Why is spaghetti so popular in Italy
Spaghetti - The epitome of Italian pasta
If you are asked to name three types of pasta, then the name “spaghetti” will certainly also come up. The pasta is considered one of the absolute classics and can be enjoyed in many different ways in many delicious recipes. Far beyond the spaghetti bolognese with tomato sauce, which is popular with young and old. Regardless of whether recipes with mushrooms, nuts such as walnuts, prawns, fish such as salmon, broccoli or olives, a multitude of dishes can be prepared with spaghetti for every taste.
We took a closer look at the spaghetti for you and have also put together some recipes for you and your children that you can prepare at home.
What is spaghetti and what does it look like?
The name spaghetti was taken from Italian and means something like 'string'.
Spaghetti is long Italian pasta with a round diameter. That is not unimportant to mention, because flattened long Italian pasta is not called spaghetti, but linguine. Spaghetti is cooked “al dente” in water with or without the addition of olive oil. Opinions differ when it comes to salt in the water or not, olive oil in the cooking water or not and of course also about what “al dente” really means.
Here it often just depends on your own preferences, how crispy the pasta should be. Spaghetti is usually 1.6 mm in diameter and about 26 centimeters long. Spaghettini are thinner, capellini the thinnest and spaghettoni is called the slightly thicker version.
Where do the delicious spaghetti come from?
As has meanwhile been proven, the noodle actually has its origin in Asia. In China it was already consumed in the 3rd century BC. However, as a side dish to the soup. The Chinese poet Shu Xi even wrote an ode to noodles in the 3rd century AD.
In Italy, pasta first appeared in the 9th century AD. From Sicily they spread all over Italy. When Marco Polo toured Asia in 1298, pasta had been eaten in Italy for 300 years and in a different way than in China.
The Italians opted for the dry (asciutta) enjoyment of noodles with sauce and not only use the pasta as an accompaniment to noodle soups.
The spaghetti itself got its name from Antonia Viviani in 1842, as the pasta reminded him of threads (spaghi - threads).
For a long time, spaghetti was cooked very soft and preferably eaten with cheese until it became a quick meal in the streets of Naples and was now prepared more “al dente‘ ”. The shorter the cooking time of pasta, the less starch the body can use from it and the lower the calories the noodle.
How is spaghetti made?
Every Italian noodle, regardless of whether it is spaghetti, farfalle, penne or cannelloni, is made from durum wheat semolina and water. When the dough is optimally mixed, it is pressed through dies that have different shapes. The die can be made of Teflon or bronze. The spaghetti is then put on hangers and dried at 60 to 70 degrees Celsius.
Make spaghetti yourself
Homemade tastes best: making spaghetti is child's play.
Making spaghetti yourself is not difficult if you choose the right ingredients. The best type of Italian durum wheat flour is type 00. This is fine and has a high content of gluten, the sticky protein, which ensures that the dough does not fall apart. You can also mix different flours if you want to make whole wheat spaghetti, for example.
If you use normal wheat flour (type 405 or 550), it is advisable to sieve this and mix it with a tablespoon of olive oil so that the dough becomes smooth.
Spaghetti made with durum wheat semolina does not break as easily when dry and is easier to cook to the bite.
Recipe for spaghetti without an egg
You can make delicious spaghetti yourself at home and then use it in your recipes.
- 200 g flour (type 405)
- 200 g durum wheat semolina
- 1 pinch of salt
- 200 ml of cold water
- Mix the flour, durum wheat semolina and salt.
- Then gradually add water and knead the dough for about five minutes before adding more water as needed. In total, the dough should not be kneaded for more than 10 minutes, otherwise the gluten will combine too much and the mass will be tough and sticky. The dough is ready when it springs back to its original shape within seconds after being pressed in with a finger.
- Then wrap the dough in a damp tea towel and let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Gradually divide up portions of the dough and roll the portions into flatter, thinner pieces of dough. Make the roller thinner with each pass until the desired thickness is achieved.
