When someone cooks a nice steaming plate of pasta, they might wonder, immediately after draining it, “How do I season this pasta?”.
If the cook is not Italian, the question might be even more specific: “What do Italians usually put in their pasta? How do they typically season it?”
Well, I can give you the answer.
I am Italian, I love pasta, and I eat it often at home and in local restaurants. In addition, I have sought out statistics on what condiments or pasta sauce (and, therefore, pasta recipes) are most searched for and eaten by us Italians.
First, I want to give you a quick answer. Maybe you’re making pasta right now and you have only one minute left before it is cooked “al dente.” You have to decide how to season it.
One of the most popular condiments – and, therefore, pasta sauces – eaten and requested by Italians in restaurants is spaghetti carbonara, made with guanciale, eggs, Pecorino cheese, and black pepper. In a home context, however, where there is a need for practicality and speed, the great classics such as pasta al Pomodoro, pasta cacio e pepe, and pasta with pesto win out.
As you already know, there are hundreds of recipes for pasta sauce in Italy, differing from region to region. Even the typical red meat sauce (ragu), there are different types.
However, in the end, we Italians tend to eat the same ones over and over again.
The best-loved pasta sauce consumed by Italians
As I’ll show you through some data I’ve gathered, spaghetti carbonara (here, here you can read the commandments of an Italian-proof carbonara) is the most consumed and requested pasta sauce in Italy. Therefore, it is also the most loved!
In fact, even without looking at the numbers, I already knew that carbonara was at least in the top three, I am a big fan of this dish, which I often cook at home. I often order it at restaurants as well.
In this ranking compiled by mastercard.com, which investigated all the comfort foods that Italians cooked the most during the pandemic years when we were all at home, at the top we find the timeless spaghetti carbonara, the most-cooked dish for 50.5 percent of Italians.
Ranking of “comfort foods” that Italians cooked in the last year:
- Spaghetti carbonara (50.5%)
- Tiramisu (43.1%)
- Lasagna Bolognese (43%)
- Cannelloni (33.6%)
- Pasta and beans (33%)
Meanwhile, another ranking, conducted by the food delivery app JustEat, analyzed the trend of pasta orders over the past year and recorded as many as 32.000 kilograms of pasta ordered at home. In the ranking, guess who we find in first place?
Spaghetti carbonara again tops the list, although here we are talking about the kinds of pasta most ordered via delivery in Italy.
Ranking of the most ordered kinds of pasta in Italy:
- Spaghetti carbonara
- Tagliatelle with meat sauce
- Gnocchi alla sorrentina
- Penne all’arrabbiata
- Spaghetti allo scoglio
- Tortellini panna e prosciutto
- Penne with salmon
- Tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms
Given these rankings, we see that spaghetti carbonara is always in first place. Whether we are talking about the most cooked pasta by Italians or the most ordered pasta by Italians, we can conclude that carbonara sauce is the pasta sauce that Italians use the most on their steaming pasta plates.
As an Italian, I don’t find that surprising; everybody loves spaghetti alla carbonara!
Now, if I’ve made you want to cook some spaghetti carbonara, forget the cream and read on.