Pasta has been a favorite ingredient around the world for centuries. Evidence shows that more than 4,000 years ago, noodles existed in China, not Italy, as many would think. The oldest intact noodles yet discovered were found at the Lajia archeology site in Northwest China’s Qinghai province in 2002.

Some legends say that Marco Polo introduced pasta to Italy, after returning from one of his trips to China in 1295, but there are as many myths about pasta’s origins as there are types of pasta! With more than 350 types of pasta, and so many flour and grain varieties, you can choose countless combinations of pasta to enjoy.

Want to learn more? Check out Whole Foods Market’s Guide to Pasta.

Italian Fare

Whether it is a classic Italian pasta dish like Spaghetti e Olio -- a yummy dish made with garlic and olive oil, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe -- be prepared to grind lots of pepper, or more traditional dishes like Spaghetti with Bolognese, Vegan Mushroom Alfredo, or Carrot Top Pesto, garlic is a key ingredient amongst these staples.

Asian Flavors

If you are craving an Asian-inspired meal, there are many ways to pair noodles and veggies in quick and easy recipes like Sesame-Peanut Noodles, Soba Noodle Salad, or Rainbow Soba Noodles. We also love to spice things up with this Broccoli Salad with Almond and Chile Dressing, Thai Shrimp and Carrot Salad, or this flavorful Firecracker Chicken Salad with Pineapple and Mango.

Unique Pasta Dishes

There is more to life than flat or spaghetti-style noodles! Get creative by using other types of pasta like orzo used in this Spring Orzo Salad, or macaroni in this family favorite Macaroni and Butternut Sauce, or give your pasta a Southwest flare using fusilli in our Black Bean and Roasted Corn Salad.

Have concerns about getting that pasta perfect? Explore the Whole Food’s Market 10 Tips to Do Pasta Night Right.