On the 25th of October 1995, delegates from nations around the world gathered in Rome to establish the annual World Pasta Day. The aim of the day is to recognize the staple food that is consumed on five continents.
Yesterday, a delegation led by Paolo Barilla met with Italian president Giorgio Napolitano to honour the food that is beloved by citizens across the country. The 13 tons of pasta consumed by Italians in 2010 are a testament to this country-wide dedication to traditional food.
Today in Rome, 300 delegates will gather to discuss a new global challenge for the ancient food at a conference titled: “New markets and new consumers for food that is conquering the tables of the world”. Attendees will include market analysts, pasta producers and culinary opinion leaders from across the globe.
World Pasta Day is meant to drawn attention to a dish that is served up around the world with a 5 point argument. Celebrate with your favourite dish of pasta today, because:
-it’s healthy and fits every lifestyle
Pasta al Forno Recipe
We want to celebrate the occasion with a recipe for one of Italy's most beloved pasta dishes: Pasta al Forno. We propose a simple version with tomatoes and basil.
(serves four to six people)
For the fresh tomato sugo:
*750g ripe sweet tomatoes skinned, preferably San Marzano plum tomatoes
*3-4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
*2 cloves garlic, peeled
*A handful of fresh basil
For a quick bèchamel sauce:
*a fresh bay leaf
*50g unsalted butter
*50g plain flour
*Freshly ground black pepper
*A generous grating of nutmeg
Cut the tomatoes into chunks and add them, with all the ingredients, to a shallow frying pan. Cook the sauce down for about 20 minutes, checking seasoning at the end. Then start preparing the bèchamel sauce. Make a roux with the butter and flour and cook it for 2-3 minutes. Gradually add the milk stirring well to make a smooth sauce, seasoning at the end.
Now all you need to do is assemble the dish: Cook 400g penne rigate or rigatoni in boiling salted water for 6 minutes until barely cooked. Drain and toss them in the tomato sauce.
Spread the pasta into an oiled baking dish and dot with spoonfuls of bèchamel sauce and pieces of mozzarella. Add plenty of leaves of fresh basil and a good grating of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.
Bake in a hot pre-heated oven 200C° for 25 minutes until piping hot and creamy.
More Pasta Recipes Here