There's Pasta, and Then There's Pasta

We encourage the consumption of pasta by being the center of knowledge and promoting sound public policy to the consumer, the industry and the regulatory bodies because a sustainable pasta industry is vital to healthy diets.

The National Pasta Association (NPA) has re-branded their consumer communications program to Share the Pasta. Since 2011, the National Pasta Association operated its consumer program, Pasta Fits, as a means of communicating the health benefits, versatility, and accessibility of pasta to consumers. While these positive pasta attributes continue to be true, NPA, the leading trade association for the U.S. pasta industry, is re-branding the program to Share the Pasta to celebrate the joys of pasta and increase consumption.

“We’ve seen in recent months, more than ever before, that consumers love pasta, and we want NPA and Share the Pasta to be at the center of all things pasta,” said Carl Zuanelli, Board Chair of NPA, President and Founder of Nuovo Pasta. “As we’ve watched consumer attitudes shift in recent years in a more positive way about the consumption of pasta, we realized we needed a program and messaging to support that. That is what Share the Pasta will be.”

For some (read: Jeff), pasta is life and substance. For others (read: me), pasta serves as a supportive character unless shining as the main star of the show. It doesn't help the cause when I harbor an intensive prejudice of elbow macaroni. No apologies from me!

The world boasts more than 350 types of pasta spread across the globe. These are reflective of their nation's preference and "noodle ancestry". There are thousands of recipes for every group. 

Find a reliable source of recipes and noodle types. Organizations like Share the Pasta become a handy tool for cooks.

Pasta’s history is as varied as its shapes. While widespread consumption is documented from the 14th century, it is believed to have existed in some form in ancient China and Greece. And evidence of pasta dishes appeared in Italian recipe books in the early 1200s.- History, NPA

We can speculate a wee bit more about pasta lineage. It would be difficult to assign a century to pasta's invention, of course. It is likely that the noodles our ancestors snacked on bore little resemblance to the pasta from today's markets.

Do you eat pasta regularly? Look in your cabinets and bins. Chances are high that there's a box or bag of spaghetti, linguini, elbows or shells. This is average American stuff. Lets explore a bit more by borrowing some information offered by the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts.  


  • Long
    Angel hair, fettuccine, fideo, fusilli, lasagna, lasagne, linguine, mafalda, pappardelle, reginette, spaghetti, tagliatelle, thin spaghetti, vermicelli.
  • Tube
    Bucatini, casarecce, cavatappi, elbow, manicotti, penne, penne mostaccioli, penne rigate, pipe rigate, pipette rigate, riccioli, rigatoni, tortiglioni, tubini, ziti.
  • Soup
    Acini de pepe, alphabet, ditalini, orecchiette, orzo, pastina.
  • Stuffed
    Ravioli, tortellini, tortelloni.
  • Special shape
    Anelli/anellini, campanelle, cappalletti, cavatelli, conchiglie, egg noodles, farfalle, farfalline, gemelli, gigli, radiatori, rocchetti, rotelle, rotini, ruote, tripolini.

There's more. There is an entire world beyond Italy. You probably won't find all of these tucked into your grocer's pasta aisle but they can be had via online shopping or, God forbid, making them yourself!


 Relax. It isn't as scary as you think. I'll put up recipes for them over the next few months - once we are moved into our new home.

Above all else, have fun with the stuff. Use them to stretch your food budget. Try new recipes. Enjoy the comfort food.