It’s a beloved dish around the world, prepared in endless ways. It dresses up as easily as it dresses down. It’s spaghetti, and it feeds everyone from the broke college student to the Italian culinary purist. For such a simple kitchen staple, spaghetti still has a few tricks up its sleeve. Here are three fun facts to spruce up your knowledge of this delicious and versatile dish.
Italians don’t serve it with Bolognese.
While spaghetti Bolognese may be one of the first things you think of when it comes to Italian food, in Italy, you’ll never see it served that way. Italy’s culinary culture has well-established rules with regards to pasta and sauce, and pairings are not made arbitrarily. According to Italian publication The Local, tomato and meat sauce is known as ragù and is served only with tagliatelle, tortellini or gnocchi — never spaghetti. The official version, much to the dismay of “spaghetti Bolognese” worldwide, calls for bacon and milk.
“Eastern spaghetti” is very popular in Thailand.
You love pad thai and pad see ew, but have you ever had sapaketti phat khi mao? While Italian food couldn’t be found in Thailand before the 1960s, during the Vietnam war, pizza and pasta joints started springing up to cater to American soldiers. Some closed afterward, but many stayed open and thrived. During the economic growth of the 1970s, Thai chefs began experimenting with Italian ingredients, and a hybrid Thai-Italian cuisine was born. Think Thai soup ingredients on pizza and noodle dishes featuring lots of seafood. Sapaketti phat khi mao uses spaghetti instead of rice noodles in the traditional Thai “drunken noodles” preparation.
It’s exceedingly difficult to clean up.
This may not exactly be news, but the amount of time required to rectify this accident involving close to 20 tons of “thick and gloopy” pasta must have been immense. On the positive side, the local fauna probably has a newfound appreciation for inauthentic Italian food. I can relate: The other night I thought I’d up my laziness game and avoid doing dishes by mixing spaghetti and sauce in a quart-sized plastic takeout container. Quick reminder: I do in fact run our recipes section as well as the FR Test Kitchen. While shaking it to coat all the pasta, the lid came off, and spaghetti flew all over the kitchen and myself. I could have done four loads of dishes by hand in the time it took to clean the kitchen and shower off the rest.