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Pasta Etiquette

Eataly Magazine (May 24, 2019)
So you know you love pasta, but are you eating it the right way? Read on to explore proper pasta etiquette and learn how to master this Italian code of conduct, from the stove to the table!

While there are no hard and fast rules, we Italians do have a few guidelines for matching shapes with a suitable sauce. For example, fine delicate strands work best with light, smooth sauces while twisted shapes and wider ribbons can support chunkier sauces. And it's not just a manners a thing, pairing sauces and shapes well can make it a lot easier to enjoy! Learn more about matching pasta and sauce with Ultimate Pasta Guide.

It may be tempting to break long pasta shapes in half in order to fit them in the pot, but be warned: this is considered sacrilege in the Italian kitchen! Instead, simply drop the long pasta into the boiling water. After the immersed ends have softened up a bit, you can push the remaining ends into the water.

With the exception of  pasta in broth which requires a spoon, the only utensil you need to enjoy a plate a pasta if a fork! Italians never cut their pasta so leave the knives for your secondoper favore.

So with out a spoon or knife, how do you eat long pasta without making a mess? For shapes like spaghetti and tagliatelle, simply twirl the pasta around your fork to pick it up. If you're having difficulty, try this: ground the fork on the bottom of the plate and gently twirl to capture a forkful of pasta, making sure there aren't too many loose ends.

In most cases, Italians never put grated cheese on pasta dishes that contain seafood. Instead, use a little bit of sautéed breadcrumbs with olive oil to garnish the dish. Try this recipe Pasta al Tonno, which uses a little bit of toasted breadcrumbs at the end.

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