- If you work with the food processor, the best thing to do is to simply place the spaghetti attachment on the food processor and then cut the pasta to the desired length.
- Shape the finished spaghetti into small piles or hang them on hangers to dry if you want to store them.
- Let the pasta dry for at least a day or two to store. It is better to let the pasta dry for about a week. You can then store the spaghetti in an airtight container for up to a year.
Traditional dishes with spaghetti
The most classic of all classic spaghetti dishes are probably the spaghetti napolitana, simply with delicious tomato sauce, followed by the spaghetti bolognese (minced meat sauce) and spaghetti carbonara (bacon and egg-cream sauce), which are popular with children. But spaghetti aglio e olio with garlic and olive oil are also popular in Italy and spaghetti al pesto is also a classic. A special variant: Spaghetti Puttanesca contains olives, capers and anchovies, is a very spicy pasta dish and meets the taste of those who love recipes with fish and olives.
Recipe for spaghetti carbonara
The dish Spaghetti Carbonara is a classic of Italian cuisine.
Delicious spaghetti carbonara with egg yolk complemented by crispy bacon and spicy parmesan are a classic pasta dish. Often, however, the carbonara is not prepared in the classic way as on vacation in Italy and sometimes does not deserve the name carbonara. Try the pasta dish with the spicy carbonara sauce according to this recipe.
- 500 g spaghetti
- 100 g bacon (pancetta)
- 100 g cheese (pecorino or parmesan)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 eggs (3 yolks, 1 whole egg)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt pepper
For 4 people
Preparation time: approx. 25 minutes
- For your favorite spaghetti variant, first cook the pasta in salted water according to the instructions on the packet.
- Cut the bacon into cubes, grate the parmesan / pecorino cheese and peel and chop the garlic.
- Heat the oil in a sufficiently sized pan and fry the bacon and garlic in the pan.
- Drain the pasta and collect about 4 liters of water. Add the pasta to the pan with the bacon. Mix all ingredients well.
- Whisk the egg, three egg yolks, half of the cheese and the cooking water together and season everything with pepper.
- Pour the pasta mixture into a preheated bowl, then quickly add the whisked mixture. Mix everything up quickly.
- Now just sprinkle with cheese and pepper, place on preheated plates and serve.
Enjoy your meal!
Spaghetti Bolognese - the “German” classic with tomato sauce
Spaghetti Bolognese is not only very popular with children.
In Italy, tomato sauce with meat is traditionally served with ribbon noodles, or more precisely, with tagliatelle. Spaghetti Bolognese or “noodles with tomato sauce”, on the other hand, is almost a German classic that adults and children alike like to eat and which is also spread with mushrooms, peas, zucchini, broccoli or other vegetables to encourage the little ones to eat more vegetables. In the vegetarian version, mushrooms can also serve as an excellent substitute for the minced meat in the tomato sauce.
Here is the recipe for the classic. Have fun preparing!
- 400 g of spaghetti
- 400 g minced meat (mixed)
- 100 g bacon (smoked)
- about 100 g carrots
- 100 g celery (celery sticks)
- 1 onion
- 200 ml red wine (dry)
- 1 can of tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- Thyme, basil, salt, pepper, sugar
For 4 people
Preparation time: about 45 minutes
- Wash and peel the vegetables and cut them into fine cubes. Cut the bacon into strips and fry it in the pan until crispy. Add the mince and cook for about 10 minutes.
- After about 6 minutes add the vegetables and tomato paste and delete everything together with the red wine. Bring the mixture to the boil and add the tomatoes as soon as they are about halfway down.
- Let the entire mixture simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Cook the spaghetti in salted water until al dente according to the instructions on the packet.
- Wash the thyme and basil and shake the herbs dry.
- Chop the herbs. You can save a few leaves of basil for garnish.
- Stir the herbs into the sauce and season everything with salt, pepper and sugar as needed.
- Remove 100 ml of pasta water and add it to the sauce.
