1. Where to start
Our guidance begins with some questions. Why do you prepare spaghetti? For its shape? Do you prepare it because it immediately and unmistakably recalls Italy?
Spaghetti is not the easiest pasta to cook, nor the eat. By choosing spaghetti you make a bold statement. It shows confidence, it shows determination. Good on you!
2. Guidance in purchasing spaghetti
Spaghetti comes in one shape, various thicknesses. From cables to angle hair. More important though is the roughness. Industrial spaghetti you see is pushed through teflon forms. And results in smooth strings. While a bronze moulded pasta has a rougher surface.
Apart from difference in price, it has a different outcome. The roughness allows sauce to cling on to it. Price should never be your guidance when purchasing pasta. You only need 100 grams per person.
3. Guidance in boiling
Usually pasta is boiled in plenty lightly salted water. Add to salt when the water boils. And wait to add spaghetti till the water boils. The reason? It is easier to time. Package guidance says 8 minutes. That is eight minutes in boiling water. Easy peasy. No further questions, no exceptions.
You may use less water, or even broth. Stirring the spaghetti then becomes a must. If you want single strands instead of a clotted blob.
Spaghetti can be prepared as it were rice. Risottare pasta is not easy.
4. Guidance in making it Italian
What makes spaghetti so Italian? It is not the Bolognese, no. Sorry. Fresh boiled pasta goes in a pan, with the sauce. Important guidance: the sauce never goes on the pasta. To make mixing easier, add cooking water. Which also performs as a glue – due to the starch.
Spaghetti is an immediate dish. The time between tossing it in a pan with sauce and serving must be short. As short as technically possible.
5. Twist and shout
So you chose to have spaghetti. Then don’t cut the strands. Not before boiling, not while eating. Eat spaghetti with a fork. It may take some practise. After which you can pass your twisting fork knowledge on.
Last guidance: don’t serve chunky sauce with spaghetti. It makes eating dreadful, and that is the last thing you want.