How to cook spaghettiJanuary 11, 2024
A beloved pantry staple, spaghetti is a key ingredient among households around the world. A recent survey showed that spaghetti is the UK’s second favourite pasta, narrowly beaten by the spiral-shaped pasta fusilli. Find all you need to know about cooking spaghetti and try some deliciously simple spaghetti recipes from HelloFresh. For cooking times of other pasta varieties, see this handy, step-by-step guide on how to cook pasta.
What is spaghetti made from?
Similar to other forms of pasta, such as penne and rigatoni, spaghetti is most often made of milled wheat and water, whereas traditionally Italian spaghetti is made from durum wheat semolina. The word ‘spaghetti’ originates from the Italian word ‘spago’, which translates as ‘string’ or ‘twine’. This name was given due to its resemblance to these two objects.
What is the difference between dried and fresh spaghetti?
Similar to other types of pasta, spaghetti can come fresh or dried. Both varieties are typically made from semolina flour, salt and water, with the addition of eggs in fresh pasta.
Fresh spaghetti has a significantly shorter cooking time than dried spaghetti. Fresh pasta, with the inclusion of eggs, is a perishable ingredient, which reduces its shelf life. However, fresh pasta can be frozen and then defrosted before use.
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How to make spaghetti by hand
While making your own spaghetti is more time-consuming, it’s worth the effort for fresher and tastier results. Start with the following ingredients:
- 2 cups flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 0-3 tsp water
- Sprinkle two cups of flour onto your work surface and create a well in the centre of the flour. Crack the eggs into the centre space and add one tsp of olive oil.
- Begin to gently mix the flour into the eggs, slowly incorporating more flour from the edges of the well. After a minute or two of mixing, the dough should have a crumbly consistency. At this stage, knead the dough to ensure all the flour is combined.
- Form a ball with the dough. If the ball sticks to the work surface, sprinkle some more flour. Knead the dough for five to ten minutes.
- Divide the dough into equal parts to form smaller balls.
- Add flour to your work surface and flatten one of the balls out with your hand. Gently roll out the dough with a rolling pin to create a rectangular shape. When pasta is cooked, it will expand by 25-50%, so keep this in mind when rolling.
- Sprinkle the front and back of the rolled sheets with a very small amount of flour.
- Cut the sheet into thin strips and leave the pasta to dry for an hour or so, unless you are cooking the pasta immediately.
How to boil spaghetti
- Bring cold water to boil on the hob, adding a pinch or two of salt.
- Once the water is boiling, add spaghetti to the pan. Be patient; don’t try to cook the spaghetti before the water is boiling, as this can make the pasta mushy.
- Cook dried spaghetti for approximately eight minutes (or five minutes if you’re cooking fresh spaghetti), stirring with a wooden spoon every couple of minutes. If you prefer your spaghetti al dente, reduce the cooking time by around one and a half minutes.
- Take off the heat and drain your spaghetti. Add a splash of oil and stir, to make sure the pasta doesn’t stick together before serving.
Discover a variety of versatile and convenient spaghetti recipes from HelloFresh, or get inspired by these spaghetti favourites: