Which is the most common Italian pasta shape? The one that comes to mind when we talk about Italian food? Most likely, it is spaghetti. What’s more Italian than a nice plate of steaming spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce, grated Parmesan cheese, and a basil leaf on top?
Italians do love spaghetti, to the point that eating them is not just a way to satisfy their hunger by preparing a quick and tasty dish but it can become a real social ritual. When you are at home with friends and family late at night and you’re hungry, what’s better than a spaghettata?
Spaghettata = Tasty eaten of spaghetti in cheerful company, often prepared at night.
The word “Spaghettata” is used to refer to a moment of social and culinary sharing where people cook and eat spaghetti together during a non-conventional meal time. This habit was very popular in the 80s and it’s making a big comeback.
When you get home with your friends after a night out clubbing or you’re already at home (hungry) but it’s too late for dinner and still too early for breakfast… Believe me, cook some spaghetti!
Spaghettata, in fact, doesn’t have to be scheduled beforehand. It is quick to prepare, everyone likes it and at the end of the meal, you’ll be very satisfied. Are you curious to know more about this particular Italian habit? Read on!
Do Italians eat spaghetti at night?
Italians love pasta because it’s cheap, easy to prepare and it can be served with different sauces and condiments. Italians usually eat pasta for lunch or dinner during their everyday life. But pasta is also a food that is highly appreciated during holidays or special occasions.
Now, let’s face the central question: do Italians eat spaghetti at night?
Although it is not the norm, it can happen to eat pasta as a midnight snack, especially during summertime when you stay up late to hang out and chat with friends.
What is spaghettata di mezzanotte?
The Italian term “spaghettata di mezzanotte” defines a convivial moment very late in the evening, at midnight or even later, where a group of friends and family decides to cook and eat a plate of spaghetti altogether.
As you have seen, Italians do not usually eat spaghetti as a snack, but it can happen in some very informal contexts, for example during an evening with friends, to have a spaghettata if you get hungry.
Example of recipes for spaghettata
There is only one rule for a spaghettata: the recipe chosen must be easy and quick to prepare and not too heavy to digest since you probably will go to sleep shortly after.
The traditional spaghettata involves “spaghetti aglio, olio e pepperoncino”, which is a condiment made with sauté garlic, oil and chili.
For those who want to experiment with a more creative recipe, there are many options. All delicious and fast. You can try:
- spaghetti alla puttanesca, with tomato sauce, black olives, garlic oregano and capers;
- spaghetti al pomodoro, with fresh tomato sauce;
- spaghetti all’arrabbiata, with spicy tomato sauce;
- spaghetti cacio e pepe, with a creamy Pecorino cheese and pepper sauce;
- spaghetti all’amatriciana, with tomato sauce, guanciale (similar to bacon) and pecorino cheese;
- spaghetti alla carbonara, with egg yolks, pecorino cheese, pepper and guanciale;
- spaghetti al tonno piccanti, with spicy tuna sauce;
- spaghetti alla trapanese, with tomatoes, almonds, Pecorino cheese and basil;
- spaghetti al pesto, with pesto sauce.
If you suddenly crave a spaghettata with your friends but need to go grocery shopping, no worries! A little bit of extra virgin oil and grated Parmesan are enough to transform a plain dish of spaghetti into a tasteful meal ready to be shared!
Do Italian have a spaghettata gesture?
As you probably already know, Italians gesticulate a lot. Is there a gesture that means “let’s do a spaghettata”? Absolutely yes! If you want to learn it too, rotate your closed hand forward with the index and middle fingers kept straight, like a fork, just look at the video below.
At this moment you have all the information you need to organize the perfect spaghettata, like a real Italian! You just have to wait for the night to come and… be ready with a nice pack of your favorite spaghetti in the pantry. Buona spaghettata!