- Pour off the pasta and mix the pasta and sauce in a sufficiently sized saucepan.
- Now serve only on preheated plates and garnish with basil.
Tip: The longer you let the Bolognese sauce simmer, the better it will be!
Vegetarian: spaghetti with asparagus, walnuts and a hint of chili
If you love nuts, especially walnuts, and would like to try a slightly different taste, you should definitely try this vegetarian recipe.
- 400 g of spaghetti
- 400 g asparagus (green)
- 100 g walnuts (kernels)
- 2 tomatoes (medium)
- 100 g grated cheese (parmesan)
- Salt, pepper, chilli
- olive oil
For 4 people
Preparation time: approx. 25 minutes
- Preparation: First the green asparagus is peeled a little at the ends and then cut into pieces about three centimeters long. Cut the tomatoes into pieces about two centimeters in size. The walnuts are not crushed.
- Cook the spaghetti “al dente” according to the instructions on the packaging.
- In the meantime, put some olive oil (approx. 3 tbsp) in a sufficiently sized pan and fry the asparagus briefly. Then add a handful of nuts to the pan and roast them.
- Add the tomatoes.
- Season your vegetable mixture with salt, pepper and chilli and let everything simmer for a few more minutes.
- Drain the spaghetti.
- Now just arrange on preheated plates and serve sprinkled with parmesan.
Have fun cooking at home!
What does spaghetti go well with?
Spaghetti can be combined with many ingredients.
In Germany, spaghetti is often served as a main course with a variety of the finest sauces and pesto.
It is different in Italy, where pasta is used as a starter before moving on to fish or meat. Spaghetti can be combined with all sauces and pesto, especially those that do not have any larger pieces that will stick better to short pasta. Delicious pasta dishes can be created with endless variations of delicious sauces with or without cream. Far beyond the classic tomato sauce. The imagination knows no limits.
It doesn't always have to be Bolognese or Carbonara. Because the delicious spagetti not only taste good with tomato sauce or eggs and bacon, but also all vongole, with vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini or asparagus, with mushrooms, seafood such as shrimp, fish (e.g. salmon), aglio e olio with garlic and oil, with delicious pesto made from fresh wild garlic or basil, with spinach, tomatoes, onions, chilli and many other ingredients.
Creamy cream sauces also harmonize perfectly. And if you like it spicy, you should definitely try the spicy variant alla puttanesca with tomatoes, anchovies, chilli and capers. There are also many original ideas, for example delicious spaghetti muffins.
The great world of pasta is so varied and diverse that nothing is left to be desired. Try out some of our delicious recipes and cook the delicious dishes at home in your kitchen! And who knows, maybe you'll find your new favorite recipe.
What should I look out for when buying spaghetti?
The Stiftung Warentest and others have tested spaghetti and, according to these institutions, the following factors should be considered:
- The spaghetti shouldn't have any light spots. These indicate air bubbles and thus lower quality.
- It is worth using pasta from controlled organic cultivation for the recipes.
- If you want to save plastic and thus protect the environment, spaghetti can also be wonderfully bought in bulk stores.
- Whole wheat spaghetti is healthier than white flour because it contains more minerals and fiber.
Which types of pasta can be used to replace spaghetti?
Spaghetti can be replaced in the recipe with any other long pasta such as linguine, macaroni, tagliatelle, other ribbon pasta or fettuccine. Bucatini are also suitable as a substitute.
Spaghetti with the addition of 'rigati' absorbs a particularly large amount of sauce. These are notched like penne rigate.
In some cases, vermicelli can also be used. The small spaghettini can of course always be used as an alternative in the recipe and, just like their big sisters, can be served with Bolognese, pesto, alla Putanesca, Aglio e Olio, with peas, spinach, asparagus, zucchini, alla Vongole, with seafood (e.g. B. Prawns), as muffins, with cream, onions and every imaginable vegetable.
Just let your ideas run wild!
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