Spotlight Series: All About Spaghetti

Spotlight Series: All About Spaghetti

Have you ever found yourself wondering, What is spaghetti? Where did it come from? Why is it so popular? Why is it such an icon in Italian-American cuisine?

Spaghetti just might be considered the MVP of all Italian pasta. Italians, Americans and eaters all over the world consume tons of spaghetti pasta each year. It is by far the most popular pasta cut on the plant, but why? Maybe the secret to its popularity lies in its versatility. These long, thin noodles pair up with just about every type of sauce: from tangy tomato sauces to hearty Bolognese to simple sauces of butter or olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Spaghetti pasta is the star of many classic Italian recipes that you might know and love: Spaghetti Carbonara, Spaghetti Bolognese and Spaghetti alla Nerano—to name a few.

Perhaps it is more simple than that. Could it be that spaghetti is popular because it is more fun to eat? Or maybe, like the famously sweet scene between pups in the Disney classic, there is something romantic about a plate of Spaghetti and Meatballs?

In this article, we explore the history of this famous Italian pasta, discuss how it is made, inspire you with spaghetti recipes and more!

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DeLallo Spaghetti: Fast Facts

  • Category: Cylindrical pasta
  • Meaning: Thin String
  • Cook Time: 8 to 9
  • Place of Origin: Sicily
  • Main Ingredients: Durum Wheat and water
  • Possible Substitutes: Spaghettini, Fettuccine, Capellini

What Is Spaghetti?

Spaghetti is a long, thin, cylindrical pasta shape that is very popular in Italian cuisine and beyond. Named for its “thin string” shape, spaghetti is made with durum wheat semolina and water. Its long thin shape is super versatile and can be paired with a myriad of sauces: tomato sauces, meat ragùs, simple olive oil sauces like pesto, rich cream sauces and more. legendary pasta cut ready to be enjoyed in just about any recipe. Spaghetti is easy to cook, easy to enjoy and always a crowd-pleaser.

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The Origin Of Spaghetti And Its Brief History

Spaghetti was first made by hand, which was a laborious process. Spaghetti didn’t gain popularity until the invention of mechanical extrusion presses in the late 19th century. Rather than repeatedly rolling out the dough until a thin, even strand is formed, pasta dough is pressed through bronze dyes in a machine that creates long, thin cylinders of pasta. The earliest known recorded mention of the word “spaghetti” is from a dictionary in 1836. Serving pasta with tomato sauce was gaining popularity around the same time, paving the way for the spaghetti dishes we know and love.

How Is Spaghetti Made And What Is It Made Of?

Spaghetti starts with pasta dough that is traditionally made of semolina flour and water. The dough is put in an extruder which pushes the dough through a dye and forms it into long, round, solid strands that are then cut and dried. While spaghetti can be made by hand, it is a laborious process since the dough must be rolled into very thin, even, cylindrical strands. These days, spaghetti is made in many forms to be inclusive of those with dietary needs and restrictions. Whole-wheat and gluten-free varieties of spaghetti are widely available in grocery stores. To create gluten-free spaghetti, ingredients other than durum wheat are used such as corn, chickpeas and brown rice.

How To Cook Spaghetti

To cook a pound of spaghetti, bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add 2 tablespoons of sea salt followed by the dried spaghetti. Give it a stir to ensure the noodles do not stick together or to the pot. Boil for about 8 minutes, checking a minute or two before the timer goes off to check for that signature al dente texture. Before draining, we recommend reserving some pasta water to adjust the consistency of the sauce. Drain in a colander and immediately toss with sauce. Never rinse. If you are serving spaghetti with a warmed sauce, add the pasta to the sauce and stir together over heat for a minute or two to marry the flavors. The only time it is acceptable to rinse cooked pasta while draining is when you are creating a cold pasta salad.

The Best Spaghetti Pasta - The Delallo Difference

DeLallo Spaghetti Pasta is made in Italy using high-quality durum wheat that is specially milled for the ideal coarse texture for pasta-making. This durum wheat semolina is kneaded together with cool mountain spring water to create the pasta dough—just two ingredients! Spaghetti noodles are formed using traditional bronze dies, instead of Teflon. Though it speeds up production, Teflon leaves the pasta with a plasticized, slick texture that repels sauces. Bronze dies are an artisanal method of pasta production that gives noodles a slightly rough surface texture made to hug to all of your favorite sauces. Pasta is slow-dried at low temperatures to help retain its desirable fresh-bread flavor and nutrients, but also to guarantee that perfect al dente bite.

Spaghetti Recipes And Usage Ideas

Spaghetti has endless uses. One of the most iconic dishes using the popular pasta shape is Spaghetti and Meatballs, where the long twirly pasta noodles are tossed in a lightly seasoned tomato sauce and topped with meatballs made of beef, lamb, veal or pork (or a combination.) Spaghetti Bolognese combines al dente pasta with a hearty and flavorful meat sauce for a crowd-pleasing meal. Spaghetti alla Nerano is always a summer favorite, spotlighting fresh zucchini. For a quick meal, try Spaghetti Carbonara or Spaghetti Aglio e Olio—both cook up in just minutes.

That’s not all! Spaghetti can also be turned into a delightfully cheesy pasta bake. If you’re feeling adventurous, try a Pasta, Frittata, or Spaghetti Pie—an impressive main dish that is baked in a springform pan and sliced like a pie.

For more spaghetti recipe ideas, check out our recipe collection.

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The Best Sauces For Spaghetti

Spaghetti is served in a wide variety of ways. It is often paired with tomato-based sauces like marinara, fresh tomato sauce or meaty bolognese. Spaghetti Carbonara is also popular—a sauce composed of Pecorino cheese, pancetta and raw egg that cooks lightly when stirred into the still-hot pasta. Puttanesca Sauce is a prized Italian spaghetti sauce featuring briny olives, capers, tomatoes, anchovies and garlic—a Southern Italian specialty. Spaghetti dishes can also be as simple as Aglio e Olio (olive oil and garlic) or as complex as homemade tomato sauce and meatballs. A light seafood sauce, zesty pesto, fresh vegetables and more can be paired with the ever-flexible spaghetti.

Spaghetti Substitutes

Spaghetti is widely available at supermarkets and groceries around the world. If you find yourself out of the popular pasta, you can swap it for Spaghettini, a thinner version of spaghetti, or capellini, a very thin, delicate version of spaghetti. Capellini, sometimes called “angel hair,” pairs better with lighter sauces, like fresh tomato or seafood. For heartier sauces like red sauces or meat sauces, use sturdier noodles like linguine, which is slightly thicker and elliptical rather than round.

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Delallo Spaghetti: FAQ

Is Spaghetti A Pasta Or Noodle?

Spaghetti is a type of Italian pasta and pasta is a type of noodle; therefore, spaghetti is both pasta and a type of noodle. While all pasta is Italian in origin, noodles are served in a variety of cuisines, including ramen noodles, bean thread noodles, soba noodles and more.

Does Spaghetti Have Egg In It?

Spaghetti does not typically contain egg. Store-bought dried spaghetti is made simply with durum wheat flour and water, making for a sturdy dough that can be extruded through dies before drying. Egg pasta is a typically bought or made as fresh pasta. Some examples of dried egg pasta include Pappardelle and Tagliatelle.

How Long Is Spaghetti Good For In The Refrigerator?

Dried spaghetti will keep for months in the pantry when stored in an airtight container. Once cooked, spaghetti should be refrigerated and stored in an air-tight container and eaten within 4 days. It will lose some of its signature texture upon reheating, as spaghetti (like all pasta) is best enjoyed the day it is made.

Is Spaghetti Healthy?

Spaghetti is composed simply of durum wheat and water. It contains carbohydrates, fiber and a small amount of protein. Whole-wheat spaghetti is much more nutritious, containing more fiber and nutrients. Just like all pasta, spaghetti can be a part of a healthy diet when eaten in moderation and paired with other major food groups like vegetables and protein.

How Much Spaghetti Should I Cook Per Person?

The standard rule of thumb is to cook 2 ounces of dried pasta per person. If you hold the spaghetti in your fist in a long bundle, it should be the diameter of a quarter. However, if you’re just serving pasta as the main dish without an appetizer or any side dishes, you may want to cook more like 3 to 4 ounces per person.

How Do I Reheat Spaghetti?

You can reheat leftover cooked spaghetti on the stovetop or in the microwave. Either way, be careful not to overcook, since the pasta will become mushy. To reheat on the stovetop, add the leftover pasta to a nonstick skillet. Sprinkle lightly with water and cover. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring every couple of minutes until just heated through. To microwave, ensure the spaghetti is in a microwave-safe container. Sprinkle lightly with water and loosely cover. Microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring as needed, until just heated through.

How Many Calories Are In One Serving Of Spaghetti?

Two ounces of spaghetti is considered one serving and has approximately 190 calories.

Spaghetti Vs Linguini - What Is The Difference?

While both spaghetti and linguini are long strand pastas, spaghetti is thin and round while linguini is slightly thicker with an elliptical shape. Linguini looks as if you took a thicker version of spaghetti and squashed it, although it is not totally flat like fettuccine. Spaghetti is famously used in spaghetti and meatballs and spaghetti carbonara, while linguini is frequently served with a clam sauce.

Spaghetti Vs Bucatini - What Is The Difference?

Bucatini looks like a thick spaghetti noodle, but with a big difference—it is hollow. Spaghetti is solid circular strands, while bucatini is circular with a hole running down the center of each noodle. This makes bucatini have more of an al dente bite than spaghetti.

Spaghetti Vs Angel Hair (Capellini) - What Is The Difference?

Capellini, also known as angel hair pasta, is an extremely thin, long pasta. It is similar in length to spaghetti but is much thinner and therefore cooks up faster. The delicate noodles are a good fit for light sauces and toppings such as fresh tomatoes and basil.

Spaghetti Vs Spaghettini - What Is The Difference?

Spaghettini is a slightly thinner version of spaghetti. It has the exact same shape—long and round—but is skinnier in diameter. The two pastas can be used interchangeably in recipes.

Spaghetti Vs Fettuccine - What Is The Difference?

Spaghetti is a long, thin, round and solid pasta. Fettuccine is also a long cut of pasta but instead of thin and rounded, it is flat and thick. Its name translates to “little ribbons,” which perfectly describes its shape. Fettuccine is commonly served with Alfredo sauce.

Spaghetti Vs Spaghetti Squash - What Is The Difference?

Spaghetti squash is named after the pasta spaghetti, but the two are very different. Spaghetti is a type of pasta made with durum wheat semolina, while spaghetti squash is a winter gourd. When cooked, the vegetable’s interior can be broken into strands with a fork, resembling spaghetti but with a different flavor and firmer texture.

Where To Buy Delallo Spaghetti?

Order DeLallo Spaghetti online or find it at most major supermarkets across the country.