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North Dakota farmers grow about 80 percent of the nation's nearly 100 million bushels of durum wheat. That 60-pound bushel makes enough about 42 pounds of pasta or roughly 210 servings of spaghetti.

Experiment with new pasta shapes by buying a different color or shape every time you shop. Shapes of similar sizes are interchangeable. A few examples are: Small shapes: orzo, small shells, acini de peppe, alphabets and stellini. Medium shapes: penne, rotini, wagon wheels, mafalda (mini lasagna), elbows, medium shells, mostaccioli, ziti and rigatoni.

Pasta is high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat. A half-cup serving of cooked pasta (without sauce) has just 99 calories and less than one-half gram of fat.