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It is World Pasta Day on the 25th October and therefore the day to promote the culinary delights of pasta, one of the world’s favourite foods.
World Pasta Day was brought into existence as part of the World Pasta Congress on the 25th of October in 1995. Experts from all over the world came together to discuss how to collectively promote the consumption and the knowledge of pasta; with emphasis on the economic and gastronomic versatility. 22 years later World Pasta Day still exists.
Pasta is one of the nation’s favourite foods here in the UK, but many pasta lovers are happy to stick to the same shapes. Fusilli, Spaghetti and Penne remain the firm favourite pasta shapes in the UK. These three shapes probably won’t be knocked off the top position for a long time yet, but with a little encouragement to try a new shape on World Pasta Day this year we may see a few more of the many hundreds of Italian made pasta shapes in dishes on dining tables over here.
It’s difficult to image so many pasta shapes exist from just two ingredients, durum wheat semolina and water, but pasta maker Garofalo is passionate about each individual pasta shape it makes. The team at Garofalo will tell you - pasta shapes are not all the same, each shape has its specific texture, colour and taste and therefore, its specific treatment. Garofalo has over 76 different shapes available here in the UK all made with just two ingredients!
With a little more information about some of the less well known shapes we can collectively promote eating more pasta this World Pasta Day. These four shapes have been chosen to give a taste of the individuality of the many pasta shapes available.
Orecchiette are typical of Puglia, a region of southern Italy. The name comes from the shape as they look like a small ear. In Italian orecchio means ear and the suffix 'etto' means 'small'.
Orecchiette are about 1.75 cm across and slightly domed, which is a perfect place to catch the sauce. The thinner centres compared to the edge gives them a variable texture after cooking.
Lumaconi are large pieces of open pasta, which look like snail shells and the literal translation of the Italian word lumina to English is snail. Lumaconi are big enough to take quite a lot of filling inside and are often stuffed before baking. A great alternative to Cannelloni.
Orzo are often mistaken as grains of rice but they are also made from durum wheat semolina, as other past shapes, and formed in the shape of a grain of rice. The word orzo is Italian for "barley," and a reference to the size and shape of the pasta. Orzo are very versatile and can be used in a range of recipes; the classic use is in soups and casseroles, but they are also excellent in salads or instead of rice in a pilaf.
Casarecce originate from Sicily, but are also typical of central southern Italy. Casarecce pasta is shaped like a very narrow, twisted and rolled tube and a good alternative to fusilli served with a chunky sauce. The name in Italian means `homemade'.
Casarecce is a very popular shape for Garofalo, so much so it is in the standard, organic, whole wheat and gluten free ranges.