Giada De Laurentiis’ Trick For Plating Pasta Will Make Your Quarantine Meals Feel Extra Fancy

Pasta is one of those meals that we never get tired of. Nevermind the fact that the zillion different shapes of pasta always keep dinner interesting (it’s not having the same thing for dinner two nights in a row if one night you have spaghetti and the next, radiatore, right?), it’s also a blank canvas for pretty much any flavor combo you can think of. Now, Giada de Laurentiis has dozens of tasty pasta recipes up her sleeve, so we count her as one of our most trusted pasta experts. This week, we learned something new from her: how to plate pasta like a pro. Wait, does that mean eating it right out of the pan *doesn’t* count as proper serving technique? Oops.

Now, not only does de Laurentiis have perfect pasta pronunciation (no one says spaghetti like Giada), but her plating game is unparalleled, too. If you’re tired of messy piles of pasta and bowls that have squiggly noodles spilling out of them, getting sauce splatters all over your table, here’s the solution.

The secret tool de Laurentiis uses to plate her spaghetti is a carving fork. She uses the carving fork and a large serving spoon in a similar way to how you might use a fork and spoon to twirl spaghetti before shoveling it into your mouth when you’re eating. The large carving fork gets swirled through the noodles, then, using the spoon, de Laurentiis carefully transfers the fork to a plate. The noodles slide right off, in a perfectly twirled mound.

If you don’t have a spare carving fork to use, she also offers a method for using simple salad tongs. You grasp the pasta in your tongs, then twirl, twirl, twirl, until you have a perfect mound of noodles on your plate just waiting for an extra sprinkle of cheese or freshly cracked black pepper. Using these techniques, even if you’re eating pantry pasta in front of the tv for the third time this week, you just might be able to pretend you’re back at your favorite little Italian restaurant.

Before you go, check out some of Giada’s best pasta recipes below:

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