15 Fun Facts About Pasta You Probably Did Not Know About

15 Fun Facts About Pasta You Probably Did Not Know About

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know about it? Let’s explore 15 cool, surprising facts about pasta.

Surprising Facts About Pasta

Here are 15 facts about pasta that you probably did not know about:

1) Pasta is originally from Italy


Yes, that’s right! Many believe Marco Polo brought it back from his travels in Asia in the 13th century. But recent studies suggest that pasta might have already been in Italy way before that. It’s a bit of a mystery, but one thing’s for sure – Italians took pasta to a whole new level!

2) Pasta comes in over 600 shapes

You might think spaghetti is the most popular type of pasta, but there are actually over 600 different shapes! Each pasta shape is designed to hold sauce uniquely. For example, penne is great for thicker sauces, while angel hair is perfect for lighter ones.

3) The average Italian eats about 60 pounds of pasta each year

That’s a lot of pasta! In comparison, Americans eat about 20 pounds per person annually.

4) It was originally eaten plain

It’s hard to imagine now, with all the delicious creamy sauces we have, but back then, pasta was appreciated for its simplicity. People enjoyed the pure flavor of wheat, and it was often just cooked and seasoned lightly with a few herbs or some cheese. It wasn’t until 1692 that Marinara, a tomato sauce, was invented and mentioned in a book by chef Antonio Latini called “Lo Scalco alla Moderna” (The Modern Steward).

5) The world’s longest strand of spaghetti was 7,900 feet and the largest lasagna sheet was 3.7 miles long

In 2010, chefs in Italy set the record with a strand of spaghetti that measured an incredible 7,900 feet long. That’s longer than 25 football fields! And, when it comes to lasagna, the record for the largest sheet ever made was achieved in Poland in 2012. This giant lasagna sheet measured an incredible 3.7 miles. Imagine the size of the oven they needed for that!

6) Lagana was the earliest type of pasta

The oldest pasta known to us is believed to be “lagana,” which eventually became what we now call lasagna. Originating from ancient Greece, lagane dates back to around the 4th century B.C. These were flat sheets of dough made from wheat flour and water, quite similar to modern lasagna sheets, but they were not boiled like today’s pasta. Instead, they were cooked in an oven or fried.

7) The first mechanical pasta maker was invented in the 18th century

The first pasta-making machine we know of was created by Cesare Spadaccini, a Neapolitan in the 18th century. He made a device that could push pasta dough through a plate with holes, shaping it into different pasta forms. This was a big step forward from the traditional method of hand-rolling and cutting pasta.

8) Italians eat pasta differently from the rest of the world

In Italian cuisine, there are some strict traditions about how to properly enjoy this dish. Italians typically eat pasta on its own as a first course (primo), not as a side dish or a part of a main course. Also, they often prefer ‘al dente pasta’ – firm to the bite. 

Outside Italy, people often cook pasta until it’s quite soft and serve it as a side dish or mix it with large amounts of sauce and other ingredients.

9) Research suggests that pasta can make you happier

This is because pasta is rich in carbohydrates, which can boost the production of serotonin in the brain – a neurotransmitter that is often called the ‘happy chemical’ since it is responsible for us being happy. Of course, moderation is key, as with any other food, but it’s nice to know that your favorite comfort food might be doing more than just satisfying your taste buds.

10) The color of pasta is determined by the presence of eggs

Have you ever wondered why some pasta is yellow while other types are more white? It’s all about the eggs! Traditional Italian pasta is made with just flour and water, which gives it a lighter color. But many other types of pasta, especially the ones we often find in stores, include eggs, which add that rich, yellow hue.

11) October is National Pasta Month and October 25th is World Pasta Day

World Pasta Day is celebrated every year on October 25th. It was established in 1995 during the World Pasta Congress. It’s a special day for pasta fans worldwide to celebrate their favorite food, with various events, discussions about pasta’s cultural and culinary importance, and of course, lots of pasta-eating!

Also, October is known as National Pasta Month in the United States. It’s a whole month dedicated to celebrating pasta, experimenting with different recipes, and appreciating the versatility and joy that pasta brings to our tables.

12) Spaghetti Bolognese is not actually a traditional Italian dish

In Bologna, the region from which the Bolognese sauce originates, it’s typically served with tagliatelle, not spaghetti. Also, the authentic sauce, known as “ragù alla bolognese,” is a slow-cooked meat sauce with a small amount of tomato, quite different from the tomato-heavy versions seen outside Italy. When this dish was spread to other countries, spaghetti became the preferred pasta, leading to the popular Spaghetti Bolognese we often see on menus worldwide.

13) You shouldn’t rinse cooked pasta 

It’s a common belief that pasta should be rinsed after cooking, but actually, that’s not the best idea! Rinsing pasta can wash away a lot of the starches that help sauces stick to it. So, for the best flavor and texture, it’s recommended to just drain your pasta and mix it directly with your sauce.

14) Pasta can be a healthy addition to your diet

We’re talking about whole-grain pasta in particular. It’s high in fiber, which helps in digestion and can help you feel full longer. Plus, it’s also low in sodium and cholesterol-free. When combined with vegetables, lean proteins, and a light sauce, it can be a nutritious and satisfying meal.

15) The world’s largest pasta dish was 13,780 pounds

In 2010, a town in Italy prepared the world’s largest pasta dish, weighing an astonishing 13,780 pounds (6,248 kilograms). It was made with over 8,800 pounds of pasta, 4,400 pounds of sauce, and 220 pounds of cheese.


Pasta has a fascinating history and continues to bring joy to people’s plates around the world. From its origins in Italy to the multiple shapes and varieties available today, it remains a beloved food. So, next time you twirl your fork around a delicious plate of pasta, think about these fun facts!

And if you want to make your own fresh pasta at home, check out MisterChef. Our pasta makers can help you create your favorite pasta shapes with ease. Shop with us today!

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