With a consumption rate of 2.7 million tons of pasta per year, the United States clearly doesn't need a reason to dig into a plate of Italian noodles. But today, it has one anyway: October 17 is National Pasta Day.
The holiday was established in 1995 in Rome, when the First World Pasta Congress took place. Delegates from all over gathered to discuss the rising popularity of pasta, as well as how to better promote and manufacture the internationally consumed food.
While Italians are by far the world's heaviest consumers of pasta, the United States is the largest pasta market. According to the National Pasta Association, the average American consumes nearly 20 pounds of pasta annually.
In South Florida, local restaurants and national chains are celebrating by offering deals on certain dishes or crafting new recipes made specifically for the day.
Romano's Macaroni Grill: Today is the last day to get a meal for 5 for $25 if you sign up to Romano's Macaroni Grill e-club. The restaurant is also offering the chance to win a trip to Tuscany to visit its winery.
Olive Garden: Until November 24, order a never-ending pasta bowl for $10.99. If you join Olive Garden's eClub, receive a free appetizer or dessert when you buy two entrees.
Applebee's: New pasta and grill combinations are $9.99.
Carraba's: Buy an entree, get a $10 take-home deal when you mention the offer.
Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant, Davie: Four people get fresh-baked rolls, choice of salad, one large cheese pizza and choice of one family-style pasta for $40 through October 27.
Maggiano's Little Italy, Boca Raton: Receive $10 off your next visit by signing up for emails on the restaurant's website.
The Big Easy Casino, Hallandale: Order the Cajun chicken pasta today for just $12.
The Jim and Neesie, Miami Beach: Chef Daniel Roy is serving four new pasta dishes for $12 per plate, today only.
Burlock Coast Seafare & Spirits, Fort Lauderdale: Enjoy a pappardelle pasta with lemon ricotta, roasted mushroom, butternut squash and truffle oil, crafted specially for today.