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Ah! There is nothing better than some good old spaghetti to satisfy a hungry tummy. I have done my fair share of experimentations with spaghetti and can confidently state that Fettuccine noodles are a perfect fit for the ish.
Yes, you can make spaghetti with fettuccine noodles. You can either buy it from a store or create it directly at home.
There are usually three stages to making spaghetti. The first stage involves cooking the fettuccine noodles. The second stage involves preparing the meat sauce, and the third stage involves mixing it all together. However, it’s easier said than done and I’ve burned more than once. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
Preparing fettuccine noodles
While some people simply buy fettuccine noodles from the store, I prefer preparing it at home. Store-bought noodles are good, but they are often dry, have a rough texture, and are hard to boil properly. I avoid those issues by simply preparing the noodles at home. That way I know exactly how long to boil them without having to poke them now to check if they’re properly cooked.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make fettuccine noodles: 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 3-4 eggs, 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1/2 tablespoon salt.
1. Preparing the dough – Place the flour on a clean surface and make a nest in the middle. Add the olive oil, eggs, and salt in the middle, and use a fork to mix everything. Make sure to keep the walls of the flour intact. As you keep beating the mixture, take small chunks of flour and add them to the mixture. Repeat the process until all of the dough is mixed in with the eggs and you’re left with a shaggy ball of dough.
2. Storing the dough – Keep kneading the dough for 7-10 minutes until you’re left with a smooth ball. The rough might appear coarse and dry but keep at it. Add a bit of flour now and then to prevent it from sticking to the board. Sprinkle only a pinch of water if the dough is dry at the end. Once you’re done, wrap it up in a plastic wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour. For best results, leave it in the fridge overnight.
3. Creating sized portions – After the dough has all dried up, take it out of the wrap and cut it up into manageable portions. If you’re following the above-mentioned amount, you should end up with four equal lumps, and one is usually enough for a single person.
4. Cutting the dough – Take one of the four portions and flatten it using a pasta maker. Start off with the widest setting. Pass the dough through the pasta roller and fold it like a letter. Keep passing the dough through each thickness setting until you’re left with a long and thin slice of dough.
Use the entirety of your hands to maneuver the dough, as using your fingers might poke holes in it or ruin its shape. Cut the thin sheet into four equal slices and pass them through the fettuccine slicer. I prefer the Antree Pasta Maker since it comes with three attachments and is quite easy to use.
You can also use a knife. Simply roll one of the thin sheets lengthwise and use a knife to cut 1/2-inch slices. Sprinkle a healthy dose of flour to prevent the dough from sticking to each other.
5. Cooking the fettuccine – Fill a pot with water and add a tablespoon of salt. Throw in the fettuccine once the water starts boiling. Freshly prepared and cut fettuccine cooks more quickly. You’ll only have to cook it for 3-4 minutes until it’s ready. However, store-bought fettuccine can take 8-13 minutes to cook properly.
Your fettuccine noodles are now ready. The next step involves preparing the sauce for your spaghetti. Always prepare the sauce before cooking the noodles.
Preparing Spaghetti Sauce
I usually prepare my spaghetti sauce at home. Canned/store-bought sauce is good, and I usually save that for a busy workday when I am too tired to cook. But during the weekend, when I am having friends and family over, I like to prepare it myself so that I have total control over the flavor. Let’s start off with a list of the ingredients:
Ingredients: 1 pound of ground meat (beef, chicken, lamb, or turkey), 1 cup chopped onion, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 cup of water (better to use broth, chicken stock or red wine), 1/2 tablespoon of dried oregano, 1 can of crushed tomatoes (28 ounces), a pinch of crushed red olive flakes, fresh and salt ground black pepper, 12 ounces of cooked fettuccine, some basil leaves, and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese.
Optional Ingredients: 2-4 anchovy filets (you can also use anchovy paste), a pinch of sugar, 2-3 teaspoons of fish sauce, and 1 leftover rind from a parmesan wedge.
Now that you have the ingredients in order, it’s time to dive into the cooking process. Here are the steps:
1. Set the stove to medium heat and heat the olive oil. Add the meat and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until it turns brown. Use a wooden spoon to break the meat into smaller chunks.
2. After the meat is cooked a bit, add the onions and keep stirring until it’s all softened up or turns translucent.
3. After about 5 minutes add in the oregano, diced garlic, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes. Stir the mix for about 1-2 minutes.
4. Finally, add the water and scrape the spaghetti sauce using a wooden spoon. Make sure to get the small chunks of onion and meat stuck at the bottom and sides of the cooking pot.
5. Now add the tomatoes, a pinch of black pepper, and 3/4 tablespoons of salt, and leave everything on a low flame. Do not cover the lid and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Stir the mixture now and then and taste it to make sure everything is balanced. Keep adding the seasonings as needed.
Mixing the spaghetti with the fettuccine noodles
It’s time to put it all together. Start cooking the fettuccine noodles about 10-15 minutes before you’re done cooking the sauce. Now add the noodles and the sauce to a single pot and toss everything together. Add some parmesan cheese and stir everything for 3-4 minutes.
Do not add the noodles all at once. Pour in the majority of the noodles, cook for a while, and then gradually add the rest. Depending on the consistency of the sauce, you might not even require a whole lot of noodles. Garnish the dish with some herbs and basil leaves while it’s hot.
Tips for cooking spaghetti with fettuccine noodles
There are a bunch of other ingredients you can add to your spaghetti to make it more healthy or tasty. Here are a few suggestions that you can experiment with if you’re feeling adventurous:
1. Vegetable add-ons – Spaghetti isn’t all fat and calories. You can add vegetables such as peas and carrots to make them more healthy and balanced. Peas are a good source of fiber. If you’re using preserved peas, add them to the dish 5 minutes before switching off the stove. Carrots, on the other hand, take more time to cook, so add them before cooking the tomatoes.
2. Seafood twist – If you prefer fish, add some canned salmon into the mix.
3. Pre-cooking spaghetti sauce – Pre-cooked spaghetti sauce can last for 3 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer.
4. Balance the sauce – Add salt if the flavor doesn’t pop. If it turns more acidic, add some sugar to balance it out.
Cooking for me is like an art. It took a while and a lot of experimentation before I got everything right. Here are some FAQs I had when I started cooking for the first time. I hope you find them useful.
What is the nutritional value of spaghetti sauce?
Spaghetti contains lots of fat, cholesterol, and carbohydrates. Add some peas and carrots for some fiber. Here are the nutrients contained in the 1/6 portion of the dish cooked above:
How to thicken tomato sauce for the pasta?
There are a bunch of ways you can thicken your tomato sauce. The most common way is to boil the water out of the dish. Do not cover the dish; simmer and stir until you have the desired consistency. Other ways to thicken your sauce include:
1. Cornstarch – Adding a teaspoon of cornstarch won’t affect the taste but will help thicken the sauce.
2. Pasta water – Pasta water contains starch and can slightly thicken your tomato sauce.
3. Cream – Adding cream can thicken the sauce, but it also affects the overall flavor. Taste frequently if you’re adding cream; otherwise, you’ll end up with a heavily acidic flavor.
How to prevent the sauce from slipping off the fettuccine?
Do not rinse the fettuccine after draining it, as it’ll lose the starch. For best results, cook the slightly drained pasta for a few minutes before adding it to the sauce.
How to prevent the cream sauce from separating while cooking?
Cream sauce tends to curdle in high heat. It ruins the texture and, to some extent, even affects the flavor. Here are a few methods you can use to prevent it from curdling:
1. Cook the sauce over low to medium heat.
2. Add the cream gradually.
3. Whisk the mixture thoroughly after pouring in the cream.
4. If you’re using milk, then add some starch to it before adding it to the shimmering sauce.
During my experiments, I used a bunch of differently shaped pasta to cook my spaghetti. Fettuccine is a personal favorite of mine due to its heavy texture. Feel free to use the information in this article to come up with unique recipes of your own. Hopefully, you found this article’s information useful. Stay tuned for pasta-related topics in the future.