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    10 American Pasta Dishes That Italians Think Are A Total Disgrace

    Even if served on a red-checkered tablecloth, these pasta dishes don’t qualify as Italian.

    Get ready to change all your beliefs on authentic Italian cuisine.


    Disclaimer: Don’t get us wrong, we love all the pasta dishes out there!

    1. Fettuccine Alfredo

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    Alfredo, who? Although it is probably one of the most beloved pasta dishes in America, it simply does not exist in Italy. And if you try to add chicken, the dish may easily turn from being simply unknown to being a disgrace (see number five for meat in pasta).

    2. Mac 'n' Cheese

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    This is a difficult one. Italians do have many versions of baked, cheesy pasta — so basically exactly what mac ’n’ cheese is. But the moment you add cheddar cheese it becomes unacceptable. Why, you ask? Well, you simply don’t question nonna’s decade old rules.

    3. Carbonara With Cream

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    “I nearly fainted at the sight of the cream. How can you call that carbonara?” will be the first reaction of any Italian looking at a dish of carbonara with cream. On behalf of all Italians we have to tell you: there should never be a single drop of cream in your carbonara! Guanciale, pecorino romano, egg yolks, and black pepper are the only ingredients on the list.

    4. Spaghetti and Meatballs

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    This dish may be perfect for the Lady and the Tramp Disney movie scene, but will never appear on an Italian menu. If you go to Italy, do not expect to share the spaghetti and meatballs with your partner, it does not exist.

    5. Pasta and Steak

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    You may never add any large chunks of any kind of meat to your pasta - basta! Italians are unwilling to compromise on this one. Nonna will say: Eat your steak with the secondo, where it belongs!

    6. Fried Ravioli


    Ravioli are purely delicious and priceless in terms of tradition: still present in the italian cuisine after more than 500 years, why destroy them in 5 minutes ?

    7. Cincinnati Chili / Spaghetti with Chili

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    Even if everyone appreciates multiculturality, pairing chili with pasta is the best way to make grandmothers cry in two different languages. If you like the idea of pasta with saucy, minced meat please try original ragù: you will not regret it.

    8. Sweet Pepper Pesto Pasta

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    Pesto is one of the most beloved pasta sauces in Italy, and there are over 40 different recipes across all regions. So why don’t you stick with the tradition and use your sweet peppers as a side dish?

    You better be careful, we have chef Antonino Cannavacciuolo on our side!

    9. Shrimp Puttanesca

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    The idea behind Pasta alla Puttanesca is to prepare an easy and yummy dish with few ingredients you can find in the back of your pantry. On behalf of the Italian community, I hate to break it to you, but shrimps don’t belong in the back of your pantry. Try some anchovies in oil instead, they are perfect for a puttanesca.

    10. Pasta with Ketchup


    Finally, an old but gold culinary nightmare: pasta with ketchup. If you are very fond of carbos with ketchup, have some fries! But please, for the love of all Italian hearts, stop putting ketchup on your spaghetti!

    BONUS: Cutting your spaghetti

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    Even if this isn't a recipe, the need to address this problem is clear: do. not. ever. cut. pasta!

    Before or after cooking, long pasta such as spaghetti or linguine should remain intact. If you want shorter pieces, pasta makers offer you so many possibilities to choose from: you can have penne, fusilli, or rigatoni. Just remember: the only tool you should use to cut pasta is your teeth!