October is National Pasta Month!

NEW YORK: According to a 2011 survey conducted by the National Pasta Association (NPA), pasta lovers eat their favorite food seven times a month – nearly twice a week! Bringing American families exactly what they are looking for, pasta is a versatile dish which can easily fit into a healthy lifestyle. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that when asked what food they could not live without 60% of those surveyed chose pasta, even instead of chocolate!

Celebrate this household staple over family dinner this October during National Pasta Month. If you are looking for a reason to celebrate pasta, here are some interesting facts that might persuade you:

  • Americans eat approximately 20 pounds of pasta each year. This may sounds outrageous but in Italy, the average person eats 51 pounds – salute!
  • Pasta is the ideal delivery system for nutritious foods! It boosts energy, satisfies hunger, tastes great and can be prepared in countless ways. It’s great to pair with fiber-filled vegetables and beans, heart -healthy fish and oils, antioxidant-rich tomato sauce and protein-packed poultry and lean meats.
  • The first American pasta factory was opened in Brooklyn in 1848. If you think it was an Italian that started the US industry, you are wrong; it was a Frenchman named Antoine Zerega.
  • There are over 600 different shapes of pasta which can be made into an infinite number of meals. With pasta varieties ranging from fusilli and ziti to farfalle and orecchiette, it’s hard to pick a favorite. In 2011, Americans named spaghetti as their favorite shape.
  • 54% of Americans keep 1-4 packages of pasta in their pantry at all times. An easy meal to toss together, a pasta dish can create a delicious and nutritious last-minute meal when the pantry is otherwise bare.

There are so many ways a food lover can celebrate National Pasta Month, from learning how to cook the perfect pasta to trying out a new pasta shape, or even creating a pasta dish with a healthy twist. To share your low-calorie recipes and for more information on how Pasta Fits into your diet, lifestyle, and budget, visit www.facebook.com/PastaFits.

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