Pasta Traditions

  • Uruguay-flagIn Uruguay, it is customary to celebrate the “day of ñoqui,” the 29th of each month, by meeting with family or friends to enjoy pasta dishes, and placing coins under the plate in the hopes that there will be lots of money in the next month!
  • Uruguayan cuisine is traditionally based on its European roots, in particular, European food from Italy, Spain, Portugal and France, but also from countries such as Germany and Britain, along with African and indigenous mixtures. For this reason, pasta is common in Uruguay.
  • In Uruguay, pasta surpasses pizza in consumption levels. The average per capita consumption of pasta is of about 7.5 kg. Among the common pastas are tallarines (fettuccine), ravioles (ravioli), ñoquis (gnocchi), and canelones (cannelloni). They are usually cooked, served, and consumed in Uruguayan fashion, called al-uso-nostro, a phrase of Italian origin.
  • It is common in Uruguay for pasta to be eaten together with white bread (“French bread”).
  • Uruguayan pasta tends to come together with a large amount of tuco sauce (Italian suco “juice”), and be accompanied by estofado (stew). Less commonly, pastas are eaten with a sauce of pesto, a green sauce based on basil, or salsa blanca (Béchamel sauce).
  • Although the pasta can be served with a lot of sauces, there is one special sauce that was created by Uruguayans. The Caruso Sauce is a pasta sauce made from double cream, meat extract, onions, ham, and mushrooms.
  • Pasta is one of the most traditional dishes for family Sunday lunch, either at home or in restaurants.
Food Facts
  • The cuisine of Uruguay is linked to its European roots. Mediterranean foods from Italy, Spain, and France are common, and so are some foods from Germany. Pasta, sausages, and desserts are examples.
  • People eat a lot of meat in Uruguay. The Uruguayan version of barbecue, called asado, is one of the most famous in the world and is also the country’s national dish.
  • Other common dishes in Uruguay include chivitos, (steak sandwiches topped with eggs, cheese, bacon, lettuce, and tomato); pascualinas, (spinach pies); empanada gallega, (fish pies with sauce, onions, and green peppers); and choripán (chorizo, served with crusty bread, tomato, lettuce, and mayonnaise).
Fun Facts
  • Uruguay is the second smallest country in South America.
  • The National Anthem of Uruguay is around five minutes in length, making it the longest national anthem of any other country.
  • Uruguay is most notable for its meat.
  • Most houses in Uruguay have names.


uruguayPasta with Parmigiano Reggiano