Italians had been enjoying their pasta for centuries before someone came up with the idea for a dried version of the food. This simple innovation allowed the pasta to keep longer and it soon made its way around the world on Italian ships.

In the 1500s, explorers brought back tomatoes from the Americas, and you would think that’s where the pairing of red sauce and pasta got its start. But people thought tomatoes were poisonous, and it was nearly 200 years before someone incorporated them into Italian cuisine. Since then, pasta and tomato sauce have been forever linked.

On National Pasta Day celebrate with a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Or ravioli. Or baked ziti. There are so many kinds of pasta and sauce, you just can’t lose.

Today we also celebrate: National Boss’s Day, National Mulligan Day, National Edge Day, Black Poetry Day, and National Clean your Virtual Desktop Day.