One of them was the Persian empire, in the Sixth century. Here the nobility ate something pretty similar to ravioli, and the discarded cuts from their preparation were left to the servants, who saved them by drying… after shaping the dough in thin stripes. According to a local story, one day the son of a ruling noble wanted to visit the kitchen of their palace, and he discovered the pasta. «They stand up as straight as my father’s soldiers!» he commented.
As it happens, ‘soldier’ in ancient Farsi was spahi, and this is the name under which that particular type of pasta reached Sicily. By a strange coincidence, ‘spahi’ sounds remarkably like the Italian word spaghi, meaning ‘strings’. By extension, small strings are called – you guessed it – ‘spaghetti’. Evidently, the name stuck.