Connecting to my Italian heritage after making pasta with garlic, olive oil, and broccoli last night I wondered if my favorite pasta dish is in the mainstream or is my go-to dish off the beaten pasta path.  My question was quickly answered in an article by Shane Co. on the most popular pasta dishes by state across the country.

If you grew up in the 70s you know all about Anthony Martignetti.  The boy running home after hearing his mother bellowing his name out the window… “Anthony.”  Of course, it was the commercial promoting Prince Spaghetti.  Prince did a remarkable job branding Wednesday as Prince Spaghetti Day.  In my family, Thursday night was pasta night and usually for Sunday dinner as well.  Growing up in an Italian household it was all about pasta and not just spaghetti with sauce.  It was a variety from Bolognese, Pesto, Lasagna, Carbonara, Alfredo, Scampi, and the list goes on.  You add the different types of pasta into the mix…Vermicelli, Fettuccine, Linguine, Gnocchi, Spaghetti, Ziti, Tortellini, and the variety of pasta dishes can be as creative as your imagination will take you and what your tastebuds will dance to.

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Based on Google search trends over the past year, Shane Co. compiled a list of 27 pasta dishes and ranked them by state.  The results are filling.  Concentrating on New England, here in Massachusetts Gnocchi led the pasta pack.  Neighboring New Hampshire Ravioli was king.  Connecticut added seafood into the mix with Linguine with Clam Sause.  Maine, it was Spaghetti Carbonara, Vermont kept it simple with Spaghetti and Meatballs.  While Rhode Island’s go-to is my personal favorite adding lots of garlic and olive oil creates the spectacular Spaghetti Aglio e Olio.

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When totaled up the top pasta dish across the U.S. was Fettuccine Alfredo that won in a cheesy landslide topping the list in 14 states.  Gnocchi and Spaghetti were tied for 2nd with 5 states each followed by Tortellini with 4 and surprisingly with only 3 states Spaghetti and Meatballs.  The most surprising was Squid Ink Pasta that was tops in 3 states even beating out Lasagna and Mac and Cheese.  You can see the complete list by clicking this link to the Shane Co. article.

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All in all, pasta is the best starting point for the creation of any dish for the fussy eater to the adventurous, from the carnivore to the vegan and everyone in between.  Pasta with all its different shapes and sizes is not just the Prince of Spaghetti, it is the King of all dishes.  Mangia!

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