primo (first course)

Il primo: The first course in an Italian meal, after the antipasto and before the secondo. Pasta is a typical primo as are soups and risotto. Short for primo piatto or “first plate.”

i primi or i primi piatti plural

See also: antipasto, secondo, contorno


Gli spaghetti: Literally “little strings” [from spago], spaghetti is a type of pasta formed into long thin solid strands and dried.

Related: spaghettini, a thin spaghetti also called vermicelli in southern Italy.