The History of Spaghetti

If you’ve ever wondered about the origins of spaghetti, or even why there are so many different types of pastas, you’re definitely not alone. 

Different shaped and weighted pastas carry a unique taste because each one tends to handle a multitude of alternate sauce types. The pasta texture, and the particular sauce, greatly influence the culinary experience—even if it appears, on the surface, the only difference is the shape.

A sturdier pasta, like rigatoni, can better handle a heavy sauce, while a delicate pasta, like angel hair, needs a much lighter sauce to prevent it from being overwhelmed. 

If you’re wondering about the difference between spaghetti and other types of pasta: Spaghetti is a particularly popular pasta, especially in America. To satisfy your curiosity: we’ve provided a bit of pasta history—including that of spaghetti—along with a few recipes that you can create and enjoy right at home.   

The History of Spaghetti

While some historians believe pasta originated in Italy, most are convinced Marco Polo actually brought it back from his epic voyage to China. The earliest known pasta was made from rice flour and was common in the east.  

In Italy, pasta was made from hard wheat and shaped into long strands.—bringing this ancient food much closer to modern-day spaghetti. However, the earliest Italian version was likely a bit closer to vermicelli (a pasta name that translates into English as “little worms.”)

Spaghetti comes from the word Spago, which translates in English to “string,” or “twine.” In Italy, spaghetti (like all pasta) are generally cooked just to al dente (which means “to the tooth.”) to create a slightly chewy texture, rather than an overly soft consistency. 

Because of its shape and texture, (not too light or heavy) spaghetti can easily handle a tomato, as well as an extra virgin olive oil-based sauce. Spaghetti is frequently served with meat or vegetables, and a sauce then topped with a generous sprinkling of freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan. 


Spaghetti Fun Facts 

Spaghetti Fun Facts 

National spaghetti day is January 4th ( Although we doubt you need a special holiday to enjoy this meal). 

The world’s record for the largest bowl of spaghetti was in 2010 when a swimming pool in California was filled with over 13,000 pounds of spaghetti.

In just the year 2000, enough spaghetti was sold in American supermarkets to circle the globe 9 times. 

On April Fools Day in 1957, the BBC played a trick on their television viewers by convincing them spaghetti literally grew on trees, and always came off the tree at the exact same length. 

And now, for some spaghetti recipes, you can make at home. Mangia, Mangia! 


Magical One Pan Spaghetti 

This is a quick, fresh spaghetti recipe that’s both tasty and fun to prepare.  Everything—even the uncooked spaghetti— cooks together in one pan. Yes, with this recipe, there’s no need to cook the pasta separately.  This meal is both easy to prepare, and it’s delicious! 


12 ounces of uncooked spaghetti 

12 ounces of ripe cherry tomatoes, sliced in half 

1 medium onion, chopped 

3-4 cloves of chopped garlic 

⅓ tsp red pepper flakes 

2 leaves of basil, shredded

3 Tbsp Extra Virgin.Olive oil

Coarsely ground sea salt, to taste 

4 ½ Cups water 

Freshly grated Parmesan, and a few fresh basil leaves for serving 



Combine all the ingredients, including the raw spaghetti in a large skillet. The pasta should lay flat. If the pan isn’t large enough, break the spaghetti in half.

Bring the ingredients to a boil on high heat. Turn the spaghetti with tongs as the liquid boils. When the pasta is al dente and the water has evaporated, it’s ready. 

Note: If the pasta seems a bit dry, add about ¼ cup of additional water and continue to boil until it’s cooked to perfection. 

Yes, it’s really that simple. 

Plate the spaghetti, and top it with fresh basil leaves and grated.parmesan.  


Spaghetti alla Puttanesca 

Spaghetti alla Puttanesca 

This pasta dish consists of an incredibly flavorful sauce that is a blend of extra virgin olive oil, capers, and anchovies. So, if you’re craving a uniquely delicious bowl of spaghetti, this easy to prepare recipe just might be the one. 


1 pound uncooked spaghetti

1/4 cup quality extra virgin olive oil

5 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/3 teaspoon red pepper flakes

5-7 anchovy fillets, chopped

1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half 

3 tablespoons capers

1 large (28 ounces) can of crushed tomatoes

Coarse sea salt, to taste 

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley



Bring a large pot of water to a full boil. Liberally add salt to the water and cook the pasta according to directions. When the spaghetti is al dente, remove from the stove, saving a bit of the starchy water for later. Then drain the pasta. 

While the pasta is still cooking, prepare the sauce by placing the olive oil into a large saucepan over medium heat. Then, begin to sauté the garlic, red pepper flakes, anchovies, for just a couple minutes—being cautious not to burn the garlic.

Then, add the olives and capers and give it a stir. Now, add the tomatoes and turn the heat down to a simmer. Season with salt and add ½ of the parsley. 

Toss the pasta and sauce together. If it appears too dry, add a bit of the reserved cooking water, since the starch in that water will not make the sauce too thin.  

Garnish with the extra parsley, and freshly grated parmesan, and serve.  


Spaghetti with Ricotta and Lemon

What’s not to love about dense, creamy ricotta? And when the zestiness of fresh lemon is added to the mix, you have a nearly perfect pasta. 


1 pound dry spaghetti

1 cup ricotta

1/2 cup quality extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan 

Zest of 1 medium lemon

Juice of 1 medium lemon 

Coarse sea salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste)

Red pepper flakes (to taste)

For Serving

4-6 Fresh torn basil leaves

Grated parmesan 



Take a large pot of salted water and bring it to a full boil. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions. When the spaghetti is cooked, drain but save 1 cup of pasta water for later. 

Return the pasta to the pot. 

In a bowl, blend the oil, ricotta, parmesan, lemon juice, and the lemon zest. Once it’s combined, add the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. 

Place the ricotta mixture and about ¼ cup of the extra pasta water back into the pasta and toss well. If the pasta is too dry, add a bit more of the reserved water. 

Serve with drizzled extra virgin olive oil, freshly torn basil leaves and grated parmesan.  Enjoy!  


For a great spaghetti and meatball meal, as well as a multitude of other incredible Italian dishes created with our unique chef-inspired flair, come to Mi’talia for lunch, dinner, or a weekend brunch. 

You’ll find our charming Italian atmosphere inspiring, our menu both diverse and creative, and our service impeccable. 

We are located at 5958 South Dixie Highway in Miami.  For reservations, please call 305.885.4008

All You Need to Know About Chardonnay

You don’t have to be a wine expert to love a great glass of Chardonnay. It’s actually one of the most popular wines in America. But whether you’re trying to gear up for some wine trivia, select your next bottle, or just desire to know which version might go well as an ingredient in tonight’s cooking adventure, we’ve got just what you’re seeking. 

Here you’ll find some background about Chardonnay, along with a couple of recipes that are made with this signature ingredient. Of course, while you’re adding Chardonnay to your recipe, you can always enjoy a glass too. Cheers! 

All about Chardonnay 

Did you know that Chardonnay is the most popular grape planted in the world? 

It’s named after the small village of Chardonnay, located in France, and it translates into English as “Place of the thistles.” Many Champagnes are made from Chardonnay, specifically those labeled “Blanc de Blancs.” Around 2002, Chardonnay became a popular name for baby girls, born across the United Kingdom. 

You may ask what is the difference between Unoaked Chardonnay and Oaked Chardonnay? In a nutshell: Oaked Chardonnay is aged in oak barrels. This alters the flavor of the wine to a rich, buttery tone. Unoaked Chardonnays, on the other hand, are not kept in oak, but are generally aged in steel and do not obtain the same flavor. 

California Chardonnays are generally spectacular due to the state’s ideal climate and soil. Some of the best California Chardonnays are considered, by many, to come from Monterey and The Russian Valley (in Sonoma County).

Oak Chardonnays are buttery, rich, and have a slight vanilla tone. Buttery Chardonnay pairs particularly well with lobster, crab cakes, and halibut. Unoaked Chardonnays have a more Pinot Grigio taste and pair well with raw seafood, such as oysters. 

French Chablis and White Burgundy are both made from Chardonnay. Of all the wine sold in America (This includes either red or white), Chardonnay is number one.  

And here’s a fun fact for your next wine trivia discussion:  Around 800 AD, the wife of Charles the Great grew so weary of red wine staining her husband’s light-colored beard that she insisted white grapes be planted in their vineyard. This land is now known as the famous, Corton-Charlemagne, and is abundant with Chardonnay. 

Here are a couple of delicious recipes that include Chardonnay:

Chicken Rigatoni with Creamy Chardonnay Sauce 

Chicken Rigatoni with Creamy Chardonnay Sauce 

Brace yourself for a rich pasta dish that incorporates a generous dose of your favorite white wine. All you need for a complete flavorful dinner is this pasta, a simple green salad, and the perfect glass of Chardonnay. 


12 oz of rigatoni

Chicken Ingredients:

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 pound of boneless chicken breasts (remove skin)

Sea salt, to taste 

Red pepper flakes, to taste 

3 tsp Traditional dried Italian seasoning 

Sauce Ingredients:

1 diced medium red onion 

3 scallions, coarsely chopped

5 Tbsp butter

4 garlic cloves, minced  

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 Tbsp flour

1 cup Chardonnay (Preferably Oaked)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

⅓ cup chicken stock

½ cup Parmesan shredded, more for garnish

3 tsp Italian Seasoning

Sea salt to taste 

½ tsp paprika


Cook the rigatoni in boiling salted water, according to package directions. Taste a minute or two early to know when the pasta is al dente.

Dry the chicken breasts with paper towels. Add Italian seasoning, salt, red pepper flakes and gently press into the chicken. 

Heat about 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Sear the chicken for approximately 4 minutes on each side. If the chicken is brown, but not fully cooked, lower the stove to medium, cover, and continue to cook until the center is no longer pink. Remove the chicken from the skillet and discard any liquid from the pan. 

Chardonnay Sauce

Melt the butter in the hot skillet. Then add the red onion and scallions. Sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 additional minutes.  Now, introduce the tomatoes and cook for about 3 more minutes. 

Turn the stove down to medium heat.  Add the flour and stir well, making sure all the ingredients are fully combined. 

Add the Chardonnay and continue to cook about 2 more minutes. Then pour in the heavy cream and stock. Reduce the heat and simmer about 2-3 minutes.  Add salt, paprika, and Italian seasoning. Stir and taste for any necessary seasoning adjustment. 

Final Step:

Put the cooked rigatoni into the skillet of sauce and gently mix it all together. Slice the cooked chicken breasts and add them to the skillet. Cover and allow the chicken to reheat. Plate the pasta, top it with freshly grated Parmesan, pour yourself a glass of Chardonnay, and enjoy! 

You should try some of our dishes that go well with Chardonnay, such as the Tuscan brick chicken or grilled catch of the day. Take a look at our menu here.

At Mi’talia Kitchen & Bar, we have an extensive wine list. If you’re a bit undecided, don’t feel intimidated. Our servers will be happy to go over the list with you. 

You’ll also find spectacular chef-inspired appetizers like our Cauliflower Arancini, and a lunch and dinner menu that includes popular dishes like stone oven Sunflower Pizza, Ricotta Ravioli and Lobster, and a fresh grilled fish of the day. 

If you’re a brunch lover, our weekend brunch menu offers delectable dishes like Nutella French Toast and an unforgettable Pumpkin Ricotta Omelet. 


Mi’talia Kitchen & Bar is a modern interpretation of Italian cuisine while celebrating Italy’s breathtaking countryside. James Beard semi-finalists and top chef veterans, Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth, pay homage to the Italian cuisine by sharing their passion for cooking and Italian flavors. Mi’talia kitchen & bar is your neighborhood Italian restaurant where family, friends and familiar faces gather to celebrate each other, life and great food. welcome home. welcome to Mi’talia Kitchen & Bar.

We are conveniently located in Miami at 5958 South Dixie Highway. 

For reservations, please call us at 305.885.4008