Spaghetti is a long, thin, cylindrical pasta of Italian origin. [spaghetti. Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. (accessed: June 03, 2008).] A variety of pasta dishes are based on it, from spaghetti with cheese and pepper or garlic and oil to a spaghetti with tomato, meat, and other sauces. Spaghetti is made of semolina and water.


"Spaghetti" is the plural form of the Italian word "spaghetto", which is a diminutive of "spago", meaning "thin string" or "twine". The word "spaghetti" can be literally translated as "little strings".


Chinese noodles pre-date Italian pasta, and Arab traders probably became introduced to them due to their trade routes with China. Historically, people in Italy ate pasta in the form of gnocchi-like dumplings – "pasta fresca" eaten as soon as it was prepared. It has now been asserted that the Muslims who populated Southern Italy (around the 12th Century) were the first to develop the innovation of working pasta from grain into thin long forms, [(] [(] [(] capable of being dried out and stored for months or years prior to consumption (see Peter Robb's Midnight in Sicily pp 94-96 for details). Or Muslim traders with links to Arab trade routes to china, may have been introduced to pasta or noodles that way. Legend has it that "Cicero", the famous Roman orator was fond of "laganum", an ancient tagliatelle. [(The Essential Pasta Cookbook, Murdoch Books, p.5)] The Saracens, originally from North Africa, invaded southern Italy in the 9th century and occupied Sicily for 200 years. Pasta is now associated with Italians as a whole. The popularity of pasta spread to the whole of Italy after the establishment of pasta factories in the 19th century, enabling the mass production of pasta for the Italian market. [(The Italian Kitchen Bible by Kate Whiteman, Jeni Wright and Angela Boggiano, (Hermes House) p.12, 13)]


Spaghetti is cooked by boiling the pasta with salt in water until soft. The consistency or texture of spaghetti changes as it is cooked. The most popular consistency is "al dente" (Italian 'to the tooth'); that is, soft but with texture, sometimes even with bite in the center. Others prefer their spaghetti cooked to a softer consistency. The best dried spaghetti is made from durum wheat semolina. Inferior spaghetti is often found produced with other kinds of flour, especially outside Italy. Fresh spaghetti should be prepared with grade '00' flour.Fact|date=July 2008

There are two other variants of spaghetti that require different cooking times. "Spaghettini" ("thin spaghetti") takes less time (usually two minutes less) to cook to "al dente" form than regular spaghetti. There is also "spaghettoni" ("thick spaghetti") which takes longer to cook. All three types of spaghetti are larger than the other round-rod pastas (like vermicelli).


An emblem of Italian cuisine, spaghetti is frequently served with tomato sauce, which may contain various herbs (especially oregano and basil), olive oil, meat, or vegetables. Other spaghetti preparations include using Bolognese sauce, carbonara, and chili. Grated hard cheeses, such as Pecorino Romano, Parmesan, and Asiago cheese, are often added.

The manner of eating spaghetti varies according to local customs, but it is usually eaten with a fork, as with most other Continental dishes. Eating spaghetti with a fork and a spoon is considered perfectly polite in parts of the United States,Fact|date=October 2008 although this method is widely disparaged in the US and elsewhere. In East Asia, many people use chopsticks as a form of eating rather than forks, as chopsticks are customary in most East Asian countries.Fact|date=October 2008

Though thee traditional method of eating spaghetti in Italy is to use just a fork and twist it so that the spaghetti wraps around the fork, families around the world still consider it a sentimental pasttime to take the end of a noodle and slurp it up joyously.

Cultural references

* On April Fools' Day, 1957, the BBC ran a very successful spoof documentary explaining how spaghetti is grown on spaghetti trees. [cite web
author=BBC News
title=1957: BBC fools the nation
* The parody religion Pastafarianism holds that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster.
* "Spaghetti" can be used to describe objects which are complicated or tangled, such as spaghetti code or Spaghetti Junction.
* Spaghetti Eis is a mock dessert which looks like spaghetti with tomato sauce.

ee also

* Carbonara
* Lai fun
* Spaghetti squash


External links

* [ Paper on the physics of fragmenting spaghetti (PDF)]
* [ Spaghetti recipes from Secret Sauce]
* [ Pasta recipes from]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Spaghetti — Spaghetti …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • spaghetti — [ spageti ] n. m. • 1893; mot it., dimin. de spago, bas lat. spacus « ficelle » ♦ Au plur. Pâtes alimentaires fines et longues. Des spaghettis à la tomate. Par appos. (Plaisant) Western spaghetti. ● spaghetti nom masculin (italien spaghetti, de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Spaghetti — Spl std. (20. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus it. spaghetti Pl., einem Diminutivum zu it. spago m. Schnur , dessen weitere Herkunft nicht sicher geklärt ist. Die Sache kommt aus China.    Ebenso nndl. spaghetti, ne. spaghetti, nfrz. spaghetti,… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • spaghetti — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 7}}[wym. spagetti] {{/stl 7}}{{stl 8}}rz. n, ndm {{/stl 8}}{{stl 20}} {{/stl 20}}{{stl 12}}1. {{/stl 12}}{{stl 7}} długi, cienki makaron, pochodzący z Włoch : {{/stl 7}}{{stl 10}}Kupić spaghetti. Ugotować spaghetti. {{/stl… …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

  • spaghetti — (n.) 1849 (as sparghetti, in Eliza Acton s Modern Cookery ), from It. spaghetti, pl. of spaghetto string, twine, dim. of spago cord, of uncertain origin. Spaghetti Western (one filmed in Italy) first attested 1969. Spaghetti strap is from 1972 …   Etymology dictionary

  • Spaghetti — Spaghetti: Die Bezeichnung der stäbchenförmigen Teigware wurde im 20. Jh. aus dem It. übernommen. Gleichbed. it. spaghetti gehört als Verkleinerungsbildung zu it. spago »dünne Schnur«, dessen weitere Herkunft unbekannt ist …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • Spaghetti — Spa*ghet ti, n. [It.] A variety or macaroni made in tubes of small diameter. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spaghetti — western zob. western …   Słownik frazeologiczny

  • spaghetti — spaghetti, ⊕ spagueti, ⊕ spaguetti → espagueti …   Diccionario panhispánico de dudas

  • spaghetti — ► PLURAL NOUN ▪ pasta made in solid strings, between macaroni and vermicelli in thickness. ORIGIN Italian, little strings …   English terms dictionary

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