Being brought up to regard Potatoes and it's variations as the norm for British diet boiled, mashed, chipped; Pasta always meant spaghetti, which meant spaghetti Bolognese. And special occasions (when I was younger, - yes, I realise that's stretching my memory!!)

Yet there are so many variations of spaghetti; and it's not all saucepans, and burnt sauces requiring great effort. It's not complicated ingredients, and fancy additives, for that hard to acquire taste that can only be got in the Italian restaurant (ok, so it's a pleasurable occasion to dine out!).

It's possible now to buy sauces that are ready made, although after a while you'll want to try out your own.

With a more health conscious society it's something to take a closer look at.


There are so many variants of pasta. Spirals, shell shaped, ribbons...


Tagliatelle - recognized by it's long, flat strips of pasta.

Fettuccine - recognized by thin flat strings.

Penne - recognized by diagonally cut tubes in many sizes.

Farfalle - shaped like bows.

Rigatoni - hollow tubes, sometimes with grooved sides.

Conchiglie - shell shaped, in varying sizes.

Spaghetti - long strands, string like.


There's so many more, but let's not get complicated. With practice it's possible to decide that some forms of pasta are better with differing sauces, meats, seafood

Chunky pasta may suit meat or cheese sauces. Tubes may 'hold' sauce. Long pasta such as spaghetti may be suitable for creamy or fine sauces when the sauce will coat the strands.


So, you have these various types of spaghetti. When you've decided on the one of your choice you then have to cook it.

I can only tell you how I do my mine.

Get a saucepan that's big enough to hold the amount of spaghetti you want, covered by a sufficient amount of water when it's boiling, not to dry out, or be less than the amount of spaghetti you're preparing!  

Boil the water; when it's boiling, add the spaghetti, and reduce the temperature to a 'simmering/bubbling'temperature. I don't add salt, but I will add some olive oil.

You can check the packet (spaghetti) for cooking times; but I usually sample it occasionally, and when it's just turning soft, then it's ready for me.

It was once recommended to throw a piece of spaghetti at the wall and when it stuck it was ready, - but I think we'll skip that test!

I prefer it still slightly uncooked because I like to think of the spaghetti being able to absorb moisture from the sauce, that's to be poured over it.

When your happy with it, drain the water off. You can buy special utensils like stainless steel pasta tongs, or equivalent, to serve out the pasta with.

I make do with a big spoon and fork!


Recipes for sauces are easy to find, but here links to some: Sauces ................Pasta Recipes