October 25th is World Pasta Day!

For many of us, pasta may be the ultimate comfort food. From the time we begin eating solid food, spaghetti and macaroni (often served with melted butter) are perennial childhood favorites.

As we mature and our palates become more sophisticated, we relish eating the more than 600 different shapes of pasta, fresh and dried, that are served in a host of preparations—with vegetables, seafood, and a variety of interesting sauces.

Although born of Italian heritage, pasta has been incorporated into cuisines around the world. Aside from its yummy taste and satisfying texture, it’s also a relatively inexpensive food, making it accessible to everyone. Served hot on a wintery day, it simultaneously soothes the soul as it fills the tummy; cold noodles in a salad can hit the spot on a hot summer day.

World Pasta Day takes place each year on October 25, celebrating the food with humble origins that is popular with home cooks and served in Michelin-star restaurants.

Cheese & Proscuitto Rosette at Baita, Bologna Italy

Cheese & Proscuitto Rosette at Baita, Bologna Italy

In celebration of World Pasta Day, we asked some of our Getting On Travel contributors to reminisce about favorite pasta dishes they’ve enjoyed though their travels.

Get ready to salivate!

Macaroni pasta at the beach cabana, Four Seasons Nevis

Macaroni pasta at the beach cabana, Four Seasons Nevis

Macaroni is popular throughout the Caribbean. In Trinidad and Tobago, and the Bahamas and Barbados it makes an appearance in Macaroni Pie while in Jamaica, bully beef (corned beef) is often added resulting in a hearty dinner dish. At its most traditional, macaroni and cheese is a satisfying mix of boiled pasta bathed in creamy cheddar cheese that’s baked, cut into squares and served alongside stewed meats, spicy jerk chicken and other typical Caribbean dishes. It’s the ultimate comfort food – Caribbean style.

One of the best mac and cheese dishes I’ve enjoyed was in a private VIP beach cabana at the Four Seasons Resort on the island of Nevis. A beach butler set up all the ingredients for a day of relaxation complete with beach loungers, chilled champagne, WiFi and  easy access to the translucent blue waters of Pinney’s Beach. My alfresco lunch was a crisp salad with mango dressing, fresh lobster rolls and a luscious macaroni and cheese. The pasta was as memorable as the heady views of the surrounding palm trees and ocean.

-Michele Peterson, A Taste for Travel


Spaghetti with Carpione-style mackerel in a tuna and anchovy sauce with pine nut breadcrumbs

The opening night of our cooking tour group’s weeklong stay at the Michelin-starred Don Alfonso 1890 hotel and restaurant, located in S. Agata sui Due Golfi on Italy’s Amalfi Coast, we were served their La Tradizione menu. The standout of this seven-course meal was the “Spaghetti with mackerel (bluefish) in Carpione style, breadcrumbs, pine nuts and candied onions, on a sauce of turnips and Alalunga tuna” (It sounds much more melodious in Italian!). Their fresh spaghetti was made in the kitchen that day and the al dente pasta was liberally coated with the most delicious sauce I’ve ever had, made from local white tuna and anchovies creamed together with virgin olive oil, smooth mustard, and spices.

This pasta dish was so scrumptious that our cooking class unanimously demanded that it be added to the list of recipes that we would learn to make in class. The next day we found ourselves butchering huge mackerel fish from the nearby sea, toasting up pinenut breadcrumbs, and stirring together a savory tuna sauce while watching our teacher/chef perfectly cook a toothsome heap of fresh egg pasta. This dish tasted even better the second time because now we knew how much effort and love went into making it.

-Laura E. Kelly, GettingOnTravel 

Pesto Spaghetti with Asparagus and Potatoes Miramar Hotel Roof Bar, Monaco

After walking for hours taking in the sights of Monaco, my husband and I shared this plate of heavenly pasta along with bread and wine served at the Miramar Hotel Roof Bar while we enjoyed spectacular views of the harbor. Pesto spaghetti is a seemingly simple dish, but combined with asparagus and the unexpected addition of potatoes, it was a delicious and unforgettable meal. (Monaco was the final port stop on a Star Clippers Mediterranean cruise.)

-Debbra Dunning Brouillette, Tropical Travel Girl

Chocolate Ravioli, Prairie Ink Bistro at McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Yes, pasta comes in all forms! I’m known as “Doreen the Chocolate Queen” because I search out chocolate options of all kinds in my travels. I was thrilled with the Chocolate Ravioli I enjoyed at Prairie Ink Bistro in McNally Robinson Booksellers in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

The Chocolate Ravioli is a creation of Chef Chris Kopp and his team. It is a very labour-intensive thing to make, so it’s not a regular item on the menu. The ravioli pasta contains cocoa powder to make it chocolate brown. The filling is a delicious blend of duck, orange, and thyme, and the ravioli is topped with a Frangelico cream sauce garnished with cocoa nibs, hazelnuts, and pea shoots. This unique pasta dish was my favourite course in the incredible four-course cacao cuisine meal.

-Doreen Pendgracs, Chocolatour

Rigatoni Pasta Alla Buttera With Local Artisan Italian Sausage at FRED at Barneys, New York

This appetizing dish of Rigatoni Pasta Alla Buttera with Local Artisan Italian Sausage was prepared by guest Chef Mark Strausman of FREDS at Barneys New York, for the 2017 Arthritis Foundation California Central Coast Taste of the Town Connoisseurs’ Gala Dinner.

It was served family style at Bacara Resort & Spa on the patio overlooking the ocean. This memorable fundraising dinner raised needed funds for Arthritis Foundation research and was served family style with luscious fresh vegetables, beautifully sliced Tuscan Rib Eye and paired with Margerum Wines.

-Bonnie Carroll, www.lifebitesnews.com

Pagani Lemon Pasta

Pagani Lemon Pasta

We’ve had pasta all over the world but one dish that really stands out in our minds is the lemon pasta at Pagani in New York City. On one trip to NYC, we had the good fortune of taking the Walks of New York Mario Batali Greenwich Village Food Tour. Although the three-hour tour took us to Mario Batali restaurants, Italian markets, and a bakery, it was Pagani that left a memorable impression in our mouths and minds.

Coming in from the snowy January day, the warmth of the restaurant, the taste of the house made linguine melting in our mouths with the delicate taste of lemon, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh Italian cheeses sent us over the moon. A very simple dish made with the freshest ingredients available make this pasta our delicious winner.

-Sue Reddel and Diana Laskaris, Food Travelist

Orecchiette Pesto with pine nuts, basil, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan

Nothing says ‘summer’ quite like Orecchiette Pesto with pine nuts, basil, garlic, olive oil, and parmesan. It is flavorful and fresh at Crabtree’s Kittle House, a farm-to-table restaurant in Chappaqua, New York (just 40 miles from New York City). If you go, be on the lookout for Hillary and Bill Clinton, who live nearby.

-Lori Tripoli, BashfulAdventurer

Passatelli (pasta formed of strands of parmigiano cheese, egg and breadcrumbs pushed through a sieve) with white truffles

Passatelli (pasta formed of strands of parmigiano cheese, egg and breadcrumbs pushed through a sieve) with white truffles

Ask any Italian! They will surely tell you that the Emilia Romagna region is considered the gastronomic heart of Italy. On one of our visits, we visited a tiny hill town there, Savigno, known as the Citta del Tartufo (the city of truffles).

Here Chef Alberto Bettini presides over a Michelin-starred trattoria, called Amerigo 1934, that was first opened by his grandparents.

We headed about 40 minutes southwest of Bologna to sample the chef’s truffle-centric menu. We are real pasta lovers but but when passatelli pasta is served with shaved white truffles on top, the taste is taken to another level!

-Irene S. Levine, MoreTimeToTravel

Learning from a Nona

Learning from a Nona at Agriturismo Belagaggio.

My noodles!

Ravioli with Shaved Truffle, Osteria La Porta, Monticchiello, Italy

No world pasta day would be complete without a tasty trip to Tuscany. I have just recently returned from a dreamy, week-long cooking school vacation with Tuscan Women Cook in Montefollonico, Italy.

We spent seven delicious days learning from the very best Italian pasta makers, the Nonas at Agriturismo Belagaggio. These women are the local village Grandmas who have been making pasta for their families for generations. We learned how to make the dough by stirring eggs and flour on a large bread board, proper rolling techniques and how to cut the final noodles whether it is ravioli, pappardelle, lasagna, or tagliatelle. Pasta dishes like these do not get any more authentic than this!

It is so hard to pick a favorite from a week of pasta perfection, but this simple cheesy, buttery, ravioli with shaved truffles and aromatic herbs at Osteria La Porta was too amazing not to share!

-Suzanne Stavert, Adventures of Empty Nesters

For World Pasta Day: Some thoughts about pasta as found on Brainy Quote:

Life is too short, and I’m Italian. I’d much rather eat pasta and drink wine than be a size 0.  –Sophia Bush

I always have parmigiano-reggiano, olive oil and pasta at home. When people get sick, they want chicken soup; I want spaghetti with parmesan cheese, olive oil and a bit of lemon zest. It makes me feel better every time.  –Isabella Rossellini

When I’m traveling, I won’t miss an opportunity to try great pasta.  –Meghan Markle

I do love pasta. It gets me into trouble. If I could give up pasta and bread, I’d look like Cate Blanchett.  –Vicki Lawrence

What’s your favorite pasta dish?

Use the hashtags #WorldPastaDay and #GOTLuxuryTravel to cast your vote!

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Celebrate World Pasta Day