October is National Pasta Month

Mmm… pasta. Who doesn’t love a good noodle? 77% of Americans say that they eat pasta at least once a week, and it’s no wonder: there’s pretty much a pasta flavor or texture for everyone.

 We all have our days where we go Garfield, scouring for the nearest Macaroni Grill, Olive Garden, or even Fazolis for a pasta fix. The beauty of pasta, of course, is that while it’s delicious, it’s also super cheap; by adding in some vegetables and whole grain noodles, it can easily become a daily staple for your family’s meals.

If you’re already a pasta fiend and widely known for your family’s spaghetti night, try some new ways to show your love of the noodle this month:

Try a new pasta restaurant. The ones mentioned above are my favorites, but there’s delicious pasta to be found at Noodles & Company, Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes, The Pasta House, and even your local supermarket’s freshly made, ready-to-serve aisle. Where’s your favorite place for a pasta fix? Add your recommendations below.

Take a bath in noodles. This might be a weird way to celebrate, but it seems to work for old ladies.

Experiment with new kinds of noodles and sauces. Are you always a red sauce maven, like I am? Go for a white sauce, olive oil, pesto, a lemon-based sauce, or any other kind you might be interested in. If you love penne, why not try cavatelli, fiori, or capellini? You can find a list of all the different types of noodles here—I for one was surprised at the variety!

Experiment with cooking styles. Try your pasta in a soup, or if you love it soft, taste an al dente version for a different texture.

Experiment with add-ins. From mushrooms to broccoli, olives to artichokes, peas to carrots to even nuts, you can add just about anything to your pasta. I ran across a recipe for pumpkin pasta recently that sounded pretty delicious and perfect for the season. What better way is there (aside from getting them to like them in the first place!) is there to get your kids to eat their veggies?

Top your pasta. Spice up the old favorite, parmesan cheese, by grating fresh parmesan. Or add your favorite herbs and spices at the table.

Make pasta art. This is a great way to help children build fine motor skills as well as learn about the world of noodles. Make macaroni pictures, or create sculptures of figures, bridges or other objects.

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