You know in our never ending quest to celebrate all things food, we set aside days, weeks and even months to showcase everything from aardvark (I serious hope not!) to zucchini. October brings us National Pasta Month. I suppose it gets to have the whole month because pasta comes in such a wide array of shapes, sizes, flavors and uses.

Rather like Bubba Blue’s litany on ways to use shrimps (as he called them), there’s an estimated over 50 types of pasta, some of which just might surprise you. And they did not all originate in Italy either.

chicken and dumplings2 diningwithdebbienet

Did you know that our dumplings (aka dumplins) as in Mamaw’s Chicken and Dumplings are actually considered to be pasta? While we’re here — are  you a flat or a puffy dumpling fan? I once was practically accosted on this issue once!

We do have to give the Italians credit for inventing pasta, however. That old legend about Marco Polo bringing pasta back from China to Italy? Well, I hate to bust your bubble, but that is just not true. Ancient Rome was the birthplace of fresh pasta (pasta fresca). Dried pasta (pasta secca) came about in the 1300’s. Because of its long shelf life and nutrition, it became a staple on seafaring voyages.

How about these? Are you familiar?

  • Acini de pepe
  • Agnolotti
  • Bucatini
  • Campanelle
  • Cannelloni
  • Capellini
  • Cavatelli
  • Conchiglie
  • Ditalini
  • Farfalle
  • Fettucine
  • Fusilli
  • Gemelli
  • Lasagne
  • Macaroni (Duh!)
  • Orecchiette
  • Orzo



  • Penne
  • Radiatori
  • Rigatoni
  • Spaghetti (Double Duh!)
  • Tagliatelle
  • Tortellini

tortellini skewers

  • Vermicelli

And we’ve only just begun! For a fairly exhaustive list of Italian pastas, check out the list on Guida Garrubbo.

Even though the Chinese didn’t actually invent pasta, they did invent the won ton. That’s the secret to the really easy tortellini and raviolis I made on THV11 this week. Making these is a snap and a good way to get your kiddos involved in the kitchen. New anchor, Rob Evans and I used premade won tons to make pumpkin-sage, cheese, and spinach-arugula-cheese fillings. For the fillings and folding methods, check out the link to those on THV11.