Whether it’s a succulent pot roast, cheesy casserole, or warming, savory stew, we love Sunday supper. It’s a dinner party without the formality, where family and friends gather for easy conversation and good food – lots of it!
From the memorable “spaghetti kiss” in Disney’s Lady and Tramp to the pasta-drenched fictitious town of ChewandSwallow in the children’s book, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, spaghetti is one of the most popular types of pasta. It’s most often paired with tomato sauce and ground beef or meatballs, and is a nostalgia-evoking dish that is much loved by children and adults alike.
Thomas Jefferson introduced the United States to pasta in the late 18th century, but Italian immigrants popularized it at the beginning of the 20th century. Simple to make, filling and affordable, pasta quickly became a staple of every American’s pantry. As a result, American-invented pasta dishes, such spaghetti and meatballs, gained a huge following.
The National Pasta Association, one of the oldest trade associations in the U.S., formed in 1904 to ride along pasta’s title wave of popularity. Visit their website, aptly named ilovepasta.org, for a plethora of pasta-themed press and media-kits, recipes and information. Here are a few of our favorite fun facts from their site:
- The average person in Italy eats more than 51 pounds of pasta every year. The average person in North America eats about 15-1/2 pounds of pasta per year.
- One billion pounds of pasta is about 212,595 miles of 16-ounce packages of spaghetti stacked end-to-end – enough to circle the earth’s equator nearly nine times.
Now that you’ve expanded your pasta-knowledge, it’s time to eat some spaghetti. We’ve chosen our best spaghetti dishes, from classic to twists, for you and your family to try. Oh, and we suggest you listen to this song while you cook.
Classic: Country-Style Spaghetti
Meatless: Burst Tomato and Herb Spaghetti
From our March 2014 issue: Chicken Spaghetti II