Trends

This World Pasta Day, Showcase The Breadth Of Pasta’s Potential

Key points
  • World Pasta Day is going ahead for 2020 with chefs and restaurant owners encouraged to participate
  • The hashtags #MediterraneanDietofLife and #WorldPastaDay are set to trend on social media between 18-25 October
  • Creating your own signature dish and adding it to the menu allows your business to capitalise upon the interest being generated
  • Today’s consumers are increasingly turning to pasta as a sustainable food choice and a healthier option

WORLD PASTA DAY is celebrated on 25 October each year as a way of promoting pasta and educating your customers about its benefits as a healthy, nutritious, accessible and sustainable food and one recognised by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

World Pasta Day’s organisers, the International Pasta Organization in Italy, are determined to go ahead with this year’s event and are encouraging chefs and restaurant owners throughout the world to participate in World Pasta Day 2020 by creating your own distinctive recipe to “express your passion for pasta and the Mediterranean lifestyle”.

Between 18-25 October the hashtags #MediterraneanDietofLife and #WorldPastaDay will be trending on social media, so that by creating your own #MediterraneanDietofLife signature dish and adding it to the menu over this period you can capitalise upon the interest being generated and bring in some extra business.

By registering your details at aldente.worldpastaday.org you’ll receive a free digital kit which outlines how you can participate in World Pasta Day’s social media channels.

The organisers have also created a 10 point Mediterranean Diet of Life manifesto to provide inspiration, which talks about how the Mediterranean diet has evolved in the past century, focuses on sustainability and the nutritional benefits of carbs in the diet, and makes the important point that part of pleasure of eating comes from sharing a meal with others. “Conviviality, the pleasure of being together, a meal shared with our beloved ones are pivotal elements of the Mediterranean diet of life which we maybe missed the most during quarantine and which we look forward to taking back.” All of us, whether customers or foodservice professionals, can agree on that!

While pasta has long been recognised as a traditional favourite, today’s consumers are increasingly turning to it as a sustainable food choice – and chefs are responding by pairing pasta with fresh local produce, including organic vegetables and fruits. For those customers seeking to avoid the calories, it’s simply a case of choosing a pasta with a tomato-based sauce rather than the richer cream-based white sauces.

In recent years we’ve also seen the rise of wholewheat pasta, pasta made from legumes such as peas, beans and chickpeas, and other grains such as spelt and kamut. The future of pasta is likely to be smaller portions and fewer ingredients, with simple, basic sauces and a focus on fusion flavours as pasta is adapted to other cuisine styles.

Though pasta may seem like a simple ingredient to prepare and use, cooking it properly requires more skill than you might think. Use 1 litre of water for every 100g of pasta and don’t add the pasta until the water is boiling vigorously. Just before you do, many chefs recommend adding a pinch of salt. Once the pasta is added, wait for the water to start boiling again before you start timing the cooking.

To ensure the pasta is ‘al dente’ (which means ‘to the tooth’, in Italian), you need to remove it from the heat and drain it at just the right moment. According to urban legend this moment comes just prior to when you think it’s ready – in other words, when it seems almost done but not quite. That way you’ll be sure never to overcook it while always retaining the characteristic springiness and firm texture that is the hallmark of true ‘al dente’ pasta served according to authentic Italian tradition.