Spaghetti. The sound of the word is almost as good as the taste of it. Spaghetti is a favorite of foodies around the world because it is versatile enough for any occasion, from a quiet lunch for one to a lively dinner party. And if you needed another reason, National Spaghetti Day (which occurs on the fourth Monday of January each year) provides a good one. To mark the occasion of spaghetti’s 50th anniversary, we take a look at some of Italy’s best places to eat it.
Spaghetti’s origins are a mystery.
It’s widely accepted that “spaghetto” (the singular for spaghetti in Italian) originated in Palermo, Sicily, in 12th century Palermo, despite Greek mythology showing the god Vulcan using a device that made strings of dough.
A 50cm-long strand of durum wheat used to be the standard length of each strand (in contrast to the 20-25cm we see today). Popularity skyrocketed around the world when the first spaghetti factory opened in the late 19th century in Italy. Especially in America.
In the year 2000, more than 1.3 million pounds of spaghetti were sold in American supermarkets… Nine Earth re-circulations’ worth of threads!
Millions of people now regularly consume this incredibly adaptable food. Foraging through Italy in search of new and exciting flavors, or creating their own unique concoctions with their favorite ingredients.
With spaghetti, simplicity is the ultimate perfection. The locals keep things light and fun. Spaghetti with red chili, garlic, and oil, known as ‘aglio olio,’ is a classic Italian dish. Don’t smother your pasta dish in sauce or cheese before serving it. Keep the portion size to a reasonable size rather than so large that it makes you want to sleep. Take note that in Italy you do not eat the primi (pasta) as a one-course lunch or dinner.
Tips: When cooking at home, always cook ‘al dente,’ or ‘to the tooth,’ as the Italian expression goes. Rather than being soft or mushy, this means having a slightly chewy texture. As a result, many locals believe that pasta water should be saltier than the ocean. Never use a spoon to eat spaghetti, and never cut it in half when preparing it.
Where should we go and what should we try first on our quest for the perfect plate of spaghetti?
That’s right. Take a trip to Italy, where the aromas and flavors of sensual food and wine fill every street and idyllic square. Every one of Italy’s 20 distinct regions begs to be discovered. The best spaghetti in the world awaits you, no matter where your travels take you.
Tonnarello Cacio e Pepe is a restaurant in Rome.
Tonnarello Cacio e Pepe is waiting for you down one of Rome’s cobbled streets. It’s made with sheep’s milk cheese and black pepper, which is native to the city. You can’t stop licking your lips for hours after having a single sip of this drink. As we’ve said before, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Pizza al Nero di Seppie is a Sicilian dish of spaghetti
Spaghetti al Nero di Seppie in Sicily is a must-try dish (spaghetti with squid ink). This dish is delicate, fresh, and daring for those who aren’t used to it, so don’t be afraid to try it. For a change of pace, try the Sicilian pesto pasta.
In Naples, you must try the Spaghetti alle Vongole.
One of the most popular dishes in Naples is Spaghetti al Vongole (spaghetti with clams). Garlic, parsley, red pepper flakes, white wine, olive oil, and some of the freshest clams you’ve ever tasted combine to make a dish that will stay in your mind for a long time.
Spaghetti al Limone on the Amalfi Coast
Spaghetti al limone, a personal favorite, is the ideal pick-me-up. Lemony and zesty, it’s even better with the salty air on your skin, like most things. It can also be the perfect accompaniment to a cosy winter’s night.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara is a well-known Italian dish. Eggs, parmesan cheese, cured pork, and black pepper make this dish one of the most popular in Italy and around the world. You can’t go wrong with its creamy and nourishing goodness. Both Rome and Lazio now believe they are the ones who invented it.
Bigoli in salsa, a Venetian staple, is a slightly different take on spaghetti. Anchovy sauce and onions are included in the bigoli strands, which are made of buckwheat flour. That’s a great place to start!
Is your stomach growling yet? Which Italian dish is your personal favorite? Why don’t you share your thoughts in the section below?