Saturday, 18 May 2024

Unraveling the Mystery: What is Spaghettoni?

09 Sep 2023
what is spaghettoni If you love pasta, you’ve probably heard of spaghetti – a long, thin, cylindrical pasta that’s a staple in Italian cuisine. But have you ever heard of spaghettoni? Spaghettoni is a type of long pasta that’s similar to spaghetti, but with a thicker diameter and a firmer texture. While spaghetti is usually around 1.8mm in diameter, spaghettoni can range from 2mm to 3mm, making it a heartier option for your pasta dishes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Spaghettoni is a type of long pasta that’s thicker and firmer than spaghetti.
  • It has a diameter that ranges from 2mm to 3mm, giving it a heartier texture.
  • Spaghettoni is a staple in Italian cuisine and can be used in numerous pasta dishes.

Exploring Pasta Shapes and Sizes

In Italian cuisine, pasta comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, each suited to a specific dish or preparation. Pasta can be broadly categorized into three groups: long pasta, short pasta, and stuffed pasta. Long pasta, as the name suggests, is a variety of pasta that is long and thin. Spaghetti, spaghettoni, fettuccine, and linguine are popular examples of long pasta. Long pasta is typically served with meat or tomato-based sauces. Short pasta, on the other hand, is pasta that is small and compact. Examples of short pasta include penne, rigatoni, and fusilli. Short pasta is great for dishes with chunky sauces, as the sauce can cling to the pasta’s ridges and crevices. Stuffed pasta, such as ravioli and tortellini, are pasta pockets filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables. They are typically served with a light sauce or broth. When it comes to pasta sizes, Italy has a specific numbering system that indicates the pasta’s thickness. For instance, spaghetti is typically number 12, while spaghettoni is number 7. Thicker pastas like fettuccine are around number 6, while thinner pastas like angel hair are around number 1. Understanding the different pasta shapes and sizes is essential to selecting the right pasta for your dish. While some pastas may seem interchangeable, their unique shapes and sizes can greatly impact the dish’s texture and taste.

The Origins of Spaghettoni

Spaghettoni is a type of pasta that is similar to spaghetti but differs in size and texture. The word “spaghettoni” means “thick spaghetti” in Italian. It is a long pasta type that is thicker than traditional spaghetti, making it ideal for pairing with hearty sauces and rich flavors. Spaghettoni has its roots in traditional Italian pasta-making techniques, where long pasta has always been a staple. The history and cultural significance of long pasta in Italy date back centuries, with different regions having their own unique variations of the spaghetti type.

The Development of Spaghettoni

The story of spaghettoni began in the Campania region of Italy, where the long, thick noodles were developed to pair with hearty meat sauces. The width of the noodle made it ideal for holding on to thick sauces, while the length allowed it to be easily twirled and enjoyed. While spaghettoni’s origins are rooted in Italian cuisine, it has gained worldwide popularity and can be found in many restaurants and kitchens around the world.
Spaghetti Type Italian Pasta
Long, thin noodles Staple in Italian cuisine
Ideal for lighter sauces Comes in various shapes and sizes
Cooking time is shorter Adaptable to various cuisines
Spaghettoni is just one example of the many spaghetti types available in Italian cuisine. As with many Italian dishes, the origins and development of spaghettoni are steeped in tradition and history. Next up, we explore what sets spaghettoni apart from other types of pasta.

What Sets Spaghettoni Apart?

Spaghettoni is a type of long pasta that is similar in appearance to spaghetti, but with a thicker diameter. The noodles are typically around 2mm in width, compared to spaghetti’s 1mm thickness. This extra width gives spaghettoni a unique texture and chewiness that sets it apart from other long pasta varieties. One of the most important things to note about spaghettoni is that it’s incredibly versatile. Whether you’re using it in a simple tomato sauce or a more complex carbonara, spaghettoni can hold its own and provide a satisfying meal. Its thickness also means that it can stand up to heartier sauces and ingredients, making it an excellent choice for pasta dishes that require more substance. Overall, spaghettoni pasta is an excellent choice for those who want to experiment with long pasta shapes. Its unique texture and thickness can add an interesting dimension to traditional Italian recipes, or be used as a base for fusion dishes. If you’re a fan of pasta, spaghettoni is definitely a shape worth trying!

Using Spaghettoni in Traditional Italian Recipes

Spaghettoni pasta is a popular ingredient in traditional Italian dishes, known for its long and thick noodles that hold sauces well. Here are some classic Italian recipes featuring spaghettoni as the main ingredient:


Carbonara is a creamy pasta dish made with egg, cheese, and pancetta or bacon. Cook the spaghettoni noodles until al dente, then toss them in a mixture of beaten eggs, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and crispy pancetta/bacon. The heat from the pasta will cook the eggs to create a luscious sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Aglio e Olio

Aglio e olio, or garlic and oil, is a simple yet flavorful pasta dish that can be made in minutes. Cook the spaghettoni noodles until al dente, then toss them in a mixture of garlic-infused olive oil and red pepper flakes. Garnish with chopped parsley and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and you have a delicious meal ready to serve.

Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e pepe translates to “cheese and pepper,” and that’s exactly what makes up the sauce in this classic Roman dish. Cook the spaghettoni noodles until al dente, then toss them in a mixture of grated Pecorino Romano cheese and coarsely ground black pepper. Add a splash of pasta water to create a creamy and silky sauce, and your cacio e pepe is ready to enjoy! Spaghettoni pasta is versatile and can be used in many other traditional Italian recipes like spaghetti bolognese, spaghetti alle vongole, and spaghetti alla puttanesca. Its long and thick noodles are perfect for holding on to rich and hearty sauces, making it a staple in many Italian kitchens.

Spaghettoni vs. Spaghetti: Spotting the Differences

While spaghettoni and spaghetti may look similar at first glance, there are actually several key differences between the two types of long pasta. First and foremost, spaghettoni pasta is thicker than spaghetti. While both types of pasta are long and thin, spaghettoni noodles have a larger circumference, giving them a heartier texture and more surface area to hold sauce. Another difference between spaghettoni and spaghetti is their cooking time. Due to their thicker shape, spaghettoni noodles take slightly longer to cook than spaghetti noodles. It’s important to keep this in mind when preparing dishes with spaghettoni, as overcooking the pasta can result in a mushy texture. Finally, spaghettoni is a less commonly used pasta type compared to spaghetti. While spaghetti is ubiquitous in Italian cuisine, spaghettoni is a more specialized type of pasta that is typically only used in certain recipes. Overall, while spaghettoni and spaghetti share many similarities, they each have unique qualities that set them apart from one another. Whether you prefer the heartier texture of spaghettoni or the classic simplicity of spaghetti, both types of long pasta are delicious and versatile ingredients in any Italian kitchen.
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Exploring Spaghettoni Beyond Traditional Italian Cuisine

While spaghettoni has a strong association with traditional Italian cuisine, the versatility and taste profile of this pasta shape make it a great ingredient for experimenting with contemporary recipes and fusion cuisine. Here are some creative ways to use spaghettoni pasta:
  1. Spaghettoni with Peanut Sauce: Make a quick and easy peanut sauce with peanut butter, soy sauce, sriracha, and lime juice. Toss cooked spaghettoni in the sauce and top with chopped scallions and chopped peanuts for an Asian twist on this Italian classic.
  2. Mediterranean Spaghettoni Salad: Create a refreshing salad with cooked spaghettoni, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and oregano. This dish is perfect for a light lunch or a side dish for dinner.
  3. Spaghettoni with Pesto and Roasted Vegetables: Mix cooked spaghettoni with homemade pesto sauce and roasted vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and onions for a hearty vegetarian meal. Top with grated Parmesan cheese for added flavor.
Spaghettoni pasta is a versatile ingredient that can be adapted to different cuisines and personal tastes. Its long and thick shape and texture make it a great choice for holding onto sauces and pair well with a wide range of flavors. Whether used in traditional Italian recipes or more contemporary creations, spaghettoni is a pasta shape that should be on every foodie’s radar.


After exploring the world of spaghettoni pasta, we hope you’ve gained a new appreciation for this long and versatile variety of Italian pasta. Its unique qualities make it an excellent choice for a variety of dishes, from classic carbonara to more experimental fusion recipes. Though similar in name and appearance, spaghettoni and spaghetti are distinct in their thickness, length, and cooking time. Understanding the differences between these pasta types can help you choose the right one for your recipe and achieve the best results. Whether you’re a seasoned pasta chef or a novice in the kitchen, we encourage you to try cooking with spaghettoni in your next Italian dish. Its smooth texture and ability to absorb flavors make it a versatile ingredient that can enhance any meal. So, why not give it a spin and see what all the fuss is about?
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Can I Use Spaghettoni in Making Croissants at Home?

Can I use Spaghettoni to make delicious homemade croissants at home? While the idea might sound unusual, the answer is no. Croissants require a specific type of dough and technique to attain their flaky and buttery texture. Using Spaghettoni, a long pasta shape, would not achieve the desired result.


Q: What is spaghettoni?

A: Spaghettoni is a type of pasta that is similar in shape to spaghetti, but thicker and longer. It is a popular choice for traditional Italian pasta dishes.

Q: How does spaghettoni differ from spaghetti?

A: Spaghettoni differs from spaghetti in terms of thickness and length. Spaghettoni noodles are thicker and longer, providing a heartier and more substantial texture.

Q: Can spaghettoni be used in any pasta recipe?

A: Yes, spaghettoni can be used in a variety of pasta recipes. Its versatility allows it to be paired with different sauces and ingredients, making it a great option for both traditional and fusion cuisines.

Q: How should I cook spaghettoni?

A: Spaghettoni should be cooked according to the package instructions or until it reaches the desired level of al dente. It is important to stir the pasta occasionally while cooking to prevent sticking together.

Q: Is spaghettoni gluten-free?

A: Spaghettoni is typically made from wheat flour, which contains gluten. If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, there are alternative pasta varieties available made from ingredients like rice, corn, or quinoa.

Q: Where can I buy spaghettoni?

A: Spaghettoni can typically be found in grocery stores that carry a variety of pasta shapes and sizes. You can also purchase it online from various retailers.

Q: Are there any specific dishes that spaghettoni is traditionally used in?

A: Spaghettoni is commonly used in traditional Italian pasta dishes such as carbonara, aglio e olio, and cacio e pepe. These recipes showcase the unique texture and flavor of spaghettoni noodles.

Q: Can spaghettoni be used in cold pasta salads?

A: Yes, spaghettoni can be used in cold pasta salads. Its thicker and longer noodles hold up well in cold dishes and provide a satisfying bite.