Italian beauty Sophia Loren once famously said, "Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti." If it's good enough for her, it's certainly good enough for us to celebrate - January 4 is National Spaghetti Day!
Spaghetti is a thin, round-shaped pasta from Italy that the rest of the world can't seem to get enough of. The word spaghetti is actually the plural of spaghetto, which comes from the Italian word for "thin string."
Spaghetti's classic companion is tomato sauce. These two came together after Spanish explorers brought tomatoes back from South America. Another favorite is spaghetti carbonara. It takes some practice to perfect, but the payoff is worth it. Carbonara combines raw eggs, some sort of salted pork (the Italians use either guanciale or pancetta), cheese and lots of black pepper. The heat from the cooked pasta cooks the egg sauce.
Spaghetti dishes don't need to be fancy. In fact, they're a great way to clean out the fridge. Combine the noodles with a bit of leftover meat, some frozen veggies and a touch of cream or olive oil for the perfect mid-week meal. And if you're watching your waistline, you can always try the whole wheat version.
Spaghetti is relatively easy to make at home, but some equipment is required. If you go down that road and find yourself bored with the regular colored spaghetti, add squid ink, beet juice or spinach to get black, red and green pasta respectively.