Spaghetti is a long, thin, solid, cylindrical pasta. It is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine. Like other pasta, spaghetti is made of milled wheat and water and sometimes enriched with vitamins and minerals. Italian spaghetti is typically made from durum wheat semolina. Usually the pasta is white because refined flour is used, but whole wheat flour may be added. Spaghettoni is a thicker form of spaghetti, while spaghettini is a thinner form. Capellini is a very thin spaghetti, sometimes known colloquially as “angel hair pasta”.
Originally, spaghetti was notably long, but shorter lengths gained in popularity during the latter half of the 20th century and now it is most commonly available in 25-30cm lengths. A variety of pasta dishes are based on it and it is frequently served with tomato sauce, meat or vegetables.
At its simplest, imitation spaghetti can be formed using no more than a rolling pin and a knife. A home pasta machine simplifies the rolling and makes the cutting more uniform. But of course cutting sheets produces pasta with a rectangular rather than a cylindrical cross-section and the result is a variant of fettuccine. Some pasta machines have a spaghetti attachment with circular holes that extrude spaghetti or shaped rollers that form cylindrical noodles.
Spaghetti can be made by hand by manually rolling a ball of dough on a surface to make a long sausage shape. The ends of the sausage are pulled apart to make a long thin sausage. The ends are brought together and the loop pulled to make two long sausages. The process is repeated until the pasta is sufficiently thin. The pasta knobs at each end are cut off leaving many strands which may be hung up to dry.
Fresh spaghetti would normally be cooked within hours of being formed. Commercial versions of fresh spaghetti are manufactured.
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