Italy to celebrate pasta this Friday

Italy’s most famous culinary gift to the world — pasta — will mark its day on Friday with a worldwide gala meal provided by some 140 leading chefs and restaurant owners around the world.

That is just one of the events taking place on World Pasta Day, a holiday established in 1995 when 40 pasta producers from around the world gathered to hold the globe’s first World Pasta Congress.

“The central goal of World Pasta Day is to call attention not just to the product of pasta, but to new, healthy, and creative ways to enjoy a pasta meal,” Luigi Cristiano Laurenza, head of the International Pasta Organization, told Xinhua.

The centerpiece of celebrations this year will be the “Pasta, Here’s How We Will Eat You in 2050”, showing six key trends of future pasta consumption: tradition (standby pasta recipes); ethical (ingredients grown in a sustainable way); global (mixed with culinary traditions of other countries); different (innovative pasta recipes); simple (basic, healthy ways to eat pasta); and conscious (transparent information about pasta meals).

Global chefs were invited to create dishes inspired by the six trends and post them on social media with #pasta2050.

“Over the last 10 years, the world of pasta has changed completely,” said Vito Trotta, author of the book “Pasta: Le forme del grano” (Pasta: The forms of wheat), in an interview. “There are kinds of grains used for pasta for the first time ever, innovative shapes of pasta, different ways to prepare it, healthy kinds of pasta, locally produced options.”

Data showed that in the past 10 years worldwide consumption of pasta has increased from 9 million tons to 15 million tons.

“There is more to pasta than its good taste,” Paolo Barilla, president of the International Pasta Organization said in a statement. “We are talking about accessible food with low environmental impact. A simple and daily product that brings people together, being versatile because it can combine with the traditional ingredients of all world cuisines and gives every dish the flavor and benefits of Mediterranean Diet.”

“If we think about how we used to eat pasta 30 or 60 years ago, we realize how recipes, consumption occasions, types, and portions changed,” said Riccardo Felicetti, president of the Italian Food Union.

Rome, New York, Tokyo, and Dubai are among the cities that will celebrate the event.