Spaghetti is probably the best known of all Italian PASTA. It is made by extruding the basic pasta dough through machines fitted with perforated discs to form long strands. It is mostly produced in factories nowadays.
1 pound of spaghetti, be sure to use a really large saucepan. Fill it two-thirds full of boiling water to which
1 teaspoon of salt has been added. Add the spaghetti to the pan, taking care not to allow the water to go oft’ the boil.
Do not break the pasta if it is too long to fit in the pan because, as the pasta softens, it may be coiled around the inside.
When the water is boiling briskly, a froth will appear on the surface of the water and at this point the heat should be reduced to moderate. Stir the spaghetti occasionally with a kitchen fork or spoon to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
Cook for 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness or until the spaghetti is ‘al dente’ or just tender. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly add a cup of cold water to the pan. Drain the spaghetti in a colander and discard the cooking water. The spaghetti is now ready to serve.
To eat spaghetti, collect a few strands on the prongs of your fork and, placing the end of the fork on the plate or against a spoon, wind the pasta around the fork until the strands are neatly twisted round the prongs. (Another accepted way of eating spaghetti is to drape it over the fork and, holding the plate close to your mouth, feed the pasta into your mouth a little at a time. This method, however, is perhaps best reserved for the privacy of your own home!).
In Italy, spaghetti, like other pasta, is usually served as a first course. In most other countries, it is served as a main course. The servings given in our spaghetti recipes, reflect both traditions.