Today January 4th is National Spaghetti Day (USA). Were you aware that 1.3 million pounds of spaghetti was sold at the turn of the 21st century (USA)? All those packages together would circle the Earth nine times. Now that’s a lot of spaghetti.
Wikipedia writes that there is controversy in respects to the origin of spaghetti.
There are records in the Jerusalem Talmud of itrium, writing about a kind of boiled dough, being common in Palestine from the 3rd to 5th centuries A.D.
A 9th century dictionary written in Arabic describes itriyyaas, string-like shapes made of semolina and dried before cooking.
Record keeping was done for Norman King of Sicily in 1154, and itriyya is mentioned being manufactured and exported from Norman Sicily.
By the 14th century pasta became popular, and was even taken on sea voyages due to its easy storage. A century later, pasta was present around the globe during the voyages of discovery. In Italian spaghetti means “little lines.”
Pasta has always been associated with the Italians, who have established the dish by inventing a wide variety of pasta shapes. These include farfalle, conchiglie, rotini, penne, tortellini, and, of course, spaghetti.
March of 2009 The world record for the largest bowl of spaghetti was set in March 2009, and beaten in March of 2010 when the Italian Restaurant “Buca di Beppo” in Garden Grove, California successfully filled a swimming pool with more than 13,780 pounds of pasta.
Just about anyone loves a good plate of spaghetti. Here are some great spaghetti recipes to enjoy this day – National Spaghetti Day.
Spaghetti Al Pesto Genovese
7 ounce spaghetti
2 tablespoons pesto alla genovese
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/3 teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper
Pine nuts (optional)
Have some pesto alla genovese basil paste on hand. If frozen, break off the amount you’ll need and thaw. The basil paste is similar to basil pesto, but prepared without the olive oil, and cheese.
Boil spaghetti in a large pot of salted water. Follow the directions if using packaged spaghetti, making sure to stop when it’s still al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix prepared basil paste with olive oil, Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, stirring until smooth. The amount of oil, cheese, and salt can be adjusted to your taste.
Add the spaghetti to the bowl and toss with a pair of forks until well coated.
Put on plates and sprinkle with whole pine nuts and more Parmesan cheese, if you like.
Recipe credit: The Delectable Hodgepodge
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced (1/2 cup)
1 carrot, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
4 ounces pancetta, finely diced (optional)
1 pound ground beef, or a combination of beef and pork
1/2 cup red or white wine
One 28-ounce can best-quality tomatoes, pulsed in a blender
1/2 cup cream or milk
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
1 pound spaghetti or other pasta
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat a saucepan over low heat. Add the olive oil, onion, carrot, and celery and saute over low heat until lightly caramelized, about 12 minutes. Add the pancetta and beef and cook, separating the meat into small pieces, until browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain off most of the fat. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt.
Pour the wine into the beef mixture to deglaze the pan; stir to loosen the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the wine is almost evaporated. Add the tomatoes and stir in the cream, black pepper, and red-pepper flakes. Gently simmer for about 40 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
Start cooking the spaghetti when the sauce is within 10 minutes of being done. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti and a generous pinch of salt to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain.
Stir the butter into the bolognese sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the pasta and serve with grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Recipe Credit: Martha Stewart
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