For hundreds of years, pasta has been an integral part of Americans’ diets and one of our most beloved foods. Naturally low in sodium and cholesterol-free, nutritionists agree that pasta makes the perfect foundation for nutrient-dense food partners, such as fiber-filled vegetables and beans, heart-healthy fish and monounsaturated oils, antioxidant-rich tomato sauce and protein-packed cheeses, poultry and lean meats. It is also a convenient, cost-effective and wholesome solution to entertaining. From popular pasta salads to decadent dinners, pasta is easy to prepare and can be incorporated into hundreds of different recipes and types of cuisines.
“I love to prepare pasta when I entertain because it doesn’t take much time and is always a crowd pleaser,” says Diane Welland, Registered Dietitian. “You can incorporate lean proteins and almost any type of vegetable in most pasta recipes to create a healthy and delicious meal for your guests.”
According to Pasta Fits, the National Pasta Association’s digital culinary and nutritional resource which issues a new recipe each week, the most popular recipes of 2014 included pasta salads, vegetarian and vegan dishes, and new twists on classics, such as macaroni and cheese.
To celebrate National Pasta Month this October, Pasta Fits has launched a new video series offering insider cooking tips and ideas as well as a Facebook contest where visitors to the site simply vote on their favorite pasta party meal for a chance to win a cash prize! To enter, simply visit www.facebook.com/PastaFits or www.pastafits.org.