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National Spaghetti Day!

Bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, in a tomato sauce. Please see:

Bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, in a tomato sauce.

There’s nothing like a warm bowl of pasta during the winter, and National Spaghetti Day is the perfect time to do just that.

According to Foodimentary, the word “Spaghetti” is the plural form of an Italian word spaghetto, meaning “thin string” or “twine.”

Here are some more spaghetti facts, courtesy of the National Pasta Association:

  • The Spanish explorer Cortez brought tomatoes back to Europe from Mexico in 1519. Even then, almost 200 years passed before spaghetti with tomato sauce made its way into Italian kitchens.
  • The first American pasta factory was opened in Brooklyn, New York, in 1848, by a Frenchman named Antoine Zerega. Mr. Zerega managed the entire operation with just one horse in his basement to power the machinery. To dry his spaghetti, he placed strands of the pasta on the roof to dry in the sunshine.
  • One cup of cooked spaghetti provides about 200 calories, 40 grams of carbohydrates, less than one gram of total fat, no cholesterol and only one gram of sodium when cooked without salt. Read more about pasta nutrition.
  • One billion pounds of pasta is about 212,595 miles of 16-ounce packages of spaghetti stacked end-to-end — enough to circle the earth’s equator nearly nine times.
  • Speaking of spaghetti…and meatballs: the Italians only ate meat a few times a month. So, when they came to America, where meat was so plentiful, they incorporated meat into their cooking more often, making meatballs an American invention.
  • Pasta is one of America’s favorite foods. In 2000, 1.3 million pounds of pasta were sold in American grocery stores. If you lined up 1.3 million pounds of 16 oz. spaghetti packages, it could circle the Earth’s equator almost nine times!