October is "National Pasta Month", and you don't need to coax me to eat a plate full. When I was a kid growing up in Utica, my Itlalian-American friends called it "macaroni". Now when runners eat a bowlful the night before "The Boilermaker", it's more fashionable to cal it "pasta".

Here are some fun facts about pasta, according to pastafits.com:

"NEW YORK: According to a 2011 survey conducted by the National Pasta Association (NPA), pasta lovers eat their favorite food seven times a month – nearly twice a week!

Americans eat approximately 20 pounds of pasta each year. This may sounds outrageous but in Italy, the average person eats 51 pounds – salute!

Pasta is the ideal delivery system for nutritious foods! It boosts energy, satisfies hunger, tastes great and can be prepared in countless ways. It’s great to pair with fiber-filled vegetables and beans, heart -healthy fish and oils, antioxidant-rich tomato sauce and protein-packed poultry and lean meats.

There are over 600 different shapes of pasta which can be made into an infinite number of meals. With pasta varieties ranging from fusilli and ziti to farfalle and orecchiette, it’s hard to pick a favorite. In 2011, Americans named spaghetti as their favorite shape."

Watch this video for a real authentic Italian pasta dish that's easy to make, penne arrabbiata: