When you go out to your favorite Italian restaurant, you’re going to order some kind of pasta dish, whether it is spaghetti and meatballs, an alfredo dish, or something more elaborate like lasagna, stuffed shells, and so on. Needless to say, there are a lot of pasta dishes out there and the true pasta lover is going to want to try them all.
Did you know that there is a right way and a wrong way to eat pasta—especially a dish with long noodles strands?
According to Britain’s etiquette expert, Emily Post, there are three “proper” ways that you should eat spaghetti:
Why, back in 1940 went one step further to specify how many noodles you should load up onto your fork (4 noodles at a time, fyi). Do you want to know the real way to eat spaghetti? Italians, who are the quintessential professionals when it comes to pasta dishes) say that the only real correct way to eat pasta is by twirling it with a fork, and a fork alone.
Oh, and forget counting how many strands you load up on the fork—just judge it by eye. When the fork has been loaded up, twirl it on the edge of the plate until the noodles have separated from the rest of the dish, and keep twirling until there’s only a few dangling ends.
You might be wondering what you’re to do with the spoon. According to owners of Italian restaurants, the spoon method is not a neat and tidy way of eating pasta. In fact, eating the spaghetti in this manner is only for children, amateurs, and those who do not possess good table manners.
Spoon aside, we don’t even want to think about cutting the pasta with a knife. This is actually a huge faux pas that you should avoid at all costs—especially if you’re in public! If ever you find yourself in Italy, it would be wise that you know the right way to eat pasta. While they aren’t going to come after you with pitchforks and run you out of dodge, but they might give you the side eye and pinpoint you as a foreigner.
We already know that an Italian wouldn’t dream of eating pasta with a fork and knife, but what are some other things would an Italian do (or not do) when it comes to pasta.
Many people don’t know how to pair their pastas and they are oblivious to the fact that some pastas were made for certain sauces. Long pasta noodles, like your linguine, fettucine, and spaghetti, requires a sauce that is going to coat the noodle. You don’t want to pair the pasta with a hearty sauce with lots of chunks in it.
Pastas with little nooks and crannies deserve a chunkier sauce. These pastas work well with meat sauces and broccoli.
Interestingly enough, tortellini is often paired with a sauce, but in truth, this pasta should only be paired with a broth.
Despite what you may believe, Alfredo sauce isn’t actually a sauce. It should only be a dressing for the pasta. To make the dressing, you’re going to want to melt some butter into a pan and add salt and pepper to your liking. Then, you will want to add pasta you’ve just removed from the boiling water to the butter. Combine the two over low heat and then mix in some cream.
The cream and butter will start to absorb into the pasta. Then you can sprinkle on your parmesan cheese. You’re going to want to continue to do this until the cheese melts into the cream and butter coating on the pasta. This only takes about 4 to 5 minutes.
Did you know that if you put cheese on the pasta before the sauce, your sauce is going to stick to the noodles better. It’s also useful to note that some sauces you aren’t going to want to use cheese. For example, if you are eating a seafood or fish dish, you’re going to want to skip the cheese. Same thing goes with pasta dishes with garlic—they have no cheese at all.
Contrary to what restaurants will lead you to believe, salad should actually be eaten after your pasta. The pasta is the main attraction and it deserves to be the star. In Italy, the pasta is always served first and alone. Everything else comes after.
Pasta should always be served on a plate. Some people will lead you to believe that a pasta bowl is the correct way to serve the pasta, but it’s actually a new concept that has been made popular by the internet. If you go to a proper restaurant with proper service, your pasta is always going to be on a flat dinner plate.
The only time you should ever use a spoon to twirl your pasta is to eat angel hair, which should only be served in a broth. Angel hair isn’t meant to handle a sauce because it is so thin and delicate. When you’re eating angel hair, twist the pasta onto the spoon with some broth and bring the spoon to your mouth, not the fork.
So, are you an expert pasta eater? Let us know in the comments below which of these surprised you the most.