Nowadays, most people would connect pasta to Italy as easily as we would group peanut butter with jelly, but that wasn’t always the case. Pasta’s origins can be traced to the Chinese noodle which was likely brought to Europe through the travels of Marco Polo or by the endeavors of nomadic Arabs traveling westward from Asia. Pasta had become a regular part of Italian city life by the 14th century, and today, spaghetti is one of its most signature staple foods. Celebrate National Spaghetti Day today with The Dish and as we discuss some of our favorite toppings for Spaghetti plates.

The Basics:

Spaghetti noodles can be prepared in many ways, dressed in a variety of sauces and served with many meats. The noodles are usually cooked in water with olive oil. Wheat, whole grain or plain white spaghetti pasta, it’s what the chef does with the noodles after they’ve cooked that gives the finished dish its signature flavor.

Classic Recipe

The most standard serving of classic Italian spaghetti is spaghetti and meatballs in a red tomato-based sauce.  Classic Italian meatball recipes call for eggs, bread crumbs and a minced meat option of beef, pork or chicken (variation in your meat options gives the finished product a different flavor and texture). Salt and pepper (among other seasonings according to preference) are added for extra flavor.


Spaghetti carbonara is the protein-plus option for this classic dish. Although carbonara dishes differ from recipe to recipe, most versions call for eggs, bacon, parmesan and black pepper as key ingredients. Carbonara is filling and great option for those who aren’t extremely fond of tomato-based sauces.

Getting Saucy

Sure, you can go the route of the classic light red tomato sauce, or you could venture into the realm of creamy sauces. Alfredo is a well-known white sauce (not exclusive to fettuccini) that features melted parmesan and lots of butter, or you could choose the increasingly popular vodka sauce. Vodka sauce recipes blend tomato sauce with vodka to help activate the rich flavors of the tomato. Herbs and cream sauce are added to give it a smooth pink color.

Signature Spaghetti Plates

Italian cuisine is most popular at, so here are a few of the spaghetti recipes from the most reputable Italian restaurants on our program.

Spaghetti Funghi- Pazzo, Red Bank, NJ

Authentic Italian restaurants are bound to feature some mushrooms ingredients in entrees on their menus. Pazzo features this pasta alla chitarra dish (spaghetti cut with a special kitchen tool) with wild field mushrooms, Italian parsley and truffle oil.

Spaghetti Con Frutti Di Mare- MiraMare Ristorante, Naples, FL

This dish takes you to another place on the Italian peninsula. Spaghetti pasta is served with fresh lobster, shrimp, clams, mussels and calamari in a spicy tomato sauce.

Spaghetti Bolognese- Grazies Italian Grill, Fargo, ND

Diners love Grazies’ made from scratch Bolognese sauce made with pork sauce, Italian sausage links, Prosciutto and ground beef. This recipe might even be enough to bring you back to Fargo.


Are there any special spaghetti toppings you’d like to share with us? Let us know in the comments section below.