North Dakota Wheat Commision
Wheat Growers

Imagine the "Pastabilities" during October Pasta Month

by ND Wheat

Posted on 10/2/2017

When you think of pasta, you probably think of traditional dishes such as macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs, or lasagna. Pasta shapes like fusilli, cappelletti, and orecchiette are likely not part of your pantry. During October Pasta Month, the North Dakota Wheat Commission encourages you to imagine the "pastabilities" and explore new shapes, sauces, and food accompaniments for pasta dishes. There are plenty of pasta shapes to choose from, over 600 to be exact, and adding different combinations of sauces, meats and vegetables only expands your library of pasta recipes.

Pasta dishes are not only tasty and diverse, but are also nutritious meals when prepared right. Pasta is low in sodium and cholesterol and provides complex carbohydrates for sustained energy. Enriched pasta is a great source of folic acid. Pairing it with nutrient dense foods like vegetables, beans, protein packed lean meats and cheese, fish, and antioxidant rich tomato sauce adds to the nutritional power.

Pasta is a popular food in the U.S., with annual per capita pasta consumption at 20 pounds, ranking us seventh in the world. While this seems like a lot, consider that Italy consumes two and half times as much at 50 pounds per year! The U.S. is the second largest pasta producing nation however, producing 4.4 billion pounds of pasta annually. A lot of that pasta begins right here in North Dakota. Our state is the largest producer of durum wheat, the type used to make premium pasta products. While durum producers have faced production challenges in recent years, they still have produced 40-50 million bushels of durum each year - enough for almost 15 billion servings of pasta!

Some of North Dakota's durum is milled and processed in state, but the majority is exported out of state and out of the country. The largest export markets for our state's durum include Italy, Algeria, and Nigeria. In-state facilities that mill durum or produce pasta include: Minot Milling, a division of Philadelphia Macaroni located in Minot, N.D.; Dakota Growers Pasta Company, a subsidiary of Post Holdings located in Carrington, N.D.; and the North Dakota Mill in Grand Forks.

The North Dakota Wheat Commission celebrates Pasta Month every October to recognize our state's durum producers and pasta processors. You can celebrate too, by exploring the "pastabilities" and trying out a new pasta dish. You can also listen to your local radio station and read your local newspaper for opportunities to win pasta prize packages sponsored by the NDWC, U.S. Durum Growers, Dakota Growers Pasta, and Philadelphia Macaroni throughout the month of October.

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

Dreamfields -
Philadelphia Macaroni -
Pasta Fits -

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