Tomato spaghetti pasta with shrimps prawns in sauce and parmesan cheese served in spotted ceramic plate with fork and cloth napkin over brown stone background. (Photo by: Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
Why Pasta Doesn't Come With Your Main Dish In Italy
When eating at an Italian restaurant in America, it’s common for the menu to be filled with big bowls of pasta and appetizers like bruschetta, caprese, or an antipasto salad. However, if you take a trip to Italy, you may be surprised to discover that pasta isn’t usually served as the main course, nor as a side dish.
Traditional Italian meals are complex and can go on for as long as four hours or more, with a whopping 10 courses. Aperitivo and antipasti are the starters, with primi, secondi, contorni, and insalata all making up the main entree, and finally, fruit and cheese are followed by dessert, espresso, and an alcoholic digestive.
According to Fodor’s Travel, pasta is typically served as primi, the first course, while secondi, the second course, usually involves a protein like meat or seafood. All types of pasta can be served as primi, but noodles aren’t served with anything past primi, nor are smaller portions of pasta served alongside other courses.