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Splatter-Free Spaghetti Six Ways: The Meatball Cap, Spoon Assist and More

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Apr 09, 2015

No matter how you twirl it, eating spaghetti is a sloppy endeavor. From getting the right amount on the fork at once to dealing with danglers, pasta is problematic.

But there is a better way. In this episode of You’re Eating it Wrong, Dan joins Nicky Meatballs from Bello Giardino to test and demonstrate six splatter-free techniques for perfect bites of pasta.

- Horizontal fork insertion. Use the fork to rake the top of the pasta and pick up a few strands; then use the edge of the plate for twirling. Voila: a manageable bite of pasta!

- The spoon assist. Nicky admits that using a spoon to eat spaghetti in Italy is “a mortal sin." But he says he's become a fan of the spoon assist. Start with horizontal fork insertion, but instead of using the side of the plate to twirl, turn your fork against a spoon held in your other hand. The spoon creates a concave surface to shape a semi-circular bite. Then, as Nicky says, “It only takes a few twirls and it’s almost perfect.”

- Meatball cap. Dan shows Nicky a trick for achieving spaghetti bite consistency and keeping pasta on the fork: cut off a little piece of meatball (to use later). Follow the horizontal fork insertion and spoon assist, then stab the meatball piece with the end of the fork. This meatball “cap” contains the spaghetti, and you get all the dish's components in one bite.

Watch the video to see Dan and Nicky discuss and demonstrate the other three methods and debate the grated parmesan tipping point.

Check out more pasta shape ruminations and thoughts on mastication in Dan’s book, Eat More Better: How to Make Every Bite More Delicious.

Elite Truong is a support manager and snack maker at She likes eating and philosophically dissecting noodles, sushi, dumplings and street food. You can find her at @elitetruong.

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