Despite thousands of ways to dress a plate of spaghetti, Italians love the classics. The favorite variant in the Bel Paese is a simple plate of pasta with tomato sauce.
All other versions combined — seafood, pesto, cream sauce, baked — were named as favorites by only 25% of the 1,000 Italians surveyed by Cirm for World Pasta Day 2003.
Most Italians seem to have a nearly inborn knack for noodles, 62.8% don’t bother following instructions. The ability to master the elusive “q.b.” (quanto basta or to taste), likely derives from a daily knowledge of penne, tortellini and spaghetti — at nearly 60 pounds per person per year, Italians are top consumers of pasta worldwide.
Celebrations taking place in Naples and around the world on Oct. 24-25 will also highlight new ways of looking at the old standby. The Cirm study found that Italians add six new recipes to the average menu of 12 every year — though these brilliant and often improvised creations don’t take the place of the classics. Some traditions may soon change, 9.8% of Italians have tried their national dish in what would have been formerly considered heretical versions — frozen or precooked. ©1999-2007 zoomata.com