Spaghetti is a dish that comes with a deep, long history and is popular for a number of reasons, including both its taste and the ease with which it can be prepared. However, though there is no official set of guidelines for what comprises the perfect serving of spaghetti, these common tips are worth remembering the next time you plan to make a batch of pasta:
Olive oil etiquette: Though there will never be a consensus regarding how olive oil should be used with spaghetti, some people believe that it shouldn't go anywhere near the pasta while it is still cooking. Oil is known for adding flavor and coating the pasta, which keeps it from sticking together, but that is part of the problem for some. Spaghetti coated in olive oil isn't able to absorb the flavor of the sauce. Instead, just stir vigorously throughout the cooking process and the spaghetti won't stick. Then after you've turned the heat off, add a drizzle of olive oil for additional flavoring.
Rules of the sauce: A common trick for spaghetti preparation is to combine both the noodles and the sauce in a single pot and let them simmer together for a few minutes over a high heat. Not only does the process allow the spaghetti to finish cooking, the pasta will also absorb some of the flavoring from the sauce.
Also, not every sauce and every cut of pasta make for ideal matches. As a rule of thumb, a smooth sauce goes well with a longer noodle. But pastas like farfalle and fusilli come with the nooks and turns that allow them to more effectively catch a sauce with additional ingredients.