Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘mafaldine’

For a long time, pasta played second fiddle in our house.

We used to view the sauce as the most important part of the dish, and would buy whatever Italian pasta was on special to accompany it.

All this changed recently when we purchased our first packet of Orecchiette (pictured above).  These delicious little morsels opened our eyes to both the diverse variety of pasta shapes available and the delightful world of pasta nomenclature.  Orecchiette, for example, means “little ear” (although I personally think they resemble turtle shells).

Here are some others we’ve recently discovered…

Strozzapreti, or “priest chokers”, were traditionally made in Romagna and Tuscany.  I’d assumed the name was a humorous take on the clerical collar, but a little research turned up its more sinister connotations, which reflected the strained relationship between the populace of the region and the Catholic church.  For the history buffs, there’s an interesting article about Strozzapreti here.  I love it when food has a story to tell…

These simple tubes are known as Occhi di Lupo, or “wolf eyes”.  We’ve been cooking this pasta for years, but I’d never paid attention to the writing on the packet before. Such a fabulous name, and guaranteed to appeal to even the fussiest young carnivore…

This pretty ribbon pasta, designed to accompany delicate sauces, is known as Mafaldine. It was created in honour of Princess Mafalda of Savoy (1902 – 1944), who died quite tragically in a German concentration camp during WWII…

Lumache, or “snails”, come in a variety of sizes…

I was quite taken with these graceful bows and their equally graceful name – Fiocchi D’Amore, or “love flakes”…

Fusilli are a familiar pasta, and may have been named after the spiral-grooved barrel of a rifle (fusile), although the term has also come to mean “little spindles” in modern Italian. Fusilli is usually an extruded corkscrew shape, but we quite like the rustic look of these ones…

Conchiglioni are large shells designed for stuffing…

…and finally, our favourite soup pasta, Rosmarino, with the rosemary leaves they’re named after!

Exploring pasta varieties is a very affordable foodie adventure.  Each 500g packet cost  just $3 – $4  and is ample to feed the four of us with leftovers.

And we haven’t even looked into the matching of pasta to sauce – the Italians are traditionally quite pedantic about this, and the texture, mouthfeel and  functionality of the pasta shape is carefully considered before deciding if it is appropriate for the sauce in question.

For my wordsmith friends, here’s a little Wiki trivia:

Italian pasta names often end with the masculine plural suffixes -ini, -elli, -illi, -etti or the feminine plurals -ine, -elle etc., all conveying the sense of “little”; or with -oni, -one, meaning “large”. Many other suffixes like -otti (“largish”) and -acci (“rough”, “badly made”) may occur, too. In Italian, all pasta type names are plural.

Do you cook with or know of any interesting pasta varieties?  Please let us know if there are any in particular we should look out for!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: