Most spaghetti sold and consumed is commercially
prepared, then dried. Spaghetti is cooked by boiling the pasta in salted
water until soft. The consistency or texture of spaghetti changes as it
is cooked. The most popular consistency is al dente which is translated
from the Italian as "to the tooth"; that is soft but with texture,
sometimes even with bite in the centre. Others prefer their spaghetti
fully cooked, which gives it a much softer consistency. The best dried
spaghetti is made from durum wheat semolina. Fresh spaghetti should be
prepared with grade '00' flour. Inferior spaghetti is often found
produced with other kinds of flour, especially outside Italy.
An emblem of Italian cuisine, spaghetti is frequently served in tomato
sauce, which may contain various herbs (especially oregano and basil),
olive oil, meat, or vegetables. Other toppings include any of several
hard cheeses, such as Pecorino Romano, Parmesan or Asiago. Outside Italy
it is often served with meatballs, although that is not a typical
According to Neapolitan habit, eating spaghetti with a fork and a spoon
is perfectly polite, though the view on this varies in other cultures.
Many other Italians eat it with just a fork like most other Continental
In Asia, many people use chopsticks as a form of eating rather than
forks, as chopsticks are custom in most Asian countries.
In parts of the US, a narrow size of macaroni is sold as elbow spaghetti.
This is a misnomer, as this product is short and tubular, thus it's not
a spaghetti at all.
Spaghettini is a form of pasta that is very much like spaghetti, except
a bit thinner.