As far as most Jordanians are concerned, all pasta is “ma3karona” which is fine when you cook at home, but when you’re at an Italian restaurant the case is different, and all those restaurant owners are always being such smartasses and they write the menus in Italian, w ya raito mazboot :( it’s filled with spelling mistakes, which makes my skin itch.
So I wanna get this out of my system, and list the most common types of pasta served in restaurants in Jordan, oh and also 3ashan el kol yestafeed w ye3raf shw yotlob :)
Fisrt, pasta refers to all types of ma3karona, it means ‘pastry’ in Italian. Other types are called according to their shape.
Spaghetti is the most common type; it is the long thin cylindrical string-like pasta, spago in Italian means ‘string’ and adding the –etti in the end is to signify the small size. (nerd I know)
These are Maccheroni, often prepared by adding cheese to make, well, Maccheroni and Cheese!
Next are Fettuccine (pronounced Fet-tu-chee-neh not Feetocheeneeeee) which means little ribbons
Below are Penne, Italian for ‘pens’
The widely misspelled famous Lasagne (plural of Lasagna)
And finally these are Fusilli, they sometimes come in green or orange colors, and it's not just food dye, spinach juice and beet or carrot juice are used in those
The previous types of pasta can be cooked in any sauce you choose, Fettucine are always thought to be cooked in Alfredo sauce, which is not entirely true, the main three Italian sauces used in restaurants around Jordan are Marinara, Alfredo and Pesto Sauce, red, white and green respectively, just think of the colors of the Italian flag ;)
Marinara sauce is mainly composed of tomatoes with onions, garlic and some herbs plus olive oil (this is not a recipe :)), Alfredo sauce is the white creamy buttery one and Pesto sauce is made mainly of basil leaves and olive oil plus lots of garlic and grated cheese.
Finally, if you can’t handle spicy food, you might want to steer clear of Salsa Arrabiata (Italian for angry!) another form of marinara sauce made by adding crushed red pepper or sometimes chili pepper to make it spicier.
Buon’ appetito :)