Pasta Traditions

  • On October 25, 2016, hundreds of pasta makers, industry members, scientists, media and other opinion leaders from around the world convened a veritable United Nations of Pasta in Russia in honor of the 19th Annual World Pasta Day. The event was hosted by the International Pasta Organisation (IPO) and AIDEPI, in partnership with ICE-Italian Trade Agency ITA.

  • Russia is the fifth largest pasta producer (more than 1 million tons annually) after Italy, U.S., Turkey and Brazil.
  • Russia alone imported nearly 47,000 tons of pasta in 2015, with per capita consumption of 7.2 kilograms per year.
  • Pier Paolo Celeste, ICE (Italian Trade Promotion Agency) Director in Moscow, said, “Pasta has always been an important part of food range exported by Italy to the Russian market. Not only does it have excellent nutritional qualities, it also is a pivotal part of our country’s food culture and cuisine history. No wonder Italy is traditionally a leading pasta supplier in Russia.”
  • Traditionally, pasta dishes in Russia were known as “makarony.” For instance, “Makarony Po-Flotski,” or Nautical Pasta, is a simple pasta and meat dish created generations ago by sailors who had few ingredients onboard their vessels. “Makarony with chees” and “makarony with sausages” are also staples.
Food Facts
  • Today, Italian pasta dishes are gaining popularity in Russia with classic dishes like Pasta alla Bolognese and Pasta alla Carbonara appearing on menus throughout the country.
  • One of the most popular recipes during the ‘70s and ‘80s in Italy featured a typical Russian ingredient: vodka. We are talking about “Penne alla Vodka.”
  • Pasta only appeared in Russia a little more than 150 years ago, but, according to Vladimir Mukhin, Chef, White Rabbit, “Now we can’t imagine our life without it. And even many Russians believe pasta is a Russian dish!”
  • Ruslan Nigmatullin, former goalkeeper of the Russian national team, is a pasta fan. He said, “Pasta is the perfect combination of all the necessary elements for an athlete — carbohydrates and protein. But in addition pasta is truly delicious.”
Fun Facts
  • Russia is the largest country in the world by area, covering more than a ninth of the Earth’s land area.
  • Russia is located across 9 times zones.
  • Moscow’s metro system is one of the business subways in the world, transporting 2.4 billion people in 2014. No need to wait: trains leave every 90 seconds during rush hour.

Tri-color Penne Alla Vodka

Serves 4

Tri-color Penne 320 grams

Red Salmon Caviar 40 grams

Tomato Sauce 59 grams

Shallot (1 small, chopped)

Smoked Salmon (diced) 80 grams

Roasted red peppers (peeled, diced) 40 grams

Heavy whipping cream 11% 100 grams (2.2 teaspoons)

Green onion or scallion (chopped)

Vodka 60 ML

Vegetable Broth 85 grams (¼ cup)

Olive Oil 27 grams (2 tablespoons)

White Pepper


Braise chopped shallots gently in olive oil and vegetable broth. Add the smoked salmon and white pepper (avoid salt as smoked salmon is already salty) and flambé with half of the vodka. Add previously peeled roasted red peppers and cream. Mix with a little tomato sauce and remove from heat. Cook penne al dente and drain. Add sauce and stir in a splash of vodka. Top with chopped green onion. Serve with fresh salmon caviar and pepper to taste.

Calories: 580, Total Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Sodium: 310mg, Total Carbohydrate: 63g, Fiber: 1g, Protein: 26g