World Pasta Day: A passion for Italian pasta, in numbers

On October 25, pasta is celebrated all over the world. The opportunity to return to an Italian passion that has become international, consumption having doubled in 10 years.

Dough, noodle, noodle, nudel, fideos, massa… Whatever the names given to it, the food passion for pasta is well linked to Italy. According to figures released by Union Italia food on the occasion of the 24th International Pasta Day on October 25, world consumption has almost doubled, rising from 9 to 17 million tonnes. A figure that shows that today, no people can live without it.

The kings of pasta are…

…the Italians of course, who eat about 23 kilos per person per year, far ahead of Tunisia (17 kilos), Venezuela (15), Greece (12.2), Chile (9.4 kg), the United States (8.8 kg), Argentina and Turkey (8.7 kg).
Italy is also the largest producer of pasta with 3.6 million tonnes, ahead of Turkey and the United States, reveals the International Pasta Organization. And 61% of production was exported in 2021, mainly to Germany, Great Britain, France, the United States and Japan. And 2022 promises to be a record year with pasta exports up 31% over the first seven months of the year.
In total, every day, 75 million portions of Italian pasta are cooked around the world, according to Unionfood.

An anti-crisis dish, up to passive cooking

The other advantage of pasta is that you can create a tasty, nutritious and tasty dish with a few euros and a little imagination, even with the simplest ingredients such as tomato, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and cheese.

The subject of passive cooking of pasta to save energy, has animated the debates in Italy in recent months, to the point of involving the Nobel Prize in Science Giorgio Parisi, the sailing champion Giovanni Soldini (who tested the cooking pressure cooker), the famous chef Davide Oldani and Barilla, who even broadcast a communication campaign. Agnesi, the historic brand of made in Italy pasta, claims its paternity: Vincenzo Agnesi would have already thought of passive cooking in the mid-1960s. In recent years, the company specifies, this method has been perfected by many tests carried out in its research and quality laboratories, leading to a reduction of 75% in water consumption and 75% in energy. Simple and effective, the Agnesi method consists of immersing the pasta in a small quantity of cold water (1.2 liters for 500 grams of pasta, compared to 5 liters in traditional cooking) and bringing it to the boil. Once the pasta has been mixed, the lid closed and the heat turned off, cook for the time indicated on the package, plus one minute at the consumer’s choice. Thus the energy consumption time goes from around 29 minutes for the traditional method (18 minutes to boil 5 liters of water plus 11 minutes for cooking pasta), to only 7 minutes to boil 1.2 liters of water and cook 500 grams of pasta. But Gennarino Esposito, two-Michelin-starred chef, also intervened in the endless dispute over passive cooking to end the controversy in his own way: “You can find many other ways to save energy, rather than undercooking the pasta. Otherwise, a dish that is perfect in itself loses its magic and its sensuality”.

And let’s not forget the tradition: the four most famous pasta recipes in the world (apart from pasta al pesto), Carbonara, Cacio e pepe, Amatriciana and Gricia. All made in Roma, they have the same common denominator, the Pecorino Romano.

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