What does it mean when Megan Draper makes spaghetti?
May 23, 2014 8:17 PM Subscribe
When did spaghetti bolognese (or with meatballs) become the classic Anglo-American middle class dinner in the US?
Over in FanFare, we Mad Men fans always make note when Megan Draper seems to be making spaghetti for dinner. Which always seems accompanied with a bottle of red wine and continental flair.
In the 21st century, pasta is considered a convenience food, something you make when you're out of ideas or short on time. In my own 80s childhood, I remember spaghetti bolognese being in heavy rotation, but it didn't have the drab associations it does today (in fact it was my little brother's favorite food).
Obviously there would have been a time in the US when pasta was as exotic as curry or tajine is now, and before that, a time when it was unheard of. Also, spaghetti bolognese seems much more firmly ingrained into the American kitchen in a way that other Italian cuisine isn't (for example pizza is still something you get at restaurants, and baked ziti is mostly traditional in Italian-American families).
When did that transition happen? How did spaghetti go from foreign cuisine to comfort food? And why spaghetti bolognese, out of all Italian-American cuisine?