Spaghetti is arguably the most popular pasta shape in the world. It is thought to have originated in the south of Italy and is used in countless dishes in Italian cooking. It gets its name from the Italian word ‘spaghi’, which means ‘string’ or ‘cord’ It is a versatile, cheap and can be prepared quickly, making it a popular choice for busy people everywhere.
It is prepared by boiling until ‘al dente’, this means the pasta is still firm when cooked. When cooked its usually eaten with sauce, pesto, cheese, meatballs, vegetables or seafood.
- Carbonara – A classic Italian carbonara only has 5 ingredients; parmesan cheese, pancetta, eggs, spaghetti and a good helping of black pepper. The traditional recipe doesn’t contain any cream but you don’t need it! Prepared right the sauce is creamy without any additions!
- Spaghetti alla puttanesca – Is typically thrown together with the things you already have in your kitchen cabinet. This Neapolitan sauce has a spicy and flavourful tomato sauce with olives, capers, anchovies, chilli peppers, and oregano
- Spaghetti alle vongole – Vongole is the Italian word for clams and this dish is packed full of them!
- Bolognese – Bolognese sauce is traditionally served with flat pasta like tagliatelle or tube shapes like penne but in the UK spaghetti bolognese is super popular! Its a rich tomato-based sauce with mince, this is known as a ragu in Italian!
- Spaghetti alla nerano – This pasta dish is with fried courgettes, its quick, easy and delicious!
- Spaghetti marinara – This classic pasta literally means ‘sailor-style’. It has a thick tomato sauce and it’s chockfull of seafood like mussels, anchovies, prawns topped off with for freshly chopped parsley!
How much to cook per person
Making too much or too little pasta is a huge annoyance. No one likes to waste food and there’s nothing like the panic of frantically boiling extra water after realising you made underestimation and you have guests waiting!
Something that surprised me was that Italians actually weigh their pasta before cooking. It’s not uncommon to ask someone how much pasta they eat and the reply being something like ‘80 grams’.
A good rule of thumb is that unless you have a huge appitite you will not need more than 100g per person.
Small portions 50g -70g
Medium portions 80g – 90g
Large portions 100g +
Spaghetti nutritional information
Spaghetti is made up of mostly carbohydrates, which can be bad for you if consumed in large amounts. Pasta is traditionally made from durum wheat, water and eggs.
It has a small amount of protein, sugars and fat. A portion of 100g cooked pasta provides about 357 calories and a moderate level of manganese and a few other micronutrients.
Pasta is relatively low on the glycemic index in comparison to other carbohydrate-rich foods like bread, potatoes, and rice. It has a level of 55 or lower.
Spaghetti also contains gluten. If you have a gluten sensitivity you can easily find gluten-free alternatives.