Work up an appetite with our top five Italian food facts!

5 facts about pasta

1. There are over 600 varieties of pasta and every one of them is delicious. Okay, that last part isn't proven by science but we've done a lot of taste-testing and we're willing to vouch for it.

2. Speaking of pasta - did you know that fettucine alfredo and spaghetti and meatballs are not traditional Italian dishes? The former was first created in New York in the '70s (although the chef used a simple paasta bianco base), while the latter is also thought to have started in the States, likely during the early 20th Century.

3. There's a National Eat Italian Food Day, which falls on February 13th. We like to think that every day is an "Eat Italian Food" day, but it's good to know that there is an official excuse for us to eat our own body weight in pizza.

4. Pizza is thought to have originated in Naples back in the 1800s, and the original variety (La Margherita) was named after Queen Margherita.

5. To finish, we have one more pasta fact (because let's face it, we're talking about Italian food here). Did you know that before pasta sauce was invented, plain pasta was often eaten as a kind of finger-food?

All this talk about Italian food making you hungry? Don't worry - we've got you covered.