Is there any foodstuff that provides more variety than pasta? Break it down to the basics and we’re talking simple flour and eggs, mixed and worked until something magical, something alchemical happens and it becomes a dough that is shaped into everything from long, thin stalks of spaghetti to the letters of the alphabet. It’s truly an amazing invention.

There are probably as many pasta preparations as there are people on earth, from the high class (a $2013 tagliolini topped with Maine lobster and black truffle at BiCE in Manhattan) to the decidedly low-brow (one of my most popular recipes simply called “White Trash Spaghetti”), with all points in-between. Noodles find themselves boiled and topped with all manner of sauces, baked into cunning concoctions like lasagna or manicotti, and used as a canvas on which veal, chicken, or fish are laid.

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To celebrate the humble noodle, Tie Dye Travels author Kat Robinson and I have decided to feature some of our favorite pasta dishes from around the state all week. She’s started things off with a look at Spinelli’s in Mena, and will be posting some of her favorite pasta dishes from around the state throughout this week.

As for me, I have to admit that I don’t actually order pasta in restaurants all that often — I prefer to make mine at home. There are several reasons for this: many restaurants overcook their pasta, produce watery, bland sauces, and charge a premium for both. So while I’ll be highlighting some of my favorite places for pasta around the city, I’ll also be sharing with you some recipes for DIY pasta at home that will suit your tooth for pennies on the dollar.

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For now, though, I’d like to turn it over to all of you. Do you have a favorite pasta dish to make at home? Do you have one you always order at one of our local restaurants? Or do you just not like the stuff? Let us know down there in the comments, and we’ll kick this pasta week off in style.