One of the more modern shapes of pasta, radiatori are based on industrial heaters which were used in the 1930s. Fresh sardines sauteed with Middle Eastern ingredients like golden raisins, almonds and pine nuts make for the perfect pasta dish. Beer 52 exclusive offer: Get a free case of craft beer worth £24. Capelli D’Angelo isn’t just hard to make; it’s also quite difficult to cook. Subscription offer: Save 32% and receive a three-tier steamer worth £44.99. These tiny star-shaped pasta have a small hole in the centre, which means they cook incredibly fast. Description:  Orecchiette or ‘little ears’ are traditionally served with broccoli rabe, anchovies, chilli and garlic. Pasta con le sarde. One of the most popular types of pasta, tube-shaped rigatoni (meaning “ridged” or “lined”) is extremely versatile. Whereas busiate are a work of art, casarecce are a tad easier to make. They have been around since the sixteenth century, where they were painstakingly made by hand until factory production became commonplace hundreds of years later. Spaghetti, linguine, fusilli lunghi, vermicelli, capellini, spaghettini, bucatini. Description: These small, rolled pasta shapes are traditionally served the Genovese way with pesto, green beans and potatoes. Like other long, thin pasta, this is best served with light seafood sauces, cream- or oil-based sauces. For this reason, they’re best served in a very light dressing rather than a thick sauce, such as basil, olive oil and a few tomatoes. Ravioli, tortellini, cappelletti, agnolotti. This type of Sicilian homemade pasta is a tasty and fragrant first course, typical of the Italian tradition. They are easy to master, impressive to serve and delicious. However, almost every single variety of pasta (except the shapes purely made for the novelty factor) has certain attributes that makes it particularly suited to a certain dish – whether it’s a heavy, tomato-based sauce, a light broth, seafood in cream or dressed as a salad. The eggplant is often fried in lots of olive oil until golden and soft, but this version uses less oil and the steam from cooking to soften the eggplant. Named after spago – which means twine or string – the variety didn’t appear until the early 1800s, as it needed to be extruded through a mechanical press to achieve uniform, thin strands. It is the middle man between rotini (with tighter spirals) and eliche (with looser twists). Serve with fish and tomato-based sauces that are nice and chunky. It became an iconic dish in the nineteenth century, which was when average Italian families began to own their own ovens. Our table of perfect matches offers some suggestions. The cake is then coated in marzipan and topped with yet more candied fruit. We have lots of pasta guides and recipes, including a video on making pasta and lots of recipe collections. The Greeks’ love of sardines and the abundance of seafood around the island is portrayed well in this pasta dish. The traditional Sicilian breadcrumb topping would not have had/ does not have the cinnamon or grated lemon peel. They are curved into a crescent shape and then pinched in the middle to form a cleft. Pasta ending in ‘ini’ is a smaller version of a particular shape, and pasta ending in ‘oni’ is a larger version of a particular shape. This type of pasta is used almost exclusively for this traditional Sicilian [...] Pasta with sardines. The name refers to a quill, which is symbolised by the angular cut at either end and helps draw the sauce into the centre of each piece. Nowadays it’s more common to see them factory-produced, dried and sold in packets, and often served with shellfish-flavoured sauces. Stelline are almost always served in broths or soups, usually used as decoration more than anything else. A wide tube of pasta stuffed with a filling and then baked. There are many different lasagne-based dishes, but the most popular is lasagne alla Bolognese, which is layered with the traditional meat sauce. The shape “Busiate” is a traditional Sicilian shape. The long drying process allows the characteristics of the Tumminia to be maintained through to the final pasta dish and the pasta’s unique texture and shape create the perfect pasta surface for sauces. One of the most popular and recognisable pasta shapes in the world, penne are hollow tubes of pasta made either smooth (lisce) or more commonly ridged (rigate) as they hold more sauce. It is first referenced in the thirteenth century, in cookbooks that stated it should be boiled then topped with spiced cheese and eaten with a pointed stick. Sicilian easter recipes: Miniature lambs made of marzipan (cassateddi) or chocolate fill the windows of cafés and pasticcerie, sitting alongside colourful marzipan shaped fruits known as martorana or pasta reale. The Aztecs are the first known to use the fruit. Originating in Sicily, spaccatelle are named after the Italian word for cleft, speccatura. Tomatoes. Explore the traditional dishes of Sicily through the Sicilian Cake. Legend has it that the pasta was invented by a chef in celebration of Lucrezia Borgia’s marriage to the Duke of Ferrara – the ribbons were modelled on her hair, and were so thin you could see right through them. 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". While this is probably more myth than fact, it goes to show how the simple variety has won the hearts of Italians for centuries. Description: Meaning ‘pen’ or ‘quill’, penne is cut on an angle to resemble its namesake. Serve with rich, meaty or cream-based sauces. Fusilli, trofie, strozzapreti, caserecce, gemelli, rotini. Tagliatelle, pappardelle, fettuccine, mafaldine, stringozzi, trenette. Description:  Chitarra means ‘guitar’, and this long thin pasta is cut using a harp-like tool. The name refers to home-made pasta. Outside Italy, we tend to assume pasta is universally enjoyed in every corner of the country. Here are some traditional Sicilian recipes that you can make for yourself! The most common fillings include spinach and ricotta or a minced beef filling, but – like tortellini or other stuffed pastas – there are all sorts of ingredients you can use to stuff them. While there are certain varieties that have found a home in kitchen cupboards throughout Italy, how pasta is served can even differ between neighbouring towns. A thick, spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the middle. Their design isn’t purely aesthetic, however – the frills and spiralled shape are there to maximise surface area and help the pasta hold onto as much sauce as possible, making them very effective at absorbing sauce and cooking evenly. The larger fennel fronds and stalks are used to flavour the water for the cooking of the pasta. You’ll find truffles and creamy Gorgonzola in the mountainous northern region of Piedmont; cured meat and flavourful tomatoes in the fertile central region of Umbria; and artichokes and seafood in Sicily, at Italy’s southern tip. It became popular outside Italy with the advent of canned spaghetti, which then led to a demand for the authentic, dried alternative. Spaccatelle or spaccatella is a traditional usually dried pasta from Sicily, which is not so widely known in other parts of the Italian peninsula. This shell-shaped pasta is based on a winkle shell, with a ridged exterior and smooth interior. Penne is usually served with hefty, full-flavoured sauces which are stirred through the pasta before serving, but it is also baked in dishes such as penne al forno, where the pasta is mixed well with a tomato and mozzarella sauce before being finished off in the oven. Pasta: Orecchiette. Description: Thick, noodle-like spaghetti, often made from wholewheat flour, butter and duck eggs. Ever heard of capelli d'angelo (angel hair)? For this reason, many regions have created their own pasta shapes – although their origin is often hotly disputed among Italians! Just a minute of overcooking will turn the strands soggy, and if they’re added to a hot sauce they’ll continue to cook until they go mushy. To make a tasty pasta with broccoli, cut leaves and flower heads of a medium-size broccolo, wash them under the faucet and boil in a pot filled with salted water.Leave to boil until the broccoli have become soft, 20 minutes, at least, overall. Eggplants have long been a favorite ingredient in Sicilian cooking, most famously in pasta alla Norma. Tailoring your pasta choice to the nature of your sauce is a sure fire way of achieving an authentic Italian finish. They first appeared around the beginning of the twentieth century, although they probably derived from crêpes and stuffed maccheroni, which are much older. Tom Shingler uncovers the history behind the world's favourite pasta shapes and uncovers a few lesser known varieties. Know your gigli from your trofie with help from our guide to local pasta variations. 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