Spaghettini, often regarded as a delightful culinary treasure, is a slender variant of the famed spaghetti pasta. Originating from the rich culinary traditions of Italy, spaghettini stands out for its delicate and finer strands, offering a distinct texture and faster cooking time compared to its thicker counterpart, spaghetti. The name ‘spaghettini’ itself is a diminutive of ‘spaghetti,’ reflecting its more delicate nature.

Spaghettini Pasta

Spaghettini pasta is celebrated for its versatile nature, making it a perfect canvas for a variety of sauces and ingredients. Its thin strands are particularly adept at clinging to lighter sauces, such as a classic Aglio e Olio (garlic and oil) or a vibrant pesto, allowing the flavors to be absorbed more fully. This quality makes spaghettini pasta an ideal choice for dishes that emphasize the freshness and simplicity of the ingredients.

In the world of Italian cuisine, the preparation of spaghettini is an art form, where the pasta is often cooked ‘al dente’ – tender yet firm to the bite. This ensures that it maintains its texture and does not become overly soft when mixed with sauces.

Spaghettini’s rise in popularity can be attributed to its ability to offer a quick yet elegant meal solution. Its thin diameter means that it cooks in just a few minutes, making it a favorite among those seeking a speedy yet sophisticated dining experience. Whether tossed in a light tomato sauce, adorned with seafood, or simply dressed with olive oil and Parmesan, spaghettini remains a testament to the simplicity and elegance of Italian cuisine.

Prep time5 minutes
Cook time30 minutes
CourseMain course
Spaghettini Pasta

Ingredients for Spaghettini Pasta

  • Spaghettini pasta – 400 grams (14 ounces)
  • Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Garlic cloves, finely chopped – 4
  • Red chili flakes (optional) – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped – 1/4 cup
  • Canned diced tomatoes – 800 grams (28 ounces) or fresh ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • Salt – to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese – 1/2 cup
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish) – Optional

Tools Needed

  • Large pot: For boiling the pasta.
  • Colander: To drain the cooked pasta.
  • Large skillet or frying pan: For preparing the sauce.
  • Wooden spoon or spatula: For stirring the sauce.
  • Garlic press (optional): To finely mince the garlic.
  • Chef’s knife: For chopping herbs and garlic.
  • Cutting board: For chopping ingredients.
  • Can opener: If using canned tomatoes.
  • Cheese grater: For grating Parmesan cheese.
  • Measuring spoons and cups: For measuring ingredients accurately.
  • Serving dish: To serve the pasta.

How to make Spaghettini Pasta

  • Boil the Pasta: Fill a large pot with water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Add the spaghettini pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente (usually around 8 minutes). Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • Prepare the Sauce: While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the finely chopped garlic and chili flakes (if using). Sauté for about 1-2 minutes or until the garlic is golden but not burnt.
  • Add Tomatoes: Stir in the diced tomatoes (canned or fresh), salt, and black pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer, and let it cook for about 10-12 minutes, until it thickens slightly. Stir occasionally.
  • Combine Pasta and Sauce: Once the pasta is cooked, drain it using a colander but reserve a cup of pasta water. Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the sauce. Toss gently to combine, adding a bit of the reserved pasta water if needed to loosen the sauce.
  • Final Touches: Stir in the chopped fresh basil and half of the grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well.
  • Serve: Transfer the pasta to a serving dish. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the top and garnish with fresh parsley if desired. Serve hot.
Spaghettini Pasta

Tis and tricks for Spaghettini Pasta

  • Toast the Garlic: Instead of just sautéing, lightly toast the garlic in olive oil until it’s a pale golden color. This will infuse the oil with a rich garlic flavor that enhances the overall taste of the sauce.
  • Salt Your Water Well: The water you cook your pasta in should taste almost as salty as seawater. This is crucial for seasoning the pasta itself.
  • Use Pasta Water Smartly: Reserve more pasta water than you think you’ll need. The starchy water is a key ingredient for adjusting the consistency of your sauce, giving it a silky texture that clings to the pasta.
  • Fresh Tomatoes Trick: If using fresh tomatoes, add a pinch of sugar while cooking to balance their acidity and bring out their natural sweetness.
  • Al Dente Pasta: Cook the pasta until it is just al dente. Remember, it will continue to cook slightly when mixed with the hot sauce.
  • Layer the Flavors: Add half of your chopped fresh herbs while the sauce simmers and the rest just before serving. This layers the herbal flavors, creating depth.
  • Rest the Pasta: After combining the pasta with the sauce, let it sit for a minute before serving. This resting time allows the pasta to absorb the flavors more thoroughly.
  • Cheese at the End: Add most of the Parmesan cheese at the very end of cooking to avoid it becoming clumpy and to maximize its flavor.
  • Spice it Up: For an extra kick, infuse your olive oil with red pepper flakes by heating them together before adding garlic.
  • Use Quality Ingredients: Since this is a simple dish, using high-quality ingredients makes a significant difference. Opt for good quality olive oil, fresh herbs, and artisanal pasta if possible.

Variation in the Spaghettini Pasta

  • Lemon Zest and Shrimp: Add freshly grated lemon zest and sautéed shrimp to the sauce for a citrusy, seafood twist. The lemon adds a fresh, tangy flavor that complements the shrimp beautifully.
  • Creamy Avocado Sauce: Blend ripe avocado with garlic, basil, and a bit of lemon juice for a creamy, vegan alternative to traditional tomato-based sauces. This sauce is not only unique but also adds a healthy, creamy texture.
  • Mushroom and Thyme: Sauté a mix of wild mushrooms with garlic and fresh thyme. This earthy variation brings a hearty and aromatic flavor to the pasta.
  • Spicy Chorizo and Bell Peppers: Add diced chorizo and sliced bell peppers to the garlic and olive oil base for a spicy and colorful variation. The chorizo adds a smoky depth, while the bell peppers bring sweetness and crunch.
  • Sun-dried Tomato and Olives: Stir in chopped sun-dried tomatoes and sliced olives along with the garlic for a Mediterranean twist. This combination offers a lovely balance of sweet, tangy, and salty flavors.
  • Butternut Squash and Sage: Roast butternut squash cubes and toss them with crispy sage leaves. This autumnal variation brings a sweet and nutty flavor, perfect for a cozy meal.
  • Pesto and Pine Nuts: Swap the tomato sauce for homemade or store-bought pesto, and garnish with toasted pine nuts. This offers a fresh, herbaceous flavor profile.
  • Artichoke and Spinach: Add sautéed spinach and chopped artichoke hearts for a vegetable-packed version. This combination provides a delightful mix of textures and flavors.
  • Ricotta and Lemon Basil: Dollop fresh ricotta cheese over the pasta and add lemon-infused basil leaves. This creates a creamy, zesty, and fresh variation.
  • Smoked Salmon and Dill: Top your pasta with flakes of smoked salmon and fresh dill. This variation lends a luxurious and sophisticated taste to the simple spaghettini.
Spaghettini Pasta

How to store left over Spaghettini Pasta?

Storing leftover Spaghettini Pasta properly ensures it remains tasty and safe to eat. First, allow the pasta to cool to room temperature. Avoid leaving it out for more than 2 hours to prevent bacterial growth. Transfer the pasta into airtight containers – separating the sauce and pasta if possible to maintain texture.

Refrigerate it, where it can last up to 5 days. For longer storage, freeze the pasta in freezer-safe bags or containers for up to 3 months. When reheating, add a bit of water or sauce to refresh the pasta. It’s best reheated over the stove or in a microwave.

Nutritional Facts of Spaghettini Pasta(Per serving)

  • Calories: 350-400 kcal
  • Protein: 12-15 g
  • Total Fat: 7-10 g
  • Carbohydrates: 60-65 g
  • Cholesterol: 5-10 mg
  • Sodium: 300-400 mg
  • Calcium: 100-150 mg
  • Iron: 2-3 mg

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ’s

Yes, you can substitute with spaghetti, linguine, or even angel hair pasta, adjusting cooking time as needed.

Use gluten-free pasta and ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free.

Absolutely! Chicken, shrimp, or even tofu can be a great addition.

Yes, simply omit the Parmesan cheese or use a vegan substitute.

Simmer the sauce for a longer period, or add a small amount of tomato paste to thicken it.

Spaghettini Pasta


Spaghettini Pasta, with its delicate strands and light texture, offers a delightful culinary experience. This dish balances simplicity with flavor, showcasing the classic Italian philosophy of using a few high-quality ingredients to create a meal greater than the sum of its parts. It’s versatile enough to be adapted to various dietary preferences, making it a go-to recipe for any pasta lover.

Whether served as a quick weekday dinner or as part of a sophisticated meal, Spaghettini Pasta holds its charm by being both unassumingly simple and elegantly delicious, truly embodying the essence of Italian cuisine.

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