If you’re Italian American, you may know what a spaghettata is (pronounced spa-get-TAH-tah).
It’s like a cookout, but it takes place indoors, with spaghetti.
It can be an impromptu lunch or dinner, following a card game or board game, or after a soccer match (or your favorite American sport). The key word is casual.
In Italy somebody says, “Facciamo una spaghettata”—let’s have a spaghetatta—and the meal is on.
Everyone migrates to the kitchen. A big pot of water is put on the stove for the spaghetti (or any other pasta cut).
The rest of the ingredients include what’s in every Italian pantry:
Angel hair spaghetti with tomatoes and fresh
basil: ready in minutes. Photo courtesy BarillaUS.com.
Extra virgin olive oil
Peeled canned tomatoes (cherry tomatoes are used in Italy)
Red pepper flakes
Fresh gound pepper
Everybody helps out, and soon the spaghetti feast is on the table.
Tips from Barilla for giving your spaghettata a special Italian flare:
Play Italian music—from opera to pop (who doesn’t like Andrea Bocelli)
Serve an antipasto—like bruschetta or sliced salumi—that can be enjoyed while cooking (our favorite salumi, a great gift)
Garnish the plates with a sprig of basil (if you have lots of basil, make pesto sauce)
Place a bowl of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese on the table (we let people grate their own with a Microplane coarse grater or similar device)
Freshly ground pepper
You can toss in “anything in the kitchen,” such as fresh, frozen or jarred veggies (artichoke hearts, peas, roasted red peppers), tuna or anchovies. If you have chicken, seafood, sausage or bacon to toss in, do it. If you don’t have Parmesan or other grating cheese, add blue cheese, goat cheese or feta.
Angel Hair Pasta with tomatoes and fresh basil (recipe).
Lemon Spaghetti, with the juice of two fresh lemons, chopped basil and Parmesan (recipe).
Spaghetti with Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes and Olive Oil, perhaps the easiest and simplest classic Italian preparation (recipe).
Barilla has a large selection of pasta recipes on its website. We’ve picked these three easy recipes for your spaghettata:
The difference between Parmesan and Parmigiano Reggiano.
The different Italian grating cheeses.