crossword puzzles full of durum and pasta facts.  Winners will receive a prize package that includes a pasta month t-shirt featuring this year’s “Pick Your Pasta” logo from the NDWC, pasta spoons from the U.S. Durum Growers Association and pasta from Dakota Growers Pasta Company, American Italian Pasta Company and Philadelphia Macaroni. Make sure you check or local newspaper or listen to your favorite radio station for a chance to win!

For additional pasta information and recipes, visit the following websites:

American Italian Pasta Company - www.aipc.com
Dakota Growers Pasta Company, a subsidiary of Viterra – www.viterra.com/pasta
Dreamfields - www.DreamfieldsFoods.com
Philadelphia Macaroni – www.philamacaroni.com
National Pasta Association – www.ilovepasta.org
International Pasta Organization (recipes and pasta facts from around the world) – www.internationalpasta.org
North Dakota Wheat Commission – www.ndwheat.com