The Mike & Carla Morning Show

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It’s National Noodle Day.  As an Italian, noodles – pasta – were always a huge part of my life. If you listen to The Mike & Carla Morning Show you know that I’m Italian! And if you don’t know the rules of the pasta road…then don’t even think about calling yourself an “Italian”! However, if you want to learn, then I am here to help!

The world has been making and eating noodles for at least 4,000 years.  In 2005, a 4,000-year-old bowl of noodles was found in China – the earliest evidence ever found of one of the world’s most popular foods.  So they were probably the first to make noodles, not the Italians. But Italy definitely has a proud noodle tradition of its own.

Someone polled 1,000 people in Italy to find out what you might be doing WRONG with pasta, according to Italians – who will certainly school you about all things Italian! Do I use a “pasta” spoon when twirling my noodles on a fork? Can I slurp my noodles up into my mouth? Can I use a piece of bread to mop up the left over sauce on my plate? All great questions people have when eating Italian…needless to say, none of us want to offend right?

There are literally dozens – possibly hundreds – of different shapes and sizes of pasta noodles. Traditional, curly, springy, fat, thin, stuffed, etc! Let’s face it, there are some great Italian restaurants in Las Vegas, so if you are going to go, why not be prepared to eat Italian like an Italian?

If you think I’m just making up a lot of this, there’s an article publish by YouGov , where you can read all about it…so if  you want to be a REAL Italian, these are probably good rules to follow.

Follow us anytime, anywhere:

  • Ketchup on pasta (???) 

    89% of Italians say it’s unacceptable! One in six Americans say go for it. They are WRONG!

    Pasta with ketchup

  • Cutting pasta with a knife

    No, no, NO! 69% of Italians say never, ever do that! Just stick a fork in, and twirl!

    Cutting pasta

  • Putting pasta in cold water, then boiling it 

    81% think it’s unacceptable, and it is.  You absolutely have to boil it first, then put the pasta in.

    Spaghetti in water

  • Boiling it in plain water without salting it 

    Only 53% of Italians say you have to salt the water.  36% say not necessary, and 11% don’t know or care. Many say the water boils faster. If it works great, but if you don’t want any extra salt, avoid it.

    Salt or no salt


  • Putting oil in the water

    Basically a tie on this one.  44% say it’s fine, and 43% say it’s not.  Most experts say “don’t.”  It makes the pasta too slippery, and the sauce can’t cling to it as well.

    Oil in water

  •  Breaking dry spaghetti in half, so it fits in the pot. 

    Another tie.  47% of Italians say unacceptable, 46% say fine, the rest don’t have an opinion. It’s certainly not as fun, and it’s harder to twirl it on your fork if you break it. Cardinal sin in pasta-land!

    Breaking pasta

  • Having pasta as a side dish. 

    72% say no, it’s always the main dish.  But 79% of Americans think a side of pasta is okay. As A kid it was only a main dish for us, but restaurants in America have changed that. SHAMEFUL!!

    Big bowl of pasta

  • Rinsing pasta after you cook it 

    58% of Italians say you shouldn’t do it. There’s no definitive rule on this, but I think it’s best to leave it as it is out of the pot – no rinsing.



  •  Putting pasta on your plate, then sauce on top of it

    44% say it’s fine, but 48% say no, you should always mix the sauce in before you serve it. Have an extra bowl of sauce on the side, sure, but definitely mix sauce in that pasta before serving!

    Pasta in sauce

  • Carla Rea's rule


    Wine, and more